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IBM Businesses Databases Programming Software

IBM Invests In MySQL/Oracle Competitor 204

Posted by kdawson
from the here-store-this dept.
stoolpigeon writes "IBM has made a move to support open source RDBMS PostgreSQL by investing in EnterpriseDB, a company that supports PostgreSQL as well as selling their own proprietary extensions to the database product. IBM participated in a $10 million funding round, though the article doesn't say how much they invested. In the past EnterpriseDB has primarily advertised itself as an Oracle competitor, though the article says, 'Derek Rodner, EnterpriseDB's director of product strategy, explained that Postgres Plus 8.3 also adds in new application quick starts which are supposed to help with installation issues. They will also help in EnterpriseDB's battle against MySQL for open source database supremacy.'"
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IBM Invests In MySQL/Oracle Competitor

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @12:24AM (#22866138)
    Question: how do you properly pronounce "PostgreSQL"?
  • by 1sockchuck (826398) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @12:28AM (#22866158) Homepage
    Interesting. EnterpriseDB was also in the news today for its partnership with Elastra [datacenterknowledge.com], a startup that announced a "cloud server" that lets companies quickly create database applications on Amazon's utility computing platform. "In the future, enterprises will view massive capital investment in on-premise server infrastructure to support database applications as entirely optional," said Bob Zurek, chief technology officer of EnterpriseDB, which uses Elastra to run its EnterpriseDB Cloud Edition. Maybe all that IBM money has their head in the clouds.
    • by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:15AM (#22866360) Journal
      Yeah, if I'm the owner of a company and not just some "Slash and Burn" CEO, I wouldn't want to have my core assets hostage to some third party _company_.

      Having it in the hands of a trusted _person_ is different. If that person works for a different company, it's harder to ensure it's always that same trusted person who manages it.

      Whereas if that trusted person works for you and the assets are in your company, it's a bit easier eh?
      • I don't know, isn't that the whole premise of Akamai? They are a third party company who host a lot of major companies, and they seem to be reliable. I think the key issue here is *trust*. In either case you need to find an entity you trust, whether it is a person or a company. Arguably a company is better than a single person, since a truck factor of one is never a good thing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Akamai don't generally host the data, they just mirror it. Although they are the public face of your site and therefore you need to trust them, if you do start to get nervous about them you can just adjust your DNS so nobody uses their servers -- you're still in control of the first link in the chain, and you're still the original source of the content.

          Having your data on Amazon's servers is more like having your email in a Gmail account. The best you can do is frequently back it up so you have a local co

          • Any company that doesn't run their own hosting is in this situation, though. If you use shared hosting, managed hosting, or even run your own dedicated server in a third-party colo plant, someone else has access to it.

            The only difference in this case is what data is being stored.
        • by TheLink (130905)
          Banks are a better counter example to my OP. Companies have to trust banks with their cash and financial transactions.

          So yeah I'm wrong.
      • by AlecC (512609)
        I don't think it is company vs. individual, it is main focus vs peripheral interest. If looking after your data is either the person's or the company's priimary task, you are much more likely to get good, focussed service from that individual. If your data is only one of 47 differnt things the company, or the indiividual, does, and is not regarded as the main one, then inevitably you will get poor service, and may be dropped or otherwise inconvenienced when they regard other aspects of their business as mor
      • by rs79 (71822)
        Yeah, if I'm the owner of a company and not just some "Slash and Burn" CEO, I wouldn't want to have my core assets hostage to some third party _company_."

        Ya mean like with DNS?

      • by Forbman (794277)
        Hmm... Well, I work at a rather large Fortune 500 company, and our entire enterprise e-mail (Exchange, feh) infrastructure is outsourced to HP, and we're definitely not the only F500 company doing so...

        Most larger companies DO outsource some core IT functionality to 3rd-party companies...

        Gotta remember: most CEO, COO and CFO types view IT as a necessary, non-profit-generating, evil. Sure, most of us know that IT tends to be a profit enabler, but the PTM (Powers That Matter) see it only as an expensive funct
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @12:35AM (#22866198) Journal
    Now there's an oxymoron!

    MySQL, while it has come a long way, still has a ways to go to rival PostgresSQL, technically speaking. By the time you enable all the atomicity, and PostgreSQL feature set, you arrive at worse-than PostgreSQL performance.

    MySQL, while it has come a long way, still has a ways to go to rival PostgresSQL, legally speaking. PostgreSQL is BSD. MySQL is anything but. Sure, the community edition is free, but it cannot be used with commercial software. In fact, there's a special "open source exception" to the license. That's not really open source. Open Source would never make you pay server licensing fees for use in commercial software, it would only make you distribute your source at worst.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chromatic (9471)

      What suggests to you that the terms "open source" and "commercial" are antonyms?

    • by Daimaou (97573) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:11AM (#22866346)
      I completely agree. PostgreSQL used to be a bit slow, but for the last few years, there just isn't a reason to choose MySQL over PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL's license is certainly better and all the great features and SQL standards compliance makes it a no brainer, I think.
      • by Niten (201835) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @05:20AM (#22867260)

        Sadly, there's still the whole WordPress thing -- the darn program was never intended to work with anything other than MySQL at the back end. At one point there was an effort to "port" WordPress to PostgreSQL [sourceforge.net], but that fork has long since stagnated. And adding support for other databases is not on the WordPress team's short list [wordpress.org].

        I wouldn't know the actual numbers any better than the next guy, but it's clear that WordPress is one of the top reasons MySQL retains such a dominant market share in the Web segment. Until WordPress adds support for multiple back-ends, MySQL will always be, at minimum, just as entrenched a product as WordPress is.

        I hope that Movable Type's recent open-sourcing will eventually help effect more widespread adoption of PostgreSQL. Unlike WordPress, MT was designed from the ground up with forward-thinking features like database abstraction; it currently supports the Berkeley Database format, SQLite, PostgreSQL, and MySQL, and adding support for additional back-ends is relatively easy. Perhaps if Movable Type can chip away at WordPress's market share a bit, it will in turn help relax MySQL's stranglehold on the Web market.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by h3 (27424)
          Serendipity [s9y.org] supports Postgres and has for a long time (though I can't say for certain that it did from birth). Which is why I use it. As with other projects of this nature (Drupal comes to mind), though the core supports Postgres quite well, 3rd party plugins sometimes fall into MySQL-only habits, but that hasn't been too problematic for me.

          Frankly, in this day and age, I'm leery of projects that are written to MySQL specifically. To me, it smacks of amateurdom: if you don't know enough to use an abstractio
      • by MrMunkey (1039894) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @10:06AM (#22868826) Homepage
        The only feature that has been keeping me from using PostgreSQL in work projects is replication. My company requires that there be multiple backups at all times, and MySQL's replication has done a pretty decent job (mysqldump -u user -p -master-data -databases db1 db2 -create-options > file.sql allows me to create a new slave quite easily). I do know there are projects out there, but they're just not quite ready yet: http://edoceo.com/liber/db-postgresql-replication [edoceo.com]

        Feel free to let me know if there's another way to do this, because foreign keys would be great :)
    • That's not really open source.

      It is open source, according to the people who invented the term.

      Open Source would never make you pay server licensing fees for use in commercial software, it would only make you distribute your source at worst.

      MySQL doesn't make you pay a license fee in commercial software, if you distribute your software under an open source (as defined by the people who invented the term) license. Like, e.g., Sun does with their very commercial MySQL product.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Omnifarious (11933)

      MySQL, while it has come a long way, still has a ways to go to rival PostgresSQL, legally speaking. PostgreSQL is BSD. MySQL is anything but. Sure, the community edition is free, but it cannot be used with commercial software. In fact, there's a special "open source exception" to the license. That's not really open source. Open Source would never make you pay server licensing fees for use in commercial software, it would only make you distribute your source at worst.

