Databases originated in the 1970s and play an increasingly important role in the surge of the advancement of technology. Database technology is one of the major technology in the IT industry and supports economic and business activities in modern society.

For a long time, the traditional vendors Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP have been the major database providers in global commercial database markets.

The rise of new scenarios reshapes the database industry. The new scenarios include new finance, new retail, new manufacturing, new technology, new energy, AI, and IoT. In these scenarios, enterprises require databases that provide strong storage and analysis capabilities. The separation between SQL databases and NoSQL databases is fading. Databases that use integrated software and hardware are expected to become the trend. Cloud databases are scalable by design. Cloud databases are developed based on innovative technology and support diverse product systems, cost-effective deployment methods, and the pay-as-you-go billing method. All of these features meet the market requirements and are suitable for enterprises.

In 2016, the Gartner statistics show that the four traditional vendors owned more than 90 percent of the market share of relational databases and dominated the commercial database market. Due to the innovation and rise of cloud databases, the demand for cloud computing capabilities rapidly increases. This trend transforms the traditional database market. The increase in demand for cloud services that include cloud databases significantly affects the monopoly of traditional databases. Database vendors outside China still lead the cloud database industry due to years of development.

The future of the database market is the cloud. In 2018, a Gartner report shows that the revenue from Database Management Systems (DBMS) in global markets reached USD 46 billion and was 18.4 percent higher than in the previous year. The revenue from cloud databases accounted for 68 percent of the total revenue. By 2022, 75 percent of all databases are to be deployed or migrated to cloud platforms, Gartner predicted. This trend is caused by an increasing number of databases that are used for analytics and the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. An increasing number of databases are shifting to the cloud. As a result, the cloud becomes the future trend of databases.

Due to continuous technical innovation and R&D, in 2020, Alibaba Cloud was named a leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud DBMS. Forrester, a well-known market research company, recognized Alibaba Cloud as a strong performer in a report titled The Forrester Wave™: Database-As-A-Service, Q2 2019.

The technology used by Alibaba Cloud databases evolves from commercial database technology, open source database technology, and self-developed database technology. Alibaba Cloud continuously makes breakthroughs in database technology and application ecosystems. As a result, you can independently manage and control Alibaba Cloud databases. In 2008, Alibaba Group launched a de-IOE campaign that aimed to use open source databases instead of databases developed by IBM, Oracle, and EMC. This resolved the issues caused by commercial databases. The issues include high costs and inadequate business support. Alibaba Cloud began developing self-developed databases in 2010. Since this time, Alibaba Cloud has demonstrated technical innovation in cloud databases and released industry-leading databases. In 2017, Alibaba Cloud released the self-developed database service PolarDB. Since then, Alibaba Cloud led the database market in China based on the self-developed database technology and expanded the business of Alibaba Cloud to global markets in 2019. Alibaba Cloud databases are deployed in more than 10 regions worldwide. This includes the regions in the Chinese mainland, China (Hong Kong), the regions in the United States, Singapore (Singapore), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), and Germany (Frankfurt). In December 2019, the E-commerce company Presto Mall migrated data from Oracle databases to Alibaba Cloud databases.