Enterprise applications vendor SAP has become the fastest-growing vendor of relational database management systems (RDBMS) following its purchase of Sybase and recent developments with the SAP HANA in-memory database.
It recorded growth of 44% in 2011, to take a market share of 3.9 per cent, taking SAP's estimated database revenues from $697.2m (£450m) in 2010 to $1bn in 2011.
That is according to the latest figures from analyst group IDC.
However, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft still enjoy almost unassailable market share leads - together accounting for some 85.5 per cent of the market. Oracle is the market leader with a 46.6 per cent share, with IBM and Microsoft vying for second place with market shares of 19.7 per cent and 19.2 per cent respectively.
In its latest RDBMS research, IDC attributed SAP's fast growth to its SAP HANA in-memory database, which has driven sales in applications and analytics.
"SAP's combination of SAP Sybase ASE, SAP Sybase IQ, SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, and SAP HANA revenue enabled SAP to secure fourth place," said IDC.
SAP's growth relegated Teradata from fourth to fifth place in the IDC rankings, despite strong growth for Teradata.
However, IDC forecasts major disruption in the coming years as a combination of new technology and customer demand shakes up the market.
"The RDBMS market is likely to look quite different after a few years. The technology is moving toward high degrees of scalability and in-memory function, including memory-based technology that will begin to displace the current disk-based technology within the next five years," said IDC.
It added: "As more users, especially in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) space, move data-intensive functions to the cloud, RDBMS available in cloud services will become essential to this segment.
"The RDBMS market is also likely to be impacted by the big data movement and its corresponding need for more integrated support for text and graph structures."