GartnerGroup's Dataquest Says IBM Regains No.1 Ranking in Worldwide Database Market

Database Leaders Announced During Dataquest Predicts Conference

San Diego, Calif., March 22, 1999—Despite concerns of a slowdown in the database market because of lockdowns caused by the year 2000 crisis, the worldwide database market had a strong year in 1998 with revenue reaching $7.1 billion, a 15 percent increase over 1997 revenue, according to preliminary results by Dataquest Incorporated, a unit of Gartner Group, Inc. (NYSE: IT).

Dataquest discussed the state of the database industry today during the Dataquest Predicts 99 conference at the San Diego Hyatt. In 1997, Oracle topped IBM to move into the No. 1 position, but in 1998, IBM regained the No.1 slot as its market share reached 32.3 percent (see Table 1).

"Strong performance from IBM's System 390 and AS/400 systems along with dramatic growth for DB2 on UNIX and Windows NT allowed IBM to recapture the market lead," said Carolyn DiCenzo, director and principal analyst for Dataquest's Database and Data Warehousing Software Worldwide program. "While Oracle slipped to the No. 2 position in the overall market, the company continues to lead the relational database management systems segment of the market, as well as leading on the UNIX and Windows NT platforms."

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide Database New License Revenue Market Share Estimates for 1998
Company 1998 Market Share (%) 1997 Market Share (%)
IBM 32.3 28.9
Oracle 29.3 29.4
Microsoft 10.2 9.9
Informix 4.4 4.8
Sybase 3.5 4.5
Others 20.3 22.5
Total Market 100.0 100.0
Source: Dataquest (March 1999)

The worldwide database industry is forecast to reach $10 billion by 2003. Dataquest analysts said the market will be driven by Internet-related applications, electronic commerce, content management, and the need to support remote and mobile workers.

"IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft will be the dominant players, but there is still plenty of room for vendors that can cater to niche application areas or industry-specific markets," Ms. DiCenzo said. "IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft need to continue to work on nurturing value-added channels even as they continue to improve their product offerings. For the rest of the vendors participating in this market, now is the time to identify the niche that will be owned in 2002."

Additional information on the database market is available in the Dataquest Perspective "Worldwide DBMS Preliminary Market Statistics: 1998." [ ] This Perspective provides a preliminary look at the size and forecast for the market, as well as identifying the leaders in various segments and on the critical platforms.

Ms. DiCenzo presented her findings during GartnerGroup's Dataquest Predicts 99 Conference, which is being held March 22-24 at the San Diego Hyatt. Dataquest analysts are providing their outlook for the high-technology industry. GartnerGroup's Spring Symposium/ITxpo 99 is being held concurrently at the San Diego Convention Center. Additional information on the event is available on the GartnerGroup Web site at

To purchase the Perspective, please call 800-419-DATA or 408-468-8009. More information about Dataquest's programs, descriptions of recent research reports, and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

GartnerGroup's Dataquest is the recognized leader in providing the high-technology and financial communities with market intelligence for the semiconductor, computer systems and peripherals, communications, document management, software, and services sectors of the global 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, and consulting. Founded in 1979, with headquarters in Stamford, Conn., GartnerGroup is at the center of a global community serving Fortune 1000 clients from 80 locations worldwide. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at