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Open Source vs. the Database Vendors 183

Posted by Hemos
from the the-battle-is-joined dept.
bhmit1 writes "BusinessWeek has another spread on open source this week. Among them is an article about open source vs. the database vendors which focused on how businesses are looking to save money with open source (rather than using the source to innovate). From the article: "The databases work fine, but as data volume grows, so do the checks to Oracle, IBM, or Microsoft. Many users aren't clamoring for more features, and some don't even use the bells and whistles they already paid for. They would happily trade some to get their hands on the source code and a better deal." Disclaimer: that quote came from Sony."
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Open Source vs. the Database Vendors

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  • Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:33PM (#14651277)
    ... which focused on how businesses are looking to save money with open source (rather than using the source to innovate).

    Duh. Isn't that the #1 draw for the majority of OSS users out there? Sure there are some that are in it for the politics and others who actually try to contribute, but let's face it, the majority of people use it because it's free (as in beer).
    • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:45PM (#14651369) Homepage Journal
      It's certainly the only reason businesses choose OSS, or proprietary software. Net present value of TCO over the planning horizon.

      Until now, the free databases lacked accessibility for "drive by" business users. You don't have time to explore every option, even if it might lead to a better decision. Install Unix to check this thing out? Not today thank you.

      MySQL as it now stands is probably the simplest real RDBMS for the casual shopper. It's just as easy as MS SQL server, and MS is the only vendor who understands the importance of the casual shopper. Postgres is not far behind.

      • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

        by IANAAC (692242) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:51PM (#14651413)
        MySQL as it now stands is probably the simplest real RDBMS for the casual shopper. It's just as easy as MS SQL server, and MS is the only vendor who understands the importance of the casual shopper. Postgres is not far behind.

        Actually, have you tried installing the latest "light" versions of boh Oracle and DB2? They're dead simple to install and administer. Not to mention writing the actual apps. They now have pretty much drag-n-drop GUIs for app creation. I think most vendors are now realizing the importance of this group of buyers.

        • Well, yes, they're getting there by process of imitation.

          But they still aren't there yet. For example, try to figure out how to buy the mobile version of DB2. Or exactly which Oracle license you need.

          By contrast, under MySQL things couldn't be simpler for users. Developers just have to grasp the dual licensing scheme, which isn't asking much.
          • Well, yes, they're getting there by process of imitation.

            Who are they imitating? Certainly not the MySQL folks, and certainly not for drag-n-drop db creation and development. To my knowledge, there is nothing comparable in the opensource world to these two companies' development products. I truly would love to see something similar (particularly for Postgresql), but to date I've not found anything.

        • Re:Obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

          by thsths (31372)
          > Actually, have you tried installing the latest "light" versions of boh Oracle and DB2? They're dead simple to install and administer.

          I have tried Oracle, and I was not happy with the installation. Debian is not supported, so you have to fool the install script to go ahead anyway. I needed a hard disk update because I was running out of disk space (several GB necessary). The installation went fine, but it doesn't tell you what its doing.

          So now I have several java application web servers, some of which s
      • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

        by squoozer (730327)

        This is a really good argument for letting developers decide the technology rather than managers. Personally I would generally choose Postgres because I like the way it works and I have a good knowledge of it. MySQL would be up there on my list as well. I've used SQL Server (and just about all the other commercial offerings) and found it to be good but over complex for a lot of applications. Any developer that is writting detabase driven apps should be at least familiar with most commercial databases and Po

      • MySQL as it now stands is probably the simplest real RDBMS for the casual shopper.

        Actually, easy installation and great out-of-the-box performance has always been a hallmark of SQL Anywhere [sybase.com]. Feel free to download the free developer edition [sybase.com] yourself and see. (Yes, there are Linux and Unix versions available, not just Windows.)

        Eric
        Redscowl Bluesingsky [cluelessabout.com]

      • Re:Obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

        I think MySQL has a long ways to go before it will really be a contender. I know that is used widespread for small web setups, but before version 5 it really didn't have many of the standard features the bigger players had such as stored procedure support or even sub queries. my $0.02...
      • It's certainly the only reason businesses choose OSS, or proprietary software. Net present value of TCO over the planning horizon.

        Simply untrue.

        1. Businesses aren't about minimizing expected TCOs, maximizing expected profits, etc. Those are one factor, but things like cost-certainty, worst-case scenarios, etc are also very important.

