IBM nudged Oracle out of its slot as the leading database management systems (DBMS) vendor in 2001.
IBM's acquisition of database rival Informix in December 2000, along with solid growth of the DB2 database, pushed the companies' combined revenues tentatively ahead of Oracle. Annual revenue growth of database systems at IBM, at 4.3%, was well ahead of the industry average of 1.4%.
By contrast, Oracle's database revenues declined 4.9% year-on-year. The gap between IBM and Oracle remains small however, with industry market shares at 34.6% and 32.0% respectively.
In its favour, Oracle's Unix database product continues to dominate in the relational database segment of the market, which makes up 80% of DBMS revenue.
"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, vice president and research area director for Gartner.