GartnerGroup's Dataquest Reports Worldwide Database Market Posted Moderate Growth in 1997

Upcoming GartnerGroup Predicts Conference Examines Future Trends in the Market

San Jose, Calif., March 17, 1998—Because of maturation in the database marketplace, the worldwide database market posted single-digit growth with revenue approaching $6.6 billion in 1997, up approximately 7 percent from 1996 revenue of slightly more than $6.1 billion, according to preliminary market statistics from Dataquest, a unit of Gartner Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: GART). While the market's growth slowed compared to the 1996 growth rate of 15 percent, Dataquest analysts said the market will continue to increase, just not as fast as in previous years.

"The outlook for the next five years shows continued single-digit growth overall, with some strength as the year 2000 (Y2K) approaches and companies scurry to replace or upgrade not-Y2K-compliant applications," said Carolyn DiCenzo, director and principal analyst of Dataquest's Database and Data Warehousing Worldwide program.

A recalculation of the revenue contribution of IBM's OS/400 version of DB2 for 1995 to 1997 allowed IBM to retain the No.1 position in 1996, although the battle for the No. 1 position between Oracle and IBM tightened in 1997 as preliminary results show Oracle with a 0.3 percent lead over IBM (see Table 1).

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide Database Revenue Market Share Estimates for 1997
Company              1996 Market Share (%)       1997 Market Share (%)
Oracle                                24.9                        27.5
IBM                                   27.2                        27.2
Microsoft                             12.1                        14.9
Sybase                                 5.7                         4.5
Informix                               6.1                         4.4
Others                                24.0                        21.5
Total                                100.0                       100.0
Source: Dataquest (March 1998)

New database purchases continued to favor the relational database products, with Oracle leading on both the UNIX and Windows NT platforms. Sales of UNIX relational database products posted a slight decline over 1996, driven by weakness from Informix and Sybase. IBM and NCR reported strong growth for their UNIX products. Sales on the Windows NT platform grew 91 percent with Oracle owning 41.5 percent and Microsoft 38.8 percent market share.

"Watch for the continued move by database vendors to segment their products into base and add-on modules, offering the vendor the opportunity to address the market for base database functionality with a competitively priced product while gaining additional revenue for value-added features," said Ms. DiCenzo.

Additional information on this market is available in the Dataquest Alert titled "1997 Database Market Preview." This Alert provides preliminary market share statistics for various segments within the database market, and graphs the five-year forecast for the market.

Dataquest analysts will discuss the future of the database market during the GartnerGroup Predicts conference, April 7-9 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. During this conference, Dataquest and GartnerGroup analysts will provide predictions for various markets within the IT industry. For more information on the conference, please visit, or call GartnerGroup Conferences at 1-800-778-1997. Members of the press can register by calling Heather Carnevale at Edelman Public Relations at 212-704-8230.

To purchase this Alert, please call 800-419-DATA. More information about Dataquest's programs, descriptions of recent research reports, and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

Dataquest, a unit of Gartner Group, Inc., has been providing global market research and consulting services for the high-technology and financial communities since 1971. Dataquest provides worldwide market coverage on the semiconductor, computer systems and peripherals, communications, document management, software, and services sectors of the information technology industry.

As the world's leading authority on IT, GartnerGroup provides clients with a wide range of products and services in the areas of IT advisory services, measurement, research, decision support, analysis, consulting and training. Founded in 1979, with headquarters in Stamford, Conn., GartnerGroup is at the center of a global community of more than 9,300 client organizations served by analysts in 80 locations worldwide. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at