On its home page a few weeks ago, Oracle highlighted new Gartner data showing that its DBMS has a 47.1% market share — more than its two closest competitors combined and a healthy 15% increase in revenue from the previous year. In a $15.2 billion market, that’s a nice chunk of change.
The report reminded me of the “database wars” of old, which now almost seem like a quaint tussle compared to the current ferocious “apps wars.” For the past few years, the market appears to have settled into a semi-comfortable steady state, with Oracle #1, followed by DB2 and SQL Server, and Sybase and Teradata pulling up the rear in the single digits.
Or has it? A closer look reveals that Microsoft continues to have by far the highest growth rate: a whopping 28% increase compared with 2005. If present trends continue, SQL Server may even soon overtake DB2 and vault into second place. At an OpenWorld a few years ago, Larry Ellison jokingly mocked Microsoft as a “game manufacturer” — this was soon after the release of XBox — but he may have to put Microsoft back on his radar, especially in the small/medium-sized business market. It’ll be interesting to see how the new Database 11g will affect Oracle’s position in 2007/2008.
For the time being though, Larry is obviously preoccupied with SAP, who is leading Oracle in the apps market by roughly twenty percentage points. Our ace News Editor Mark Brunelli has written some interesting case studies recently describing what it’s like in the trenches of the apps wars:
- Oracle edges out SAP at logistics firm
- Oracle and SAP passed over by water desalination firm
- Siebel to help Jenny Craig slim down CRM
- SAP beats Oracle in Jefferson County
- Oracle vs. SAP: The SOA factor
If you’re a manager getting the hard sell from Oracle and SAP, let’s hear about it! I’d be very interested in hearing your experiences and how you will make your choice.