Snowflake named DBMS of the Year by DB-Engines • The Register


Snowflake, this cloud-only data warehouse popular with investors, was named DBMS of the Year 2021 by the DB-Engines monitoring site.

Once valued at $ 120 billion, Snowflake not only produced the first software as a service to earn this accolade, but it was also the first data warehouse-focused product to make the top three for this award.

He is joined in the top three by three-time winner PostgreSQL, who finished second, and MongoDB, third, who took top prize in 2014 and 2015.

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Rather than measuring the popularity of the database by revenue – which would bias against FOSS systems – or basing its conclusions on downloads – which would include downloaded software for hobbyists, pilots and DIY enthusiasts – DB-Engines bases its popularity score by merging metrics.

These metrics include mentions on websites, Google search trends, appearance in online technical discussions, job postings, professional profiles, and social media feeds.

According to Paul Andlinger, co-founder of DB-Engines, DB-Engines standardizes these metrics, which in themselves may be imperfect but, taken together, provide a good indication of the popularity of a DBMS.

Andlinger founded the Austrian database consultancy firm Solid IT in 2011 with co-founder Matthias Gelbmann. They launched DB-Engines in 2012 in response to customer requests for basic information about databases entering the market and their relative popularity. Not finding such a resource readily available, they decided to build it themselves.

The DBMS for the year is calculated by subtracting the popularity score of the previous year from the current years, thus avoiding biasing in favor of systems which have just entered the market and which develop from a base very weak.

As DB-Engines tracks popularity every month, Andlinger wasn’t surprised by Snowflake’s success, but said he was still impressed with the increase in popularity over the past two years. “At the start of the year, and over the months, it was a surprise that attracted so much attention and increased its membership so strongly. Of course, the IPO at the end of 2020 contributed to this success. But it’s not just that, the number of questions on Stack Overflow where people have experience with Snowflake has also increased. It’s not just about investors. These are developers and operators, etc.

Meanwhile, PostgreSQL’s continued popularity was due to the strength of the open source community behind it, Andlinger said. “It’s radically different from Snowflake. They have an extremely active community and the community is very dedicated to the product. You see every year with each release, that they improve the product and introduce new features. On the other hand, this is their type They have a very free open source license, which makes it easy for developers and designers to use their product in applications, ”he said.

MongoDB returned to the top three databases of the year thanks to developers, Andlinger explained. “If you are new to database systems, and you are not stuck in thinking about relational system and have decided to quickly select the database system, this may be a good choice for you. go with MongoDB, especially if the developers decide they don’t need a database administrator, ”he said.

But there was no need to be drawn into an RDBMS Vs NoSQL dichotomy. There are just more database use cases, and different IT pros are choosing different systems for different reasons, he said.

Also, the two worlds come closer: many RDBMS can handle unstructured data (in JSON document stores for example) while many NoSQL databases offer schema-like structure and support SQL or something. similar.

While Snowflake has clearly made an impression in the database market in terms of its growing profile, some things never change. Oracle has been at the top of the rankings since the service launched over nine years ago. ®


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