IDC Reveals Steady Growth for Worldwide RDBMS Market as Top 5 Vendors Hold Their Positions

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 24, 2006 – The worldwide market for relational database management systems (RDBMS) grew by 9.4% to $14.6 billion in 2005, according to preliminary figures released by IDC. These numbers reflect steady growth for the RDBMS software market, indicating a continued increase in the deployment of relational databases.

"2005 was a solid year for the RDBMS software market, with positive growth figures across the board," said Carl Olofson, research vice president of Information Management and Data Integration Software research at IDC. "Growth has been driven by increased demand in the established geographic markets as well as new growth in Asia/Pacific. Specifically, there is an increasing demand in the United States due to the need for better information governance in response to compliance issues, which has resulted in database-growing initiatives such as master data management."

There were no changes among the top 5 RDBMS vendors from 2004 to 2005, with Oracle capturing top honors with 44.6% of the worldwide market. Oracle was followed by IBM with 21.4% market share, and ranked third was Microsoft with 16.8% market share. Rounding out the top 5 were Sybase and NCR Teradata, with 3.5% and 2.9% market share, respectively. Microsoft experienced the strongest year-over-year growth on a percentage basis, and Oracle the strongest growth on a whole dollar basis in 2005.

The study finds that as Microsoft continues to grow impressively in the RDBMS software market, the release of the long-awaited SQL Server 2005 should keep the momentum going. As Microsoft works its way up the food chain, Oracle and IBM are moving to redirect database entry-level users by offering aggressively priced developer and small business packages.

"Microsoft is not the only vendor that the two giants – Oracle and IBM – are worried about," adds Olofson. "Alternatives such as the open source RDBMS vendor MySQL are also attracting a good deal of attention and loyalty from a new generation of database developers. IDC believes these open source vendors could ultimately spur a fundamental change in the way that RDBMS products are priced and licensed."

The report, Worldwide RDBMS 2005 Vendor Shares: Preliminary Results for the Top 5 Vendors Show Continued Growth (IDC #201692), examines the preliminary 2005 revenue data for the worldwide relational database management systems (RDBMS) software market and presents a view as to how the top 5 vendors, and the market overall, fared that year. A breakdown by geographic region is also included.

To purchase this document, call IDC's Sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. Over 850 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends. For more than 42 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting