But can it shift the big three?

MongoDB passes Microsoft Access in database rankings

Chris Mayer

The NoSQL leader surges past its first relational heavy-hitter in DB Engine’s DBMS rankings. Will their bright 2013 continue?

Much has been made of document database MongoDB’s rise in popularity in recent years, and how it has quickly assumed the status of NoSQL market leader. Just by glancing at Google Trends, you can see MongoDB is far and away creating the most buzz.

Deciphering the hype in this battle can often be difficult, with aggressive marketing often masking the real issue for NoSQL vendors. The bigger challenge is still to persuade established firms to migrate over from their trusty relational datastore and while some might be willing to part company, they’ll want to do it in a time-effective manner. The savvier of the bunch have realised this, with DataStax in particular, devoting resources to Oracle migration.

At last, we have a bigger indicator that at least one of the collective is chipping away at the old guard, albeit very slowly. Data from’s DBMS rankings suggests that MongoDB has passed Microsoft Access in popularity,  moving from 7th position this time last November up to 6th. The DBMS ranking system uses a number of metrics when calculating popularity, including search engine queries, the frequency of those searches on Google Trends and the number of related questions on Stack Overflow and DBA Stack Engine.

MongoDB has two more relational foes in its sights also, with IBM DB2 and PostgreSQL both close by. With the database’s ascension since the new year, it’s probable that will be MongoDB will ranked fourth before the end of 2013. Possible factors for the recent surge include Red Hat’s inclusion of the database in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and IBM’s decision to integrate Mongo’s JSON protocol into their product line.

Displacing the big three might be a little trickier however. Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle are all more than 1000 points ahead of MongoDB currently, showing the scale of the challenge faced by 10gen.

In an interview with JAX last December, 10gen EMEA VP Joe Morrissey proclaimed that MongoDB could dominate up to 80% of the 30bn database market.

While this goal might seem lofty, 10gen are in the midst of rapid expansion if the jobs page is anything to go by and gearing themselves for the fight. According to the rankings, MongoDB’s place at the top of the NoSQL tree (at least in the near future) looks fairly established, with fellow competitors all outside of the top ten – Cassandra being the closest at 11th.

However pitting the NoSQL datastores against each other is ultimately meaningless, with each serving a different purpose. As Alvin Richards admitted to us in January, “there is not one solution.” MongoDB’s The document-oriented option might just be ahead of the pack due to the appeal of its malleability and ease of entry.

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