Home > General Development > Changes in the Open Source Database Landscape Changes in the Open Source Database Landscape Submitted by Rahul Sundaram 2004-12-21 General Development 7 Comments Newsforge reviews the effect of recently open sourced databases like IBM’s Cloudscape and CA’s Ingres and its effect on the classic open source players like MySQL and PostgreSQL as well as the proprietary database leader Oracle About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 7 Comments 2004-12-21 1:06 pm Oracle is promoting open source heavily. It should back its marketing by releasing the database as open source. This should apply to all other vendors who advocate open source too: open source your flagship product, not niche products. 2004-12-21 2:34 pm I am afraid that won’t happend anytime soon. Oracle has clearly stated that they only consider Open Source a good ting for the OS… 2004-12-21 3:00 pm This is truly classic. Shimp, the Oracle guy quoted in the article, speaks sneeringly of “orphanware” and “abandonware”. Well . . Mr. Shimp . . . Oracle itself started out as software developed and then abandoned by IBM:-) 2004-12-21 3:29 pm Actually, in open source there are more players than the article points. Especially for desktop applications they are even better than using Mysql or postgre. Such as, – HSQLDB – Daffodill 1$DB – MCKoi – db4o (object DB) 2004-12-21 3:47 pm Oracle is promoting open source heavily. It should back its marketing by releasing the database as open source. This should apply to all other vendors who advocate open source too: open source your flagship product, not niche products. Why should they? Ingres and Cloudscape were open sourced because the owners decided that these products have reached the end of their natural life. They were going to be abandoned, but it feels nice and fuzzy to “gift” them to the “community”. The Oracle database server is nowhere near the end of its life as a platform. In fact usage is so great that Oracle corporation can get away with taking liberties with their user base – like making the client side tools either too expensive for small organisations, or not producing any. Tools like TOAD, which are produced by third parties exist because Oracle don’t supply them. They don’t supply them, because they don’t need to supply them – they’re not struggling for market share. They’re also not struggling to develop products – they don’t need to go the open source route to keep the product alive. The DB server brings in more in revenue that it costs to matain and develop. Ingres and Cloudscape would cost their respective owners more to upkeep than the sales revenue they would earn, hence the only option is to kill the product or open source it. So for Oracle to give away their crown jewels when their main competitors (Sybase, DB2 and MS-SQLServer) are all closed, would be counterproductive to good business. The stuff that is “free” to use just helps keep up the hype around their main product. 2004-12-21 3:49 pm Forgot to put my tag name on the last comment – sorry! 2004-12-21 10:56 pm As much as Oracle lives as a service organization, it’s not releasing Oracle into the wild any time soon. And frankly, there’s simply no reason to do so. The market isn’t demanding it at all. For a vast majority of DB applications, systems like Postgres are more than capable and performant on modern hardware, particularly in back office scenarios. SQL Server dominates this market because of the proliferation of Windows based servers and its ease of administration. Oracle is a hellish hodge podge of tools, a pain to install and a real pig out of the box. It is quite simply overkill for applications that have outgrown the Jet Engine, but don’t quite need the functionality of Oracle RAC. Oracle is going to get “squeezed” into the higher end markets while things like Postgres on Linux (and now Windows) servers takes up the slack. Basically the features of Oracle that make it worth buying are getting less and less important over the OSS alternatives. If Postgres focused on being more PL/SQL compatable, it would get even more scary. Heck of a lot of PL/SQL code out there (I don’t know how compatable Postgres is to PL/SQL, I know it’s “similar”).