How leading Operational DBMSs rank popularity wise?
By Michael Waclawiczek
It’s an interesting exercise actually to map out how the leading Operational DBMSs as identified in the Gartner MQ (published in Oct 2015) rank on DB-Engines (published monthly). As you might know, DB-Engines lists over 250 database products according to their popularity. What we should expect is that there is some relationship between the popularity of a database product and how Gartner analysts rank them in their MQ. But how far does this correlation go?
Let’s take a look first on who is on Gartner’s MQ for the Operational DBMS. There are 32 vendors listed, with prominent players like Oracle and Microsoft being positioned in the leadership quadrant. The complete list is shown in the table below, with each vendor being categorized by their position in one of the four Magic Quadrants: Leader, Challenger, Visionary, Niche.
|Gartner MQ vendor||Gartner MQ position (Oct 2015)||Highest DB-Engine ranking (Jan 2016)||Product(s) with highest DB-Engines ranking in bold|
|Oracle||Leader||1||Oracle Database, TimesTen, Berkeley DB, MySQL, …|
|Amazon Web Services||Leader||26||Amazon DynamoDB, Aurora, …|
|IBM||Leader||6||DB2, Cloudant, Informix|
|SAP||Leader||11||SAP Adaptive Server, HANA, SQL Anywhere|
|Fujitsu||Visionary||Fujitsu Open Data Platform|
DB-Engines ranks database products by popularity based on some measures including website mentions, Google Trends data, the number of job offers listing a vendor’s product, and so on. You find the full criteria on this page.
So, as we now match a Gartner MQ vendor with their popularity leading DBMS product, we see in the table above that the leaders of the MQ have highly popular products, as one would expect. But for vendors in all other quadrants, you find niche vendor products like Neo4j that has a higher popularity ranking than any other niche, challenger, and visionary product.
So, popularity is one way of measuring how successful a product is. Looking at the MQ gives you the Gartner analyst’s view of how (and why) they rank vendors and their systems. Neither analysis gives you the full story, but popularity rankings shouldn’t be underestimated — particularly if you follow them over time — as they give you more inside on the interest the user community has in a particular product.
 You can download this MQ report for free from a number of vendor web sites.