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Report: Oracle Commands Database Software

The pulse of the database software market is as strong as it's ever been.

Oracle  held 44 percent of the relational database management systems (RDBMS) market, which grew 14.3 percent from 2005 to 2006 to total $16.4 billion, according to research results from IDC.

While Oracle grew 14.7 percent from 2005 to reach $7.3 billion in sales in 2006, IBM retained second place with 21 percent of the market and sales of $3.5 billion for its DB2 database.

Microsoft , nipping at IBM's  heels, again grew the most -- 25 percent -- to hold third place with sales of $3 billion.

The software giant, which now commands 18.6 percent of the market, gained on the strength of its SQL Server 2005 offering in the enterprise.

IDC analyst and report author Carl Olofson attributed Oracle's solid sales to acceptance of its 10g R2 database release, certain software features in R2 and new penetration into small- and medium-sized business (SMB) customers.

Moreover, license fee increases due to multi-core processor upgrades also helped drive Oracle's software sales growth.

Sybase  and NCR TeraData  came in fourth and fifth, with 3.2 and 2.8 percent of the total database market, respectively. Smaller vendors, including open source provider MySQL AB, accounted for almost 10 percent of the market in 2006.

But why the $2 billion license revenue growth from 2005 to 2006, and will it continue?

Olofson said in his report the large vendors are exploiting new markets in the Asia-Pacific region in addition to selling their wares and add-on features to smaller businesses.

The analyst said that while Oracle, IBM and Microsoft command more than 80 percent of the market, Sybase, NCR TeraData, MySQL and others should continue to develop "indirect strategies to sell in a market dominated by these three."

This research explicitly covers RDBMS, which he defines as multi-user DBMSs that are organized according to the relational paradigm and that use SQL as the language for data definition and access.