        E.g. if solution A has a 95% chance of costing $100,000 for the next 6 years, and solution B has a 100% chance of costing $106,000 for the next 6 years, but solution A has a 5
    • nope

      $0 is nice but I bought my first copy of Slackware [slackware.com] long before I could download it, I even had to copy it to (I think 22) floppies from cdrom so I could install it.

      And even after I have downloaded them, I've paid for FreeBSD [freebsd.org], plan9 [bell-labs.com] and Inferno [vitanuova.com].

      Free as in Freedom is more important than you give it credit for.

      Just one business case is that one can mitigate risk by having multiple OS vendors to choose from. I know that if my chosen OS goes kaput or gets litigated out of existence then I won't go with it. A
    • See here [informit.com] and here [informit.com]. The bottom line is, of course, the most important incentive for a business but the FSF's four freedoms can each contribute to that final total. For many businesses the freedom from vendor lock-in is worth more than the zero purchase-price.
    • depends (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:59PM (#14651492) Homepage Journal
      I think it depends upon the scale. There are probably many small users out there looking at OSS databases to save money on licensing. And these types will be very happy to jump on board to a 'free' proprietary product. But there are some large companies with the resources and the desire to leverage access to the source code. A good example that comes immediately to my mind is Fujitsu's involvment with PostgreSQL.
      • I think it depends upon the scale. There are probably many small users out there looking at OSS databases to save money on licensing. And these types will be very happy to jump on board to a 'free' proprietary product.

        I don't know about this - as a small-company vendor myself, one of the main reasons I use OSS solutions anywhere possible is that "it can't get taken away" by changes in the licensing scheme. My license won't "expire" and the product won't be "EOL'd" as is so often the case with proprietary so
        • good point. though my last job that I just left a little while ago was still using VB 6 heavily. They can pull the plug on future support, but unless you plan on your stuff being around for more than 10 years, it's not that drastic. They don't take it away, they just stop giving it out.

          Now at that job, the management was leary of OSS and I was always pushing it hard. Why? Well, they wanted the backing of a known name. Me, I got tired of just what you bring up, getting locked in. It really ann
    • the majority of people use it because it's free (as in beer).


      This, and also because OSS is a way to avoid lock-in marketing techniques used by non-beer software providers.
      Enterprises, specially, are not intersted only because it's free (beer) for them to use an opensource software, but also because it'll still either be free or damn cheap to switch to something else that better suits their needs,
    • Well, I don't know if we're in "the majority" but we use OSS specifically to enable us to do deep customizations. Cost is not a factor in this, we spend a lot of jack on MS and Oracle as well. The vast majority of the customized code is customer facing. It's a sad reality, internal users (employees) we tell to "like it or leave", but we need to differentiate our wares for our external users (customers) or they will ignore/leave/whatever. OSS is a differentiator for us, not an economic advantage. On that not
    • Yes, and even most of those that end up contributing, start using OSS because it is free as in beer.

      I certainly could not have afforded a commercial Unix when I installed my first Slackware.

  • by peterdaly (123554) * <petedaly@ix. n e t c o m.com> on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:33PM (#14651281)
    In my work experience, I have concluded that the vast majority of "big name" database users vastly underutilize the features that the big bucks pay for. Many companies that generally only need a step up from MS Access but get sucked into Oracle or DB2 thinking that's the logical next step.

    In addition, many database users don't have a realistic understanding of what constitutes a lot of data. I've met quite a few people that think a 10k row database is huge, and anything in the 1 million record range is absolutely gargantuan! To me, anything less than 1 million records is downright tiny. Seriously, many of these users don't need an "enterprise" RDBMS for scalability reasons, which is what leads many customers to open their wallets. Something like Postgres or MySQL would be more than adequate for their needs.

    That is not to say there are not users who need the enterprise features, but it amazes me the amount of money that is dumped into features that most small to medium size deployments don't even use.

    It is very educational to see how Oracle for example is used in real world deployments. Open source aside, I have seen many where the user may have been better served by just using a properly setup MS Access or FileMaker database!

    -Pete
    • Well large is subjective. To a small company 10k of data is large. And when someones sells their apps for Large Database they jump on it because their database is big for them. Even though they would be better off with the smaller Database server because the algorithms are based for processing smaller values.
    • I have concluded that the vast majority of "big name" database users vastly underutilize the features that the big bucks pay for.

