The number of companies using object relational technology is doubling every year and, as of 1999, the market will grow 100% annually, claims Francois Bancilhon, Ardent Software Inc VP and general manager of its object technology business unit, better known as O2. Speaking to ComputerWire at the C++ World Conference in New York, Bancilhon said the object market was worth $200m a year and that it was growing at an annual rate of 30% to 40%. This compares to the relational market, which Bancilhon said was flat or even decreasing. He predicted that maturing technology and greater user awareness would mean that object databases would soon become a strategic choice for customers and not just a tool. Bancilhon said Ardent would focus squarely on objects as part of its future business strategy. Firstly, we’ll focus on pure object technology, developing our database and working with tools developers, he said, but then we plan to provide a migration path to move our relational customers over to objects. He said Ardent was already working on the tools necessary to migrate relational users and that the first customers should move over by early next year. He said in the long run, Ardent expected around 25% of its current VARS to migrate their customers over to object technology. Although a small percentage, he predicted the 25% would become 75% of the revenues.
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