RDBMS Market Grows in ’04

The global market for relational database management systems (RDBMS) grew by an estimated 11.6 percent last year to an overall level of $14.9 billion, according to a study recently released by research firm IDC. However, because of a falling U.S. dollar, those numbers are not as rosy as observers might believe at first glance, said Carl Olofson, research director in information management and data integration software at IDC.

“That growth doesn’t necessarily represent a proportional increase in sales, because if the exchange rate changes such that the dollar is worth less, then it takes more dollars to buy the same amount of product,” he said. “There was real growth that did represent an improvement, and it was a good year, but it wasn’t quite as good as the numbers would indicate if you took them at face value.”

The report, “Worldwide RDBMS 2004 Vendor Shares: Preliminary Results for the Top 5 Vendors Show a Solid Boost,” examines the performance of the RDBMS sector according to the leading providers, geographic region and the overall market. “We go through a fairly exhaustive, bottom-up process that involves all the software markets, so we have a complete picture before we make a definitive determination,” Olofson said.

According to the report, the top five RDBMS vendors (in terms of ’04 revenues) were Oracle (41.3 percent of market share), IBM (30.6 percent), Microsoft (13.4 percent), Sybase (3.1 percent) and NCR Teradata (3.1 percent). Oracle and Microsoft’s share rose a bit from 2003…



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