      Has anybody else encountered projects for database-driven websites where the script monkeys want to use the database like text file system accessed with SQL, and do all of the logic in script on the web server? I suspect that people understand procedural code most readily, and despise thinking in the set-theoretical terms of SQL. I used to be that way, until I started realizing

      • They probably were using the wrong type of database. Object relational databases offer object oriented languages the same advantages as ISAM offered purely procedural languages (Cobol, fortran...). Relational offers advantages that are different (like data integrity) but there are real legitimate issues where you programming language internal memory strctures to look a great deal like the structures as stored in the database. Particularly if the quantity of data is huge (for a modern PC something like bu
    • It's the data... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:55PM (#14651451)
      The user says "This is vital". IT staff start adding zeros to the price tag of the application. Seriously nobody in the IT dept is ever going to suggest something like mysql or postgresql for something like the corporate accounts or other financial transaction backends because people like IBM and Oracle guarantee that when the power goes out, the transaction completed, or it didn't happen at all.

      And if you've paid for Oracle/DB2 and you're training your staff on and using Oracle/DB2 anyway then it doesn't make a load of sense to introduce different RDBMS systems that your DBAs and administrators are completely unfamiliar with, especially when you've got that Oracle box sitting there underutilised.

      Ultimately you're right, 95% of apps could be served perfectly well by mysql, postgresql, msaccess, filemaker etc. Corporate IT depts should really create two categories of RDBMS systems, vital and casual. The vital ones being the core business operations and casual being everything else.

       
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:35PM (#14651899)
        The user says "This is vital". IT staff start adding zeros to the price tag of the application.
        Yep. And it is up to the requesting user to justify spending that money to the CFO.

        It is not IT's job. IT just gives everyone the pricing based upon how many 9's of availablility you want and the database/server licenses.

        If the user balks at that, the database can be put on the far less expensive PostgreSQL/mySQL server.

        The downside is that the database people need to become familiar with TWO different databases (or more depending upon the other apps).

        The upside is that the company saves a LOT of money in licenses and such.
        • The downside is that the database people need to become familiar with TWO different databases (or more depending upon the other apps).

          Very true. For a company with a large DBA group, it might make a lot of sense to have a couple of their DBAs specialize in an open source database, so that they can have the best of both worlds, as you've mentioned. However, a smaller shop would probably only have the staff to support one database. What they choose depends on how much they value the support they'd get fro

      • Re:It's the data... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jadavis (473492)
        because people like IBM and Oracle guarantee that when the power goes out, the transaction completed, or it didn't happen at all.

        What kind of guarantees do they actually provide? For all of Oracle, IBM, and PostgreSQL the likelihood of a hardware error is far greater than the likelihood of a software error that leaves the database inconsistent.

        So what, will Oracle pay you money if a software failure occurs? What about a hardware failure?

        From a technical standpoint, PostgreSQL is probably more trustworthy wh
        • For all of Oracle, IBM, and PostgreSQL the likelihood of a hardware error is far greater than the likelihood of a software error that leaves the database inconsistent.
          Where did you get that fact? In addition, assume a hardware error occurs, will the DB software be able to guarentee that the date is in a consistant state afterwards? What happens if there is a software issue, who will help you with MySQL or PostgreSQL? With a big bank there are many legal ramifications to everything that is done, you need
          • will the DB software be able to guarentee that the date is in a consistant state afterwards

            PostgreSQL guarantees that so long as the error doesn't have something to do with the hard disk. Many people leave "write caching" enabled on the disk, meaning that no database or filesystem can guarantee consistency after a power failure. Also, of course bad sectors or something could destroy data. This is the same guarantee you get from Oracle.

            But take PostgreSQL, run at whatever load you want, pull the plug, and it
            • Oh, and I forgot to mention, many consumer-grade ide disks will actually lie about write caching (or so I've heard). The easiest way to tell for sure is if your transaction commit rate is higher than the disk rotation rate.
            • Then I guess the only big thing is, who do you go to if there is a major problem? Novell and RedHat back Linux, but MySQL isn't that large of a company, and I don't even know who would support PostgreSQL. Personally if I was running an IT shop at a fortune 500 company I'd want my software backed by another large company (IBM, Oracle, MS, Novell, etc..)
      • Re:It's the data... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lumpy (12016)
        The user says "This is vital". IT staff start adding zeros to the price tag of the application. Seriously nobody in the IT dept is ever going to suggest something like mysql or postgresql for something like the corporate accounts or other financial transaction backends because people like IBM and Oracle guarantee that when the power goes out, the transaction completed, or it didn't happen at all.

