Mick McGuinness
Mick McGuinness AP co-founder & DBmarlin Product Manager

The most popular databases 2006 to 2020

The most popular databases 2006 to 2020

We recently announced that DBmarlin now supports the Top 4 databases, and mentioned that the top 4 have remained unchanged for more than 3 years (according to https://db-engines.com/en/ranking).

As product manager for DBmarlin I wanted to take the data further and go back further in time and show how the top databases have changed over time. I was planning to create a Racing bar graph with Flourish, a popular way to show trends over time these days. When I looked into it though, I found was that the data from db-engines didn’t give me everything I needed, and so I started looking around for an alternative source of data.

Then just last week, by pure chance, I found the thing that I was imagining, had already been created. An article published in October 2020 on Statistics and Data showed the most popular databases from 2006 to 2020 and how the rankings have changed over time, using the exact format I had envisaged.

The data comes from the TOPDB Top Database Index which is created by analysing how often databases are searched on Google : the more frequently a Database is searched for, the more popular the Database is assumed to be. The raw data comes from Google Trends.

So what are the top databases in 2020 and how have they changed over the last 14 years?


What can we read into this data?

  • As of October 2020 the top 4 are: Oracle, 28.4%, MySQL 16.6%, SQL Server with 12.9% and PostgreSQL 4.9%
  • The top 4 combined account for 62.8% these days compared to 73.66% back in 2006.
  • The top 4 have remained the same top 4 since March 2013 when PostgreSQL overtook IBM DB2 for 4th spot.
  • Databases like Sybase, Ingres and Informix which were once in the top 10 are now outside the top 15 and replaced by NoSQL databases like MongoDB, Firebase, Elasticsearch, Redis and DynamoDB.
  • Over the last 14 years Oracle and MySQL have remained the first and second most popular databases but they are both down in popularity since 2006 with newer databases claiming market share for Google searches.
  • SQL Server has remained in 3rd place for 14 years with only a slight drop in popularity from 13.5% to 12.9%.

At DBmarlin, we are proud to support the top 4 databases, and of course will be expanding that list over time; in fact we will be using this information to help drive our choice. For early adopters we have some special early-bird pricing. If you would like to see what DBmarlin is all about, then you can download and get started for free. The first database instance is completely free.