Amy Miller, Elaina Reinhard, and Shannon Wenger
BA 471 Dr. Rene Reitsma
May 23, 2006
A database is an organized collection of data in a computer. The computer uses the
database to access information in a systematic way.
As technology becomes evermore present
and important in everyday business, databases are evolving into highly competitive products.
Major players in the database market need to examine their market position, assess current
competing players and up
The three major players who have dominated the database market for the past 30 years
are: Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. Together in 2005, Oracle and IBM captured over 71% of the
wide database market. Microsoft has found a niche sup
plying a smaller, less powerful
database. To remain competitive, Oracle and IBM must reconsider their prices.
There are four major properties that a database must have to be a player in the market:
scalability, speed, backup and recovery, and security.
Database administrators help
organizations make decisions regarding these properties, and guide database users toward
Microsoft’s database product Access is a less expensive option than Oracle or IBM, but
the sacrifices are substantial. Small sc
ale organizations can benefit from using Access, but they
will be giving up speed, security, and scalability.
Open source systems are becoming more prevalent in the database industry. PostgreSQL
and MySQL appeal because they are free. Companies are able
to save money and still remain
competitive with Oracle and IBM users.
Conclusively, traditional database systems haven’t changed in years. Open source
systems are putting pressure on Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft to provide their products at a more
To paint a broad picture, a database is an organized collection of data in a computer. A
database functions to collect data and records
address questions. According to Wiki
pedia, the term ‘data base’ was first used in 1963, and the
first database management system was developed in the mid 1960’s. Different database models
were introduced in the 1970’s and the first commercial products appeared in the 1980’s.
inued to evolve through the 1990’s, handling more complex data. As 2010
approaches, the database market needs to be examined; major players and incoming competition
alike should assess their standings, and remain at the cutting edge if they want
in the market (U.S. Department of Labor, 2005)
we do not see any significant growth or innovation within the database market.
As a result
the market has reached a state of equilibrium. This is
atabase technology has been in existence for approximately 30 years.
Over these 30 years,
atabase technology has been dominated by three major players Oracle, IBM
and Microsoft have changing
amounts of market shares. Acco
rding to a
study conducted in 2005 by an independent research firm, IDC, Oracle captured 41.3% of the
wide market. IBM ranked se
cond at 30.6% and Microsoft had a much smaller portion
13.4% (Baumbauer, 2005). Results are displayed in Table 1.
Oracle is among the world’s largest enterprise software com
. In 2004 annual
revenues totaled 9.5 billion (Oracle, 2004). Its major database product is called
10g. This product
a very large
portion of Oracle’s
product portfolio. Being an
well known for its’ performance
and ability to meet the
industry strength requirements of any sized business. Pricing
for Oracle database 10g
is at a
premium. Based on
accommodating 32 CPU’s
a company can expect to pay approximately 1.28
million dollars (Microsoft, 2004).
Oracle’s most direct co
mpetition comes from IBM
major database product is
called DB2. Pricing for this product is comparable to Oracle’
plus or minus additional
management tools and features. Based on an article published in 2002
a DB2 system supporting
32 CPU’s would cost approximately $1.04 million (Darrow, 2002).
eing relatively new to the database market
Microsoft SQL Server. This database is not as powerful as Oracle’s 10g or
IBM’s DB2, but
meets the industry needs of many smaller and midsize companies. The
biggest competitive advantage is price.
Pricing for this system ac
, which is half of Oracle’s 10g
There are four major properties that a database must have to be a major player in the
industry: scalability, speed, b
ackup and recovery abilities, and security.
Scalability is a
database’s ability to handle large amounts of transactions. When you think of scalability, think
of databases that Amazon or eBay would need. These are
tions each day and consequently,
need highly scalable databases. Before considering how
to establish scalability,
one must first decide
if the database is
and if it
scalable, does the database need
to be scaled. Generally, if there a
re more than 8
requiring simultaneous access, the server should be improved.
e 2 ways to achieve scalability,
scale up or scale out. Scaling up is
. Generally an organizat
ion scales up its bu
dget, investing money into
and the problem disappears
. The money adds processors to handle the volume load of a single,
high performance server. T
here are times when the level of volume can’t be satisfied by one
, and in that case
ganization would choose to scale out.
The alternative to s
is when the
volume is spread out among many low cost servers.
Speed is the second propert
y that makes a database strong.
peed is the ability to handle
and high amou
nt of transactions per unit of time. There are different aspects of speed, and they
all influence a da
tabases handling ability. The p
itself is an important facet of
speed. Speed is contingent on the quality of the server itself, and wil
l vary between
Access and Oracle.
Speed also depends on database design quality, drive speed, and query
optimizers. A query optimizer is the component of the server
that analyzes submitted queries; it
helps speed look fast. T
he query opti
mizer achieves this by displaying your queried results as
soon as they are found as opposed to querying 1,000 results and then displaying them all at once.
The third property of a strong datab
backup and recovery abilities. The ability
e a copy of the database in case of disaster and then the capability to recover the copied
database is important. There are two types of physical backups, cold and hot.
backup is where the database shuts completely down and backs up ALL the data.
