The DB-engines.com website, which measures how germane almost 200 separate databases are in the current marketplace (including the market of ideas) has had Oracle ranked #1 for many consecutive months now. Their online graphic seems to depict a world in which Oracle is dominant, and by a large margin. What is even more impressive is that the #2-ranked engine is MySQL, also an Oracle product these days, followed by #3-ranked SQL Server from Microsoft. The gap between these three front-runners and the rest of the pack is considerable.
The next cluster of databases to appear in the ranking are PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and DB2 respectively. MongoDB at #5 is the highest ranked engine which is not a ‘traditional’ relational style database, an RDBMS. It is a document store type engine, designed for web scale application, and has been climbing steadily in popularity for over a year.
How are the ranking scores calculated?
The immediate question of course is how are these monthly results obtained, and how legitimate is the method. The website provides a methodology page which explains the various categories assessed. There are five distinct measures and apparently each one is weighted equally. These are:
• general interest as seen by Google Trends
• frequency of technical discussions
• quantity of website ‘mentions’
• number of online job offers related
• number of LinkedIn profiles related
What is not measured anywhere in these criteria are either the number of installations or running instances for a given database engine. However, the website points out that it’s ranking can serve as a useful early trend indicator because “an increase of the popularity of a system as measured by the DB-Engines Ranking precedes a corresponding broad use of the system by a certain time factor.”
Other Oracle products appear on the list as well. Berkeley-DB, the key-value in-memory engine Oracle acquired several years ago is ranked #50, and homegrown Oracle No-SQL comes in at #74. Both of these have been holding roughly steady over the past year of rankings. Some of the engines which have marked upward trends this month are: MariaDB, HazelCast, MaxDB and Cloudant. Another interesting feature of the website is it’s glossary which offers thumbnail definitions for the various types of databases being tracked. Besides the two already mentioned, there are also: Wide Column Store, Document Store, RDF Store, OO-DBMS, Search Engine, Multivalue DBMS, and Native XML DBMS engines. There also exist hybrids within this nomenclature.
The website is produced and maintained by an Austria-based IT consulting firm which has been specializing in NoSQL and Java search and application systems. The firm is called Solid-IT.