The worldwide database market declined by 7% in 2002, with licence revenue dropping from $7.1bn to $6.6bn.
Industry analyst Gartner cited reduced IT spending as a reason for the drop, although it noted that many organisations are furthering development of major database applications.
IBM, Oracle and Microsoft continue to hold the most market share, with IBM jumping from 33.9% in 2001 to 36.2% in 2002.
Oracle's share during these two years fell from 39.7% in 2001 to 33.9% in 2002. Microsoft increased its share from 14.3% to 18%.
Revenues were down for both IBM and Oracle. Oracle's revenues dropped by 20.5%, from $2.83bn in 2001 to $2.24bn in 2002. Oracle, however, maintained its lead on the Windows server and Unix platforms, with 43% of that market.
IBM's revenues dropped 0.8% from $2.41bn in 2001 to $2.4bn last year. IBM had strong growth on DB2 for zSeries mainframe hardware, which compensated for a double-digit decline on DB2 for the iSeries, formerly known as the AS/400, keeping IBM's new licence revenue flat in 2002.
Microsoft database revenues increased 16.8%, from $1.02bn in 2001 to $1.19bn in 2002.