Volume 4, Number 24 -- June 28, 2007

Database Sales Grew By 14.2 Percent in 2006, Says Gartner

Published: June 28, 2007

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

The annual stats for the relational database market have come out from Gartner, and despite the advance of inexpensive and often open source databases that have modest support license fees, sales worldwide for databases grew by 14 percent in 2006, hitting $15.2 billion in sales.

By relational database management system, Gartner is restricting its comparison universe to those databases that have SQL front ends, which means sales of flat-file databases (such as those that are popular on mainframes) are not included in the mix.

As has been the case for many years, Oracle held its dominant position in the relational database market, with $7.2 billion in sales, up 14.9 percent, slightly outpacing the market and representing an impressive 47.1 percent share of the relational database market worldwide. IBM, thanks in large part to its mainframe and System i base but also to respectable growth of the use of its DB2 products among Windows, Linux, and Unix shops, held the number two position in the 2006 relational database market, with $3.2 billion in sales, up 8.8 percent, and representing 21.1 percent of sales for the year. IBM actually lost a point of market share, and the sluggish sales of System i servers and lower prices on mainframe platforms probably had a lot to do with that. Microsoft had the number three position in the relational database market, with $2.65 billion in sales, up 28 percent and outpacing the market by a factor of two.

There have been no major shifts in the market positions of the Oracle, DB2, and SQL Server databases, according to the analysts at Gartner. Oracle is still the most popular database on Unix and Linux systems, Microsoft rules Windows, and IBM rules the mainframe. However, Oracle does support its databases on Windows and mainframe machines, and Windows is a very important part of its business. Unix platforms, according to Gartner, accounted for 34.8 percent of the database revenue in 2006, compared to 34.5 percent for Windows platforms and 15.5 percent for Linux platforms. Database sales on Linux, while small, are the fastest growing in the database sector, with 67 percent growth in 2006 compared to 2005.

Teradata, the formerly captive data warehousing unit of NCR that is being spun out of that venerable computing company, had $494 million in relational database sales in 2006, up only 5.7 percent, while Sybase, which has a popular alternative to Oracle's products that has been used by telecom and financial services companies, had $488 million in sales for the year. All other vendors accounted for $1.2 billion in sales, and their collective share came to 7.9 percent of the pie and only grew by 5 percent from 2005's levels.


Database Sales Grew in 2005, Say IDC and Gartner

Gartner Says Database Market Continued Its Recovery in 2004

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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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