Database market shrunk in 2002; IBM finishes first

Worldwide revenue from new licences of RDBMSs (relational database management systems) fell 6.9 per cent last year, to $6.6 billion, according to analyst group Gartner.

Despite flat revenue, IBM overtook Oracle as market leader with revenue of $US2.4 billion, down 0.8 per cent on last year. It now holds 36.2 per cent market share, Gartner said.

Strong growth on IBM's DB2 for the zSeries compensated for a double-digit decline on DB2 for the iSeries, Gartner said.

Oracle's RDBMS revenue for 2002 was $2.2 billion, down 20.5 per cent from last year, and its market share slipped to 33.9 per cent. It did, however, remain market leader in the RDBMS market on distributed systems (Unix and Windows servers), with 40 per cent of the market compared to IBM's 24 per cent, Gartner said.

Microsoft showed the strongest growth in the overall RDBMS market, with an increase of 16.8 per cent in its revenue to $1.2 billion. It now holds third place in the overall market with an 18 per cent share, and is also number three in the distributed platform area, the research company said.

Microsoft's growth has been helped by cost-conscious enterprise buyers, and improved scalability capabilities in its product, Gartner said.

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