The worldwide database management systems software sector remains flat, with new license sales of $8.8 billion in 2001, up from $8.7 billion in 2000, reports Dataquest Inc., a San Jose, California-based research firm and a unit of Gartner Inc.

IBM Corp. – bolstered by its acquisition of Informix – became the industry leader with 2001 revenue of $3.064 billion and a 34.6 percent market share. Next is Oracle Corp. with $2.83 billion in revenue and a 32 percent share. It is followed by Microsoft Corp. with revenue of $1.44 billion and a 16.3 percent share.

"Given the economic slowdown, the DBMS market was a revenue pressure cooker in 2001, with the vendors competing vigorously for market share," says Betsy Burton, Gartner vice president and research area director. "More than ever, clients were looking for the best cost/value equation."

The relational DBMS software markets accounts for about 80 percent of the overall database industry, with revenue totaling $7.1 billion last year, a 1.6 percent increase, Dataquest notes. Oracle maintained its lead in the sector, mainly as a result of its entrenched dominance of the UNIX RDBMS subsegment, the firm says. Global UNIX RDBMS software revenue reached $3 billion in 2001, a 1.4 percent decline. Oracle's revenue fell 5.7 percent, but the developer still holds a 63 percent market share, Dataquest reports.

The Windows RDBMS software segment was the strongest-growing DBMS area, increasing 11 percent last year to $2.55 billion. Microsoft, with a 39.9 percent share, is the largest vendor in the space, followed by Oracle with a 34 percent share. Microsoft increased its revenue 25.3 percent last year, while Oracle's revenue declined 1.4 percent.

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