        you are very wrong. MANY companies depend on MySQL in the ways you mention and by spending the cash you saved in
        • Does MySQL support a write-ahead log or something similar, in case you don't have expensive hardware?
        • Ok then, then name some of these many companies and tell us in what capacity the database is being used. Can the data be recreated? Is the data stored elsewhere and simply processed through mysql?
        • UPS isn't even the start of the problem. I assume backup generators in any comparison.

          What if the building catches fire, how does MySQL's non existent live replication work? What about fallover databases? What about massive scalability? Its silly to talk about Oracle and MySQL comparatively the issues that Oracle has solved in the last 10 years are things that MySQL customers don't have to worry about yet.

          5 years ago MySQL wasn't even ACID compliant. There is a range between a 13 year old with a
          • Seriously take a look at Oracle's feature lists before jumping up and down about how MySQL is comparable.

            As one of those big, corporate customers, I know you are right. I am familar with both, and things like Oracle's RAC just don't have an equivalent in the mySQL world.

            But on topic, the question posed was "are all those features worth the money" (with the implication that many of those features are not used). Where I work, the cost of software for Oracle vs mySQL isn't even a factor given the relative

            • My early experiences with Oracle was when it costs millions. At that price, cost was a factor. RDB was free, we still picked Oracle. 20% savings on developer time easily paid for Oracle.
    • Sometimes, it is an attempt to get the greater reliability that is frequently attributed to the "big" systems. Justified or not, RDBMS like Oracle or DB2 have a reputation of being less prone to crashing or data loss.
      This said, I would probably go for somthing like Postgre or Firebird myself. But NOT Access, I've heard from our service department that the Access databases of a certain device tend to crash when they grow beyond 1 GByte.
    • I agree 100%. I have worked on plenty of development jobs where management wanted to use SQL Server (normally) or another big name database because they thought they had a lot of data. Typically we were storing a few hundred products and maybe 10000 orders. I voiced the opinion that that wasn't much data and an OSS database such as Postgres or MySQL would easily handle it. I've never recieved such dirty looks. I think the managers want the prestiege of using a "real" database.

  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:34PM (#14651282)
    It may surprise you but most people who use open source applications do not change the code. Even the ones who know how too, don't. Why, because they don't have the time. They download it try it, if it does what they need they use it, if not then they try an other product, if they cannot find an Open Source tool that does the job then they see if there is a commercial one that does. Programming takes time, even an open source application, time costs money, so if paying 2k for MS SQL Server vs. 3 weeks of development, to get the functionality they need they will just get MS SQL and they will save money. Plus this time could be used by the programmers to create business critical code (Which earns $$$), vs. IT Infrastructure code (which costs $$$, but may save $$$$ in the future). As some of your open source developers may or may not realize your cool feature may not be used by anyone buy yourself. Heck I have a hard time to get people to used Stored Procedures in their SQL, needless to say trying to get them to use the more advanced features.
    • It may surprise you but most people who use open source applications do not change the code. Even the ones who know how too, don't. Why, because they don't have the time. They download it try it, if it does what they need they use it, if not then they try an other product, if they cannot find an Open Source tool that does the job then they see if there is a commercial one that does.

      Absolutely. I'm a perfect example. Where I work we needed a new helpdesk system. Our original solution was built by one o
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@optRABB ... minus herbivore> on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:41PM (#14651337) Journal
    The wild card in all of this will be whether big, successful tech companies get behind the upstarts. Linux hit prime time only when IBM, Oracle, and others got behind it, rewriting their software to make it compatible and convincing worried CIOs that it was robust and reliable enough to entrust their business to it.

    A company such as SAP (SAP) could be pivotal. The German software giant is locked in an applications war with Oracle, but the bulk of companies running SAP applications run them on Oracle databases. So even when SAP wins an application deal, it's often making money for its archrival. That doesn't sit well with ultracompetitive SAP, which already has a burgeoning partnership with MySQL. Closer ties there could mean more SAP applications on MySQL databases. Elsewhere, Red Hat (RHAT) has endorsed both MySQL and Postgres, as did Sun Microsystems (SUNW) last November.

