Annual Look at Database Trends (Jan 2023)
Monitoring trends in the popularity and usage of different Database vendors can be a interesting exercise. The marketing teams from each vendor do an excellent job of promoting their Database, along with the sales teams, developer advocates, and the user communities. Some of these are more active than others and it varies across the Database market on what their choice is for promoting their products. One of the problems with these various types of marketing, is how can be believe what they are saying about how “awesome” their Database is, and then there are some who actively talk about how “rubbish” (or saying something similar) other Databases area. I do wonder how this really works for these people and vendors when to go negative about their competitors. A few months ago I wrote about “What does Legacy Really Mean?“. That post was prompted by someone from one Database Vendor calling their main competitor Database a legacy product. They are just name calling withing providing any proof or evidence to support what they are saying.
Getting back to the topic of this post, I’ve gathered some data and obtained some league tables from some sites. These will help to have a closer look at what is really happening in the Database market throughout 2022. Two popular sites who constantly monitor the wider internet and judge how popular Databases area globally. These sites are DB-Engines and TOPDB Top Database index. These are well know and are frequently cited. Both of these sites give some details of how they calculate their scores, with one focused mainly on how common the Database appears in searches across different search engines, while the other one, in addition to search engine results/searches, also looks across different websites, discussion forms, social media, job vacancies, etc.
The first image below is a comparison of the league tables from DB-Engines taken in January 2022 and January 2023. I’ve divided this image into three sections/boxes. Overall for the first 10 places, not a lot has changed. The ranking scores have moved slightly in most cases but not enough to change their position in the rank. Even with a change of score by 30+ points is a very small change and doesn’t really indicate any great change in the score as these scores are ranked in a manner where, “when system A has twice as large a value in the DB-Engines Ranking as system B, then it is twice as popular when averaged over the individual evaluation criteria“. Using this explanation, Oracle would be twice as popular when compared to PostgreSQL. This is similar across 2022 and 2023.
Next we’ll look a ranking from TOPDB Top Database index. The image below compares January 2022 and January 2023. TOPDB uses a different search space and calculation for its calculation. The rankings from TOPDB do show some changes in the ranks and these are different to those from DB-Engines. Here we see the top three ranks remain the same with some small percentage changes, and nothing to get excited about. In the second box covering ranks 4-7 we do some changes with PostgreSQL improving by two position and MongoDB. These changes do seem to reflect what I’ve been seeing in the marketplace with MongoDB being replaced by PostgreSQL and MySQL, with this multi-model architecture where you can have relational, document, and other data models in the one Database. It’s important to note Oracle and SQL Server also support this. Over the past couple of years there has been a growing awareness of and benefits of having relation and document (and others) data models in the one database. This approach makes sense both for developer productivity, and for data storage and management.
The next gallery of images is based on some Python code I’ve written to look a little bit closer at the top five Databases. In this case these are Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and MongoDB. This gallery plots a bar chart for each Database for their top 15 Counties, and compares them with the other four Databases. The results are interesting and we can see some geographic aspects to the popularity of the Databases.
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