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Don Burleson Blog 








SQL Server book demand now double that of Oracle

Most database professionals know that the computer book market is driven by demands from the industry and nobody know this better than Tim O'Reilly, founder of the world's most popular computer book publisher.

Tim downloads data from the point-of-sale database (bookscan) and loads it into a MySQL data mart for detailed trend analysis:

If we assume that people are buying books because of a market demand, we see Oracle is steep decline and SQL Server book sales up 83%, followed closely by PostgreSQL.  We saw this exact same trend in 1992-1995 when Oracle books started to dominate the database book market, displacing DB2 and IDMS/R books.

As a whole, the big news is that database book sales are way-down with the exception of PostgreSQL and SQL Server books, which are up 83% and are now double the size of the Oracle market:

Other emerging technologies:

The biggest increases are in the areas of web design and development (up 25%) and digital media applications (up 14%.) Books on consumer operating systems are off by 5%, with books on Windows XP off by a full 17%. Core software development technologies are up 4%. But even there, the gains are not evenly distributed. Java, Perl and C++ are down, C#, Python, and Ruby are up. Red Hat is down, and other Linux distributions are up.

As you might expect, Javascript book sales are up 121%, driven by the new interest in AJAX. (We don't yet track Ajax as a separate category, choosing instead to include it with Javascript.)

As previously noted, ASP is up 60%. With the latest version, Microsoft has clearly found their stride in the web application development space. PHP is up only 4%, Cold Fusion up 9%, and JSP off 16%. Ruby on Rails shows in the treemap as flat, up 0%.

Also, O'Reilly notes a clear seasonal trend for computer book sales:

As you can see, there's a clear seasonal pattern, with the graphs for each year closely mirroring the year before, with remarkably consistent weekly ups and downs.


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