Home > Databases > Study: Open-source databases going mainstreamStudy: Open-source databases going mainstream Eugenia Loli 2004-03-09 Databases 8 CommentsFollowing in the footsteps of the Linux operating system, open-source databases are moving toward mainstream use and threatening proprietary software alternatives, according to a new survey.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 8 Comments 2004-03-09 2:30 am PostgreSQL almost has its mingw version working, for a native Win32s deployment. I ran configured it under cygwin, with some extra IPC libraries, and tapped it with an ODBC connection, which I thought was rather cool. Under *nix, it is ready to rumble right now.SQLite is an amazing tool. You can run it alone, as a link library, or a static include, as you see fit. Oh, and the data file really cares not a fig for what operating system it is opened under. If you need to email a relational database file around, it really is the way to go.In either case, if you are interested in seeing what is going on ‘under the hood’, both codebases are among the better documented I’ve ever seen.I would like to see someone with FilemakerPro experience chip into this thread. How does it compare with Access? I’ll come clean and admit that the bulk of the database development work I’ve ever done is in everyone’s favorite application with the wildly non-standard FROM syntax that you can’t write without the aid of the query design tool, it’s so convoluted. 2004-03-09 2:47 am as the article says, it’s going to be quite a while before the any of these can come close to matching, let alone, beating the capabilities of Oracle, DB2 or SQL Server. Then again, Oracle has WAYYYYY too much crap crammed in, so maybe this is a good thing. At work, I tend to just stick with SQL Server because a) we have an all Windows environment and b) I don’t need or want a third of the unnecessary stuff that comes with Oracle. 2004-03-09 3:19 am Firebird is a very good relational database …. wonder why it didn’t get a mention?http://firebird.sourceforge.net/ 2004-03-09 4:18 am MySQL has been mainstream for years though, but only in the small/mid webserver market. It’s a fairly big market, only that it has never really been populated by any big players besides MS perhaps.Servers are one area that the opensource community has proven itself in and I think it’s great that it has become more widely accepted in the “big business”. 2004-03-09 4:49 am Oracle was, when FLOSS wasn’t popular yet, one of those companies which ported their software to Linux. This “flow” of corporations supporting open source, which term is here more applicable than Free software, gave open source software (not only Linux, the BSD’s benefitted too albeit a bit less) a great boost.“What are ERP Software Solutions? ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is the software to support your entire business processes. ERP Software Solutions typically consists of modules such as Marketing and Sales, Field Service, Production, Inventory Control, Procurement, Distribution, Human Resources, Finance and Accounting.”“What are CRM Software Solutions? CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is the software to support your business process to find, get and retain customers. CRM Software Solutions typically consist of modules such as Sales Force Automation, Call Management, Self Service.”I must confess i don’t know much about this, but i had a nice discussion with my nephew who works as developer for a bank. If i understood this all, Oracle is something totally different than SQL databases. I think Oracle has much more to fear from other CRM / ERP “software solutions”, especially when they’re both FLOSS and gratis. Like http://www.compiere.orgAnd, as above project and this post proofs, such can be developed as FLOSS: http://www.advogato.org/article/745.htmlOne last thing i’d like to say is that since a few months, Oracle is heavily marketing their software on the radio here. There’s a lot of commercials from them, always the same one, but it’s on there a lot. This wasn’t true a while ago or so. Anyone else noticed this too or is this something local?(The same counts for IBM and Microsoft on TV but that has been going on for a little longer.) 2004-03-09 1:43 pm I agree. Firebird has some excelent features compared to some of the big databases. It has way more features that MySQL for example.. I don’t know to much about PostgreSQL though. 2004-03-09 2:18 pm I use PostgreSQL everyday and it is the most advanced, robust and stable (open-source)database i ever used. I am now looking for PHP(5) solutions with its intergrated SQLite database since a lot of ISP’s only have MySQL standard installed and you have to have a co-located machine to use PostgreSQL.@Stan,There are all sorts of articles fyling around on the Intenet, articles that say MS SQL is best, articles that say DB2 is best and articles that say PostgreSQL is best. Its impossible to say wich is better or best, it more like wich is best suited for my personal needs. The BIG advatage that MySQL and PostgreSQL have is that they are both free to useso you will not have to pay for all the things you do not need from a databse system but will have a very good database system. 2004-03-09 2:53 pm I’ve used MySQL and PostgreSQL many times on different projects and generally they are fully adaquate for the task at hand. You need transaction capabilities, some level of clustering and replication, and reasonable backup/recovery mechanisms. They provide those features. Within the MySQL camp, with the addition of SAPDB (now MaxDB), you have a very powerful database engine as well, though less common experience with it.I also use commercial databases on projects from time to time.. mainly Oracle though some Informix (prior to being purchased) and a bit of SQL Server, and obviously they can do the job. However, the effort in managing them is generally so large and the configuration process so complex that you really have to *need* that complexity. If you are building a web-based application and not a whole ERP/EAM/CRM system, 90% of the time you probably don’t require all of that overhead. That isn’t to say I don’t like those databases (well, atleast those except SQL Server), but being relistic on staff training, costs, and the maintenance/management costs.. its really expensive for that additional capability if it remains unused.I think the key point here is that they can all do most of what you want. The differentiator is.. what database do you *require* to do a task? Do you have a specific need that would require you to use some platform? In house training? Current applications? Site licenses or contracts? If not, the open source databases will likely meet your needs.Finally.. sure.. there are lots of other databases. Firebird looks nice.. you can even use Hypersonic if you want a very lightweight all-Java database. (Great for testing, unit testing, development..) However, they tend to have less support on the enterprise tool level. (Monitoring systems, backup/recovery, etc..), and also tend to have less people trained or available to work on the db.Just look at the capabilities, features, and whole picture (software costs, licenses, staffing, and maintenance).