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Open source RDBMS are gaining in popularity, but jobs are found elsewhere.

by Paul Andlinger, 2 September 2014
Tags: Commercial DBMS, DB-Engines Ranking, DB-Engines Reports, Open source DBMS

The September ranking shows the open source systems MySQL and PostgreSQL as the clear winners of the relational category. But a deeper look into the ranking sources reveals, that jobs are rather offered for the commercial tools Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and DB2.

Looking at the top 5 relational systems of the September ranking, we see the open source tools MySQL and PostgreSQL gaining points from their commercial competitors Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and DB2.

Rank DBMS Score Changes to last month
1. Oracle 1466.91 -3.95
2. MySQL 1297.14 +15.92
3. Microsoft SQL Server 1208.87 -33.62
4. PostgreSQL 255.79 +5.94
5. DB2 197.03 -9.39


Our brand new reporting service provides deeper insights into the nature of the ranking by breaking down the ranking points into four categories:

  • Information Supply, which gathers how much information is available for a specific system on the web by counting the number of mentions of the system on websites and in tweets.
  • Information Requests,  gathering the number of technical questions regarding the specific system on Stack Overflow and DBA Stack Exchange and the frequency of searches for the system in Google Trends.
  • Job Offers, counting the number of job offers in which a system is mentioned on Simply Hired and Indeed.
  • Community Size, measuring a systems relevance in the community by counting the number of profiles mentioning the system in LinkedIn, and the number of followers in Stack Overflow and DBA Stack Exchange.

That breakdown yields the following results for the top 5 open source and commercial relational systems:

We see that the commercial systems are mentioned in nearly 3 times as many job offers as the open source tools and they also provide a bit more information on the net. On the other hand, the open source tools have a slightly larger community and tend to have a higher usage of the web for asking/answering technical questions.

When asked for an interpretation, we would argue that the commercial systems are potentially overrepresented in large, well established companies (e.g. banks, industrial enterprises), which search for employees with very specific skills (e.g. Database Administrators for the installed DBMS). Furthermore those companies typically have a strong relationship to their database vendors, reducing the need to find technical support in web forums and communities.

On the other hand, the above chart implies, that in environments with an installed open source RDBMS less specific jobs are offered. They potentially employ rather 'IT-generalists' (e.g. by not mentioning the DBMS in the job offer) or take care of the DBMS by their own.

With our new reporting service, we provide a lot more data for comparing individual database management systems (including trend-charts and historical data).

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