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Oracle wears database crown in Asia

Stung by a recent study that named IBM the overall leading seller of database-management software, Oracle nevertheless maintained its grip on the Asian market in 2001.

Oracle maintained its grip on the Asian database management software market last year, according to a new report.

Research firm IDC said the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based database giant registered a 44.8 percent market share in the region in 2001. IBM came in second with a 25.5 percent share, and Microsoft claimed third place with a 10.2 percent share.

On a global basis, however, Oracle lost its crown to IBM, according to a Gartner Dataquest study released in May. Oracle has challenged that report, saying the wrong data was examined and challenging IBM and Microsoft to provide "audited numbers" to analyst firms. The findings seem to have particularly nettled Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who on a recent swing through China lambasted Gartner's "secret arithmetic."

IDC said that, despite tough economic conditions, the regional database software sector (excluding Japan) grew 12.3 percent to $848 million in 2001.

According to the IDC report, the performance of Oracle, IBM and Microsoft was key to the growth of the overall industry in the region, which would have declined otherwise.

One of the main drivers was the explosion of data distributed across the extended enterprise, IDC said.

Despite the dot-com crash, brick-and-mortar organizations continue to adopt Internet technologies and e-business as part of internal growth, and to connect their supply chain across suppliers and customers, IDC added.

IDC expects the database software industry to be worth $972 million this year and to top $1.8 billion by 2006.