Gartner Says Worldwide Relational Database Market Grew 10 Percent in 2004

STAMFORD, Conn., May 19, 2005 — Worldwide relational database management systems (RDBMS) new license sales totaled $7.8 billion in 2004, a 10.3 percent increase from 2003 revenue, according to Gartner, Inc.

IBM and Oracle were in a virtual tie for the top position based on new license revenue (see Table 1). Gartner analysts said the difference between the two vendors was less than $30 million, so statistically it is too close to identify a clear leader.

"Much of IBM's growth was generated by its DB2 on the zSeries platform, and IBM's DB2 sales on the Unix platform performed well with nearly 9 percent growth," Colleen Graham, principal analyst at Gartner. "Oracle saw strong growth of nearly 15 percent, much of it coming from its performance on the Linux platform."

Table 1
Worldwide Vendor Revenue From RDBMS Software in 2004, Based on New License Sales
(Millions of Dollars)
Companies 2004 Revenue 2004 Market Share (%) 2003 Revenue 2003 Market Share (%) 2003-2004 Growth (%)
IBM Total 2,664.9 34.1 2,518.8 35.5 5.8
   IBM 2,554.0 32.7 2,384.2 33.6 7.1
   Informix Products 110.9 1.4 134.6 1.9 -17.6
Oracle 2,636.0 33.7 2,299.3 32.4 14.6
Microsoft 1,561.1 20.0 1,323.0 18.7 18.0
NCR Teradata 230.0 2.9 196.3 2.8 17.2
Sybase 178.0 2.3 177.2 2.5 0.5
Others 517.1 6.6 545.4 7.7 -5.2
Total 7,787.1 100.0 7,060.0 100.0 10.3
Source: Gartner Dataquest (May 2005)

RDBMS on the Windows server platform totaled $3.1 billion in 2004, a 10 percent increase from 2003. Microsoft extended its lead in this segment, as it accounted for 50.9 percent of new license revenue.

RDBMS on the Unix platform declined 0.7 percent, however much of this decline was attributed to Oracle's strong performance in the Linux segment. Oracle accounted for 55.9 percent of RDBMS new license revenue.

The Linux RDBMS was still relatively small with new license revenue of $654.8 million in 2004, but this segment showed the largest growth rate. Linux RDBMS new license sales increased 118.4 percent from 2003 revenue of $299.8 million. Oracle was the clear market leader in this space, as it accounted for 80.5 percent of new license sales. Its revenue increased 154.8 percent.

Gartner defines RDBMS as a database management system that incorporates the relational data model, normally including a Structured Query Language (SQL) application programming interface. It is a DBMS in which the database is organized and accessed according to the relationships between data items. In a relational database, relationships between data items are expressed by means of tables. Interdependencies among these tables are expressed by data values rather than by pointers. This allows a high degree of data independence.

Additional information is available in the Gartner report No Clear Winner in Overall RDBMS Market Share Race. The report provides top-level market share results for the RDBMS market in Windows, Unix and Linux platforms.

About Gartner:
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