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Drivers Impacting Modernizing MultiValue Applications

Is the MultiValue Market Shrinking?


Bob Miller, Onsystex | May 19, 2024

What's Next for the 50-Year-Old
MultiValue Market


The Multi-Value (MV) or PICK market, which refers to a class of NoSQL databases that use a multi-dimensional data model and tightly coupled basic program language, has seen various trends over the years.   

Originally on the forefront of developing complex customized business solutions in the 70's, the predictions about when MV would finally take its last breath have continued for over 10 years.

The Thousand Pound Gorilla - Rocket Software.

Rocket Software now controls all the major "flavors of MV" including Unidata, Universe, jBase, D3 and mvBase and claims 12,500 companies and 3 million users licensing these products. 


The recent acquisition of Application Modernization and Connectivity (AMC) for $2.275 billion is notable.  AMCs principal business is Mainframe Application Modernization moving legacy COBOL and other applications to the cloud - in other words, Legacy Retirement.   

Does this acquisition (now 60% of Rocket revenues) signal that Rocket may believe their licensing monopoly in MultiValue is coming to an end and that a pivot to retiring these systems is more valuable?  

What are the Trends Impacting Growth of New MV
Application and Markets?

  1. Shift to Cloud and SaaS:
    There's a significant shift towards cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) models, which may impact the traditional multi-value database market. Companies are increasingly adopting cloud-based services for scalability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of maintenance.  MV is not Cloud Native.


  2. Preference for Modern Databases: 
    The rise of modern database technologies like SQL and NoSQL databases, which offer advanced features for big data, real-time analytics, and high scalability, might lead to a decline in the use of traditional multi-value databases which have significantly less R&D investment than the hundreds of billions invested each year by the mainstream providers.


  3. Legacy System Modernization: Many companies are modernizing their legacy systems, which could include transitioning away from older multi-value databases to more contemporary solutions that better integrate with new technologies and platforms.

  4. Niche Market: The multi-value database market has always been somewhat niche, catering to specific industries and applications. While it may not be shrinking, it's possible that its growth is not as pronounced as more widely adopted technologies.

  5. Technology Driven Executives:  Most businesses, particularly large ones, are innovation driven relying on rapidly responding to competitive threats and market opportunities through the use of technologies.  Multi-Value does not sit nicely in most company's risk frameworks and many executives may view the platforms as holding them back.

So, is the Multi-Value Market Shrinking?

While the Multi-Value market may not be shrinking per se, it is likely being affected by broader industry trends that favor newer, more flexible technologies.

Companies using multi-value applications may find themselves considering whether to continue with these systems or transition to newer database solutions that align with current technological advancements and business needs.


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