IDC Predicts Surge in SIM

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-04-09 Print this article Print

Applications' ability to pinpoint the location of your favorite coffee shop will become ubiquitous within the next three years, according to a report from International Data Corp.

Applications ability to pinpoint the location of your favorite coffee shop will become ubiquitous within the next three years, thanks to the rapid growth of spatial capabilities in database management, application server and data access technology, according to a recent report from International Data Corp. The report, titled "Spatial Information Management: Competitive Analysis, 2002," cited four factors that will cause SIM (spatial information management) capabilities to spread like wildfire: open availability of basic spatial functionality in data access and database management; a substantially lower cost of entry for SIM vendors that want to enter new vertical markets; substantially lower costs for IT vendors that want to build location-specific functions into their applications; and the delivery of SIM in both software and services. The report gave Oracle Corp. a pat on the back for building SIM capabilities directly into its Oracle9i database. Oracle9i embeds the features at no additional cost, making it available to some 200,000 client organizations and the developer community. IBM also offers SIM features, but in an add-on to its DB2 database—DB2 Spatial Extender for Unix, Windows and Linux.
Oracle has tightly integrated spatial capabilities into its database and application server technology, moving spatial from a specialty application into a core part of the database infrastructure. The report suggested that this move has simplified the use of spatial data in business applications and removed much of the cost of implementing it. In four surveys since 1999, IDC has found that Oracle holds between an 80 and 90 percent share of the geospatial database management market.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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