Dataquest Numbers Reveal Banner Year for Database Market

Dataquest Inc., a unit of analyst firm GartnerGroup, today announced the numbers for worldwide database market share estimates for 1999.

Analysts at Dataquest are viewing this year's numbers as surprisingly high -- reaching almost $8 billion with an 18 percent increase over 1998 revenues -- since numbers were expected to be somewhat lag due to Y2K issues draining many companies' database spending funds.

The announcement came from Norma Schroder, senior analyst for database and data warehousing software at Dataquest ( during a Dataquest Predicts 2000 conference in Santa Clara, Calif.

While sales increased greatly in 1999, the positions of top market share holders held steadfast. Oracle Corp. ( retained its first place position, upping its market share to 31.1% up from 30.7 % in 1998. IBM Corp. ( held on to the second place position with 29.9% of the market share, down from 30.0% the year before.

The big jumper was Microsoft Corp. ( that emerged with 13.1% of the market, up a stifling amount from 1998 when the Redmond-based giant only held 10.7 percent of the market. Many analysts believe the increase is due to the late 1998 release of SQL Server 7.0 -- the most recent version of the company's relational database management system (RDBMS).

Many of the other companies holding the top market share positions lost some footing in 1999 -- including Informix Corp.(, and Sybase (, among others that lost a small percent of their share.

Dataquest estimates the worldwide database industry will grow to $12.7 billion by 2004. The firm also predicts NT platform revenue will be near equal with Unix platform revenue by that time. Major proponents of the growth are likely to be Internet applications, e-business applications, e-commerce, evolving business intelligence (BI) solutions, and growth of mobile consumer and business applications. --Alicia Costanza

Worldwide Database Market Share Estimates for 1999

Company 19991998
Oracle Corp.31.1%30.7%
IBM Corp.29.9%30.0%
Microsoft Corp.13.1%10.7%
Informix Corp.4.3%4.8%

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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