These data files will not change, so in case of emergency, upon recovery, the
database will be
sync. Though this sounds great, it isn’t always p
ossible. Consider Amazon again;
aren’t going to want to turn their system off for any amo
unt of time. This would mean a
loss in sales. More intensely, consider the database in a hospital. It would be near impossible to
tell patients to just hang on for an hour while the database backs up and their medical charts will
be ready soon.
ackup is where the database remains open and available for all users. Though the
files are copied, they may be slightly changed to achieve successful backup. So if restoration is
required, the changes have to be applied to bring the database back into sy
nc. An important
thing to think about when reflecting on database backups is the imp
’ role. To sidetrack from our i
ndustry strengths for just a moment, Datab
such as the
difficulties in back
ing databases up. They ensure
system performance and deal with security. Databases are so complex that it is essential to have
a specialist who is able to store and organize the data, identify server requirements, and test
modifications. As organization
s integrate more and more sophisticated technologies, this
occupation will only continue to grow.
Organizations are moving towards outsourcing database administrators. There are
several different statistics supporting the fact that around a third of thes
will be outsourced
in the next four
Americans have a hard time competing with foreign
ut to retain their occupation, d
atabase administrators are going to have to expand their
skill sets and take on larger roles in t
he database market. But before considering outsourcing,
administrators must remember the amount of trust they need to have in their administrators. A
relationship across the ocean may lend itself more easily to dishonesty than a relationship close
Again, when looking at
industry strengths, security is obviously a concern. Anyone who
has bought something or paid a bill online has wondered where their information is going. Who
is getting your bank account number? How is your credit card safe? Both
Oracle and Microsoft
SQL are rated as secure for classified governmen
t information. They do this through
authentication and authorization. Authentication is verifying identity, such as requesting the last
four digits of a social security number. Author
ization is determining users’ limits and setting
database Access at the College of Business may create
confusion as to why larger companies don’t use Access as their database. The re
Access isn’t used a
s a large scale
server relate directly to a database’s industry strengths.
is generally considered ‘not scalable’. It is able to handle small amounts of volume such as 15
simultaneous users at once. It is suitable for smaller applications, but Ac
cess is unable to deal
with large amounts of memory. Access is slower than Oracle and MySQL. For applications
relying on time
itical transactions, Access is no
t the way to go. In hospitals and laboratories,
Access will not send or receive data fast en
ough to be a beneficial tool. Lastly, Access is thought
of as less secure than Oracle and MySQL. Though Access can be paired with MySQL to
improve its secur
ity abilities, alone Access is no
t considered significantly safe.
Other Database Systems
ion to the major players discussed previously such as Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM,
there are open source systems
which are becoming more prevalent in the industry.
and MySQL are the central open source systems
player at this
time is MySQL.
This database system is used by many organizations such as travel agencies,
, SAP, and Google
Many database systems are becom
ing, or already are
available in open source platforms.
DB2, Sybase IQ,
Oracle are among the database systems
have become obtainable in open source (Stair & Reynolds, P. 214).
trait of MySQL is dual licensing
. (Oram, Andy)
by offering everything under
open license for particular us
ers, and then everyt
hing under other conditions is
Through dual licensing agreements, over half of MySQL’s profit comes from licensing fees.
Trends in open source
Recently there has been a lot of attention paid to open
f the major
reasons they have been on the rise is due to expired patents.
Consequently, knowledge regarding
such information is freely available to anyone who wants it.
Another reason is that through open
source databases, companies are able to save mone
The question then remains as to why some
companies have decided to continue using traditional database systems such as IBM, Oracle, and
Brand equity and awareness are an explanation
established systems are
clearly stable, solid,
and offer far more security than newer open source systems.
there are substantial switching costs associated with databases.
For a company that
reengineered, retrained, and overall completely changed their system, they are not going to w
to switch to a different database.
It would require them to change their system all over again.
Subsequently, once a company chooses a dat
abase, they are generally committed to
My SQL and SAP
SAP is a German software company
with 30,000 e
mployees in nearly 50 countries.
one of the market leade
rs in supplying ERP software, and also
the largest software company.
a service, SAP
ting costs are reduced
and so they
are able to share
information easier. Overall
the total efficiency
and productivity increases,
creating a stronger
competitive advantage and
bigger market share over their rivals
MAX DB was
created and produced many benefits for MySQL.
with, MySQL doubled in size, which increased
the number of employees to 134.
benefit was that SAP was
well established and
to MySQL, w
largest motivator was
, which is what
in order to upgrade.
out the merger, MySQL was
able to impleme
to run SAP because
of ANSI compliance
, which is the
Oracle and Microsoft run on
and MAX DB recognizes it (Oram,
Therefore, the merger
beneficial for both
companies and for the open source system
traditional databases haven’t chan
ged much in many years.
systems such as Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft are now facing significant pressure to change
because of the rise in open
a database depends heavily on
including the type of industry, compa
hen considering the success of a database
in the market, it must be industry strong. To be a large scale database, the system must be
scalable, fast, capable of hot
backup, and secure. Access fails to be scalable, is slow, and is not
ificantly secure. Th
ese are the reasons Access is not
employed as a large scale database.
Overall, in the last decade
the database industry is beginning to change
it is only a matter of
time before we will find which companies will forge ahead and which
ones will be left behind.
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Oracle Quarter in Review;
Why MySQL Grew So Fast
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Top 20 Accounting Systems and Accounting Software From 2020
Stahl, E. (2006)
Is the Software Industry Mature or Ripe for Disruption;
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