    So Oracle has now become Microsoft, pretty much resting on its laurels and claiming that its users are more than happy with them, while all-the-while, their users are shopping for cheaper and better solutions. If SAP were to out-and-out declare they like MySQL better and shift most of their DB usage there, Oracle would have a very large amount of egg on their face.

    Let's face it: when you become the dominant leader of your industry, you tend to forget what got you there and you take it for granted you will always be there. I've used Oracle, MySQL, and Sybase, and I find the latter two to be a lot easier to work with than Oracle. Oracle is trading solid dependability for tricks and gimmicks, and in the end, no one wants to pay that kind of money for things they don't need or won't use.

    • But aren't you forgetting about this: http://www.mysql.com/news-and-events/news/article_ 968.html [mysql.com] (Oracle buys the maker of Innobase - a popular backend to MySql)
    • and in the end, no one wants to pay that kind of money for things they don't need or won't use.

      Exactly. If you don't *need* Oracle, don't use it. On the other hand; If your database is the life blood of your business and downtime can cost your business it's life. You would be a fool not to use it.

      Oracle is what it is and you pay for what it is. I use a mix of many different databases, but our most critical and complexed applications run Oracle. Why? Because the only way you will lose data in a Oracle
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:42PM (#14651352) Homepage Journal
    I'd love to develop my apps with Postgres, then deploy to Oracle or DB2 with an automated tool. If Oracle or IBM distributed a free (beer) one, I'd include it in my project plans. And if there were an open source tool for comparing performance of my app on each of those databases in real tests, I'd be more likely to make the switch - provided the tests showed an advantage.
  • by five18pm (763804) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:46PM (#14651378)
    From the article: They would happily trade some to get their hands on the source code and a better deal.

    How many are there who would actually look at the source code of a database, work on it rather than develop new applications based on it? If database A works, then they are going to stick with database A until conditions change drastically. It hasn't happened now and doesn't seem like it will happen in the near future.
    • by slim (1652) <john AT hartnup DOT net> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:04PM (#14651533) Homepage
      From the article: "They would happily trade some to get their hands on the source code and a better deal."

      How many are there who would actually look at the source code of a database, work on it rather than develop new applications based on it?


      Let me rephrase the excerpt from the article:
      "Some users would happy forego certain features present in commercial databases if (1) it means reduced cost and (2) you access to the source code."

      Why stick with expensive Oracle or DB2 if PostgreSQL does the job reliably enough and it's free? That's a no brainer.

      I think you're asking, "why even look at the code if it's working?". Absolutely right. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

      But, if there's a feature missing that you require, then for certain businesses -- not all -- it may well make sense to add code yourself. A tech company may underutilised coders on the payroll: it may be cheaper to get them to code and support that feature than it is to sack them.

      A large corporation (Sony, 3M, etc.) might need to deploy that feature in hundreds of places. Paying someone to code it gives them a lot of bang for the buck.


      If database A works, then they are going to stick with database A until conditions change drastically. It hasn't happened now and doesn't seem like it will happen in the near future.


      Successful businesses always look to reduce costs. If database A works, database B is $10,000 per year cheaper to license and support, the migration will cost $20,000 and you expect to continue using the system for over 2 years, then (cashflow allowing) it's a no-brainer to move. The only thing stopping you would be lack of business agility.
    • Something I have found important is that there are some who would actually look at the source code of a database, work on it rather than develop new applications based on it.

    • by drew (2081)
      How many are there who would actually look at the source code of a database, work on it rather than develop new applications based on it?

      We used Oracle extensively at my first .com job many years ago. I remember one incident where we would repeatedly (and erroneausly, if my memory serves me correctly) get an Oracle error numer that didn't map to any meaningful description in the Oracle docs. ("Undefined Internal Error", i believe was the text description we got.)

      We spent months trying to get an answer from
  • Well (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Toreo asesino (951231)
    I think most businesses crave accountability & reliability more than anything.

    I'd be more comfortable running a system running a vendor dbms rather than an Open Source implementation - just because when shit hits the fan (which it invariably does), at least there's ultimately someone responsible for it.

    Don't get me wrong; we run mySql for all small-midsize operations, but the bigger systems run Oracle purely because of this reason.
    • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slim (1652)
      I'd be more comfortable running a system running a vendor dbms rather than an Open Source implementation - just because when shit hits the fan (which it invariably does), at least there's ultimately someone responsible for it.

      But MySQL is a vendor DBMS if you want it to be. You can buy the product and support from MySQL.com [mysql.com].

      However, even if we invent a hypothetical Open Source product where paid support isn't available, there are circumstances where I get really fed up of the "we can't use that, what if it
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:04PM (#14651525) Homepage
    which focused on how businesses are looking to save money with open source (rather than using the source to innovate)

    This is a surprise? Maybe "back in the day" innovation was a significant part of the average business plan in the United States, but those days are long gone in today's business world where short-term financial gain is the only objective. Realistically, the only innovation going on today it that which is related to military use. Sad, really.

    • It sure doesn't seem that way to me. It seems to me like the pace of technological innovation is increasing and reaching consumers faster. You can probably find a few examples of mismanaged companies, but many companies still have huge research budgets and bring that new technology to consumers very quickly.

      Think about how quickly multi-core processors are making it into the market. Is that because of short-term thinking? What about a company like IBM putting billions into Linux development, is that short-t
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:31PM (#14652567) Homepage
    So MySQL generates only $40 million in revenue per year. That's OK. That's enough for perhaps 400 people. How many programmers do you really want working on a database? Beyond 50 or so, they'll probably add more bugs than they fix. And they'll be tempted to put stuff in the database that shouldn't be there.

    Of course, this is a problem for Oracle. Building Larry Ellison's house cost far more than MySQL generates in profit. I drive by the place all the time. Under construction, it looked like a mall. Oracle stock dropped from $50 to $12 while the house project was underway.

  • by psykocrime (61037) <mindcrimeNO@SPAMcpphacker.co.uk> on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:49PM (#14653994) Homepage Journal
    The open-source RDBMSs *are* catching up to the closed-source databases, but there is still plenty of work to be done. One area in particular is support for the XA protocol for 2PC.

    Both of the "big two" (MySQL & PostgreSQL) advertise XA support, but neither has complete support; as both fail to support suspend/resume. And while this might seem like a minor point, XA support is an absolute must if you want to do something like incorporate a database write and something like a JMS message into one transaction. Currently you can't do that with, for example, JBoss and PostgreSQL, as JBoss' transaction manager tries to do a suspend at some point in the process, resulting in an exception from the PostgreSQL JDBC driver. (As an aside: I haven't researched yet whether or not this is correct behavior by the TM, so this particular example might not be a problem with a different app server).

    Clearly not everybody needs this level of functionality.. but for those who do, it's critical. By way of example - imagine an enterprise CRM system which uses JMS to federate data across systems by publishing events to a Topic when customer records are modified. You really need ACID compliance for both the database write and the message publish, or you get inconsistent data which is BAD, BAD, BAD. Yes, yes, I know there are ways you *could* get around this without using XA, but the point is that this is what XA is for and this is the direct, obvious, normal way to approach the problem. And by and large, the open-source databases just aren't there yet with the needed functionality.

    That said, I believe they will get there in time. And in fairness, there may be a open-source database (possibly Ingres or Firebird) which does have full XA compliance, I haven't investigated them all in detial.
  • Support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptainTux (658655) <papillion@gmail.com> on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:07PM (#14654145) Homepage Journal
    I keep reading that the main reason companies don't switch from closed to open software is because there are no support options available beyond internet forums, IRC chats, and mailing lists. Have any of you people making these claims actually investigated what support options are available for some of the software you use?

    Granted some non-widely used software will only offer forums, chat, and lists as support options. But most major open source packages (including MySQL) does have professional level support available. Some open source companies (like MySQL and RedHat) offer commercial support themselves directly to the customer. Other packages have vibrant support communities that have sprung up around them and even companies that are quite successful offering commercial level support for several open source packages.

    Saying that the reason people don't switch to open source software is because there is no support available is simply not true. It might have been true two or three years ago but not anymore. Take some time and investigate your options and you'll find there's a lot more available out there than you might think.

    • by slim (1652)
      Saying that the reason people don't switch to open source software is because there is no support available is simply not true. It might have been true two or three years ago but not anymore. Take some time and investigate your options and you'll find there's a lot more available out there than you might think.

      It wasn't true two or three years ago either.

      It's a distortion of what people really thing, which is "I'm scared of deviating from the mainstream". People choose Oracle for the same reason they choos

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