IBM has announced a new pricing option for DB2 Express, a version of its database software aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.
From 31 October, the software will be available for $3,899 (£2,326) for an unlimited number of users. This will be offered in addition to the existing pricing option of $624 for the base server package plus $124 per user, including maintenance.
The news follows Oracle's launch on 8 October of a version of its database also aimed at smaller businesses.
Its Standard Edition One database is priced at $195 per user for a minimum of five users, or $5,995 per processor for unlimited users. Until now IBM had not offered an unlimited-user pricing option.
DB2 Express is for use on servers with one or two processors and is available for Windows and Linux. Oracle's Standard Edition One is limited to single-processor machines and runs on Windows, Linux and various flavours of Unix.
Like their peers in the industry, both suppliers have been looking to the small and meduim-sized businesses market for growth as spending among their traditional base of enterprise customers has slowed.
IBM has been rolling out a family of Express products, including a version of its WebSphere application server.
Oracle's SME offerings are limited so far to its database, although the company will make several more SME-related announcements at its OracleWorld show in Paris this week.
James Niccolai writes for IDG News Service