How is "popularity" being defined?
I hope I recall correctly from a DevCon a few years ago, perhaps it was Dominique himself, who stated that in terms of number of installs, FileMaker is the #2 desktop database engine... unless you don't count all the unused instances of MS Access that come pre-installed on Windows computers.
I wish I'd had that link yesterday when I was with a potential client...
The ranking of FM might have been higher if it had ever been promoted by the parent co to the same extent as eg MicroSoft promoted its various SQL products.
The comprehensive list is great, though. It gives it perspective. 14 is good! In a social media sense... that represents OUR contribution as much as anything else.
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DB-Engines formula evaluates the frequency at which the database engine name shows up in google searches, tweets, discussion frequency, number of LinkedIn profiles with the software, etc. So that is why this is just a social network relevancy.
Access is a direct competitor, but as you mentioned, it is hard to evaluate actual usage since many licenses went to computers that never use the software. And when I talk to Oracle database developers, they remind us that FileMaker license number are high since we count the client software and they do not. Then again Oracle does things like counting cores which FileMaker does not. Such issues are why it is so hard to make comparisons between these different database engines.
Other comparisons could be how many people are employed by the database company. FileMaker has roughly 250 employees and Oracle has about 120,000. But it is harder to compare companies like Microsoft where they sell a lot of other products than database software.
It might be interesting to compare income with Oracle having around $10+ billion a year. But FileMaker is a subsidiary of Apple and all we know are Apple's numbers, not FileMaker. If you go back to 1999, there was a report that FileMaker's net revenues were $85 million.
In general, these other measurement trends are not out of line with the social network comparisons in regards to FileMaker.
I'm always interested in any other comparisons out there.