Gartner Dataquest Says Worldwide Database Software Market Grew 10 Percent in 2000

Oracle Extends No. 1 Position in Overall Market; Microsoft Moves into Top Spot in NT RDBMS Software Segment; IBM Moves into No. 2 Spot in UNIX RDBMS Software Segment
SAN JOSE, Calif., May 23, 2001 — The downturn in the U.S. economy from mid 2000 continued to extend sales cycles resulting in slower growth in the worldwide database management systems (DBMS) software market in 2000. Worldwide new license revenue in the DBMS market reached $8.8 billion in 2000, a 10 percent increase over 1999 revenue, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). In 1999, worldwide DBMS software revenue grew 18 percent.

"These numbers clearly show how the economic downturn has started taking its toll on the DBMS software market," said Colleen Graham, industry analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Information Management Software group. "In 1999, over 51 percent of the vendors had growth in the double-digits. In 2000, only 35 percent of vendors are able to make that claim."

"The 2000 market share numbers reinforce Gartner's view that, despite the market consolidation, the DBMS market share wars are far from over," said Betsy Burton, vice president and research area director for Gartner. "IBM, Microsoft and Oracle will continue to battle for DBMS market dominance with the major influencing factors being ISV and applications support, pricing, depth of OS platform support and DBMS scalability and availability."

The top three vendors (Oracle, IBM and Microsoft) accounted for 79 percent of all DBMS software revenue in 2000 (see Table 1). Despite continued pressure from IBM, Oracle held onto the No. 1 position with a 33.8 percent market share. Sybase moved into the No. 4 position, while Informix was challenged with management changes and assimilation challenges from its acquisition of Ardent.

Table 1
Worldwide Database Management Systems Software New License Revenue
Market Share Estimates for 2000

Company 2000 Market Share (Percent) 1999 Market Share (Percent)
Oracle 33.8 31.4
IBM 30.1 29.9
Microsoft 14.9 13.1
Sybase 3.2 3.3
Informix 3.0 5.0
Others 15.0 17.3
Total Market 100.0 100.0
Source: Gartner Dataquest (May 2001)

While the pre-relational and object database markets suffered negative growth in 2000, the relational database management systems (RDBMS) software segment grew 15 percent. RDBMS accounted for 80 percent of total DBMS software market.

One of the fiercest battles was in the Windows NT platform of the RDBMS segment. Growing 45 percent, Microsoft took the lead from Oracle by less than one share point, leaving them neck and neck at 38 and 37.3 percent share, respectively. IBM maintained the No. 3 position, as it grew 63 percent and its market share reached 18.5 percent. The overall NT segment increased 34 percent.

The worldwide UNIX RDBMS segment grew 17 percent in 2000, as Oracle continued to lead the market with its market share of 66.2 percent. With a renewed focus on UNIX, IBM surpassed Informix to move into the No. 2 position with a 14.4 percent market share, and Informix was the No. 3 vendor with a 6.7 percent market share.

Additional analysis is available in the Gartner Dataquest Research Brief, "Database Management Systems Software Market Maintains Double-Digit Growth in 2000." This report offers a first look at the leaders in the DBMS market, providing market share charts for the leaders in the overall market as well as in the relational database management systems market. More detailed data will follow in the Market Statistics and Market Trends reports.

This information is produced by Gartner Dataquest's Software Applications group. This group analyzes application product market trends, player positioning and channels of the packaged business application software market. To purchase these reports or subscribe to Gartner Dataquest's Software Applications Worldwide program, please call 408-468-8000.

Gartner 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.

Gartner, Inc. is a research and advisory firm that helps more than 10,000 clients understand technology and drive business growth. Gartner's divisions consist of Gartner Research, Gartner Consulting, Gartner Measurement and Gartner Events. Founded in 1979, Gartner, Inc. is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut and consists of 4,600 associates, including 1,400 research analysts and consultants, in more than 80 locations worldwide. The company achieved fiscal 2000 revenue of $859 million. For more information, visit