Relational Database Sales Slide

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-05-21 Print this article Print

As spending on relational databases slid nearly 7 percent, Oracle lost its grip on the market to IBM.

Spending on relational databases slid 6.9 percent, from a total of $7.1 billion in 2001 down to $6.6 billion in 2002, according to a report released Wednesday by Gartner Inc. At 36.2 percent, IBM had the biggest share of new-license revenue for the worldwide RDBMS (relational database management systems) market. Oracle Corp. pulled in second, with 33.8 percent of new-license revenue. According to Gartner, IBMs growth can be attributed to a surge in popularity for DB2 for the zSeries. That growth spurt helped counteract Big Blues bellyflop with DB2 for the iSeries, which experienced a double-digit decline.
This is the first time IBM has overtaken goliath Oracle in the category of relational databases. Oracles grip on the market loosened from a 2001 share of 39.7 percent down to 33.9 percent in 2002. IBM grabbed those 2 percentage points and then some, rising to 36.2 percent from 34 percent in that time.
But Oracle still holds the reins when it comes to the RDBMS market on the distributed platforms of Unix and Windows server. Oracle has 43 percent of that market, compared with IBMs 24 percent. Microsoft Corp. at No. 3 is the precocious child in the distributed database market, experiencing 17 percent growth from 2001 to 2002. Gartner attributed Microsofts gains to the fact that SQL Server appeals to cash-strapped enterprises and has benefited from improved scalability.
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.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel