Embedded Databases Boomed in '98, Says Dataquest

The market for embedded databases soared to U$400 million [M] last year, a 19 percent rise over figures for 1997, according to market research company Dataquest Inc., which also painted a rosy picture for the mobile database arena.

The rise in revenues for embedded databases comes after three years of negative or flat growth in the embedded database market segment, Dataquest said in a release. The growing appeal of embedded databases is due to an increasing number of end-users working remotely via laptop or notebook computers, together with a rise in the use of handheld computers, the company said.

Dataquest defines embedded databases as those that are marketed primarily through VARs (value-added resellers) and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).

Progress Software Corp., traditionally very strong in the VAR community, led the field with a 19 percent stake of the embedded database market in 1998, the market research company said. Sybase Inc. came in second position with a 15 percent market share while Ardent Software Inc. followed with a 14 percent stake.

Turning to mobile databases, Dataquest said the market was worth $52 million [M] in revenues in 1998 and should experience a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent over the next 4 years.

Sybase headed the mobile-database pack with a 55 percent share of the market through its SQL Anywhere product, followed by Oracle Corp. with 20 percent and Progress with 7 percent.

Earlier this week, there were signs of consolidation in the embedded-database market as Centura announced Tuesday that it had signed an agreement to purchase rival Raima Corp. through a stock acquisition due to close by June 1.

The combination of the two companies will let Centura offer a fuller range of embedded databases, the company said in a statement, supporting a variety of platforms including the Windows family of operating systems -- 95, 98, NT/2000 and CE -- as well as the Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, UnixWare and Linux flavors of Unix and real-time operating systems.

Last summer, Centura announced SQL Smart Card, an embedded relational database specifically designed for use with smart cards.

Dataquest, a unit of GartnerGroup Inc., is based in San Jose, California, can be reached via the Internet at http://www.dataquest.com/. Centura, based in Redwood Shores, California, can be reached at +1-650-596-3400 or via the Internet at http://www.centurasoft.com/. Raima, based in Seattle, Washington, can be reached at +1-206-515-9477 or via the Internet at http://www.raima.com/.

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