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The analyst company found that spending on relational database management systems grew by 11.6% to £8.27bn worldwide during 2004.
"There is no question that the overall trend is favourable - companies are clearly spending again to meet their backlog of database management requirements," said Carl Olofson, research director at IDC.
There were no changes among the top five relational database management systems suppliers from 2003 to 2004, with Oracle again taking 41.3% of the worldwide market. Oracle was followed by IBM (30.6%) and Microsoft (13.4%). Sybase and NCR Teradata were the other two leading suppliers, each with 3.1%.
IDC predicted that during 2005 Oracle and IBM would be battling to win new SME customers. However, Microsoft, which currently dominates in this area, is set to strengthen its hand with the release of SQL Server 2005.