      This is a blatant distortion bordering

      • It is true that the interface libraries are also covered by the GPL. But this can be gotten around easily enough by writing your own interface libraries

        Yeah sure... we all do that (/sarcasm).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ed Avis (5917)
        I think the EnterpriseDB extensions are for companies currently using Oracle who want a cheaper alternative. They do not affect the core Postgres development.

        Note that MySQL AB is also free to distribute proprietary extensions to MySQL, since they own the copyright. And this is much more likely to affect MySQL core development, since you have the same company maintaining the free version and trying to sell proprietary addons.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
        It is true that the interface libraries are also covered by the GPL. But this can be gotten around easily enough by writing your own interface libraries, or having a GPLed thunk which speaks a proprietary protocol to your proprietary application and then uses the MySQL GPLed interface layer to talk to MySQL.

        Wow, freedom sure sounds complicated.

        In other words, "The GPL of MySQL is awesomer because, with a lot of work, you can violate its intent without violating the license!"
    • by jo42 (227475) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:39AM (#22866484) Homepage

      MySQL, while it has come a long way, ...
      Yep. It even supports "--i-am-a-dummy [mysql.com]" startup option.

      Joke you not.
    • by Jonner (189691)
      MySQL is released under the GNU GPL [mysql.com]. This means that it can be used and incorporated into commercial software as long as that sofware is compatible with the GPL. It is just as much Free Software and Open Source as any other code released under the GPL, like GCC and Linux. You don't have to pay anyone anything.

      Any software linking with the MySQL client library must be compatible with the GPL, but I don't see any reason why a different implementation of the protocol would necessarily be bound by the GPL. So i
    • The fact how they market the community version as not for commercial usage is a bit misleading. The community version is available under a gpl version, and they cannot limit usage. The only limit that apply is if you want to change the code, and mix some commercial code in the database server. That is something that happens very rare.

      You can pay for support of a version with extra features, but you don't have to pay for normal commercial usage.
    • by rbanffy (584143)
      "but it cannot be used with commercial software"

      That's incorrect.

      It's incorrect because "Free" and "Commercial" are not mutually exclusive. You can pay for free software, if you are so inclined. In comparison with closed software, you get so much more (you get the complete source for it) it's surprising it doesn't cost more. The folks at Red Hat may also enlighten you about this.

      It's also wrong because you can use MySQL with commercial software. What you can't is to embed MySQL code within a non-free applic
  • Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker@gnu ... org minus distro> on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @12:41AM (#22866226) Homepage
    Here's a few random thoughts:

    Having recently seen Sun buy MySQL, this looks a lot like a "me too"-move. That's not to say that it doesn't make business sense.

    Last I checked, IBM makes its money from two things: hardware and support. Note that software is not one of them; the software is (to them) merely what enables them to sell their bread and butter. It's also costing them money to develop and maintain software that drives sales.

    That's why they've invested money in Linux, and that's why they're investing money in Postgres: offering software with a good track record and a good reputation drives sales better, and cost is driven down as the software is open source.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cosmic Debris (650504)
      No money to be made on software, eh? Don't tell Steve Mills that. He's been working under the assumption that IBM is one of the world's largest software companies and that it's quite profitable, thank you.

      I know this for a fact. And btw, when did you last check your figures? Take a look at IBM's 2007 annual statement and get back to me.

      Since your thoughts are random, I'll assume you're using Microsoft's Random Number Generator.
      • The software division of IBM accounts for 20% of their revenue, and 40% of their profit.

        See http://www.ibm.com/annualreport/2007/md_4rco.shtml [ibm.com]

        Key applications are WebSphere, "Information Management" (db2?), Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, and operating systems.

        Some of this is probably tied to the success of their hardware and service departments, I doubt many people buy IBM operating systems (2% of their total revenue, 12% of their software revenue) without IBM hardware.

        But the non-disclosed revenue from Rational
    • by TheLink (130905)
      Yep.

      I think IBM makes more money from customers having more choices than they can cope with. Then those customers pay IBM to help them decide :).

      That's why they are happy to provide the market with tons of different choices. Java, .Net, Linux, Windows, x86, RISC, Mainframes etc. Something has got to be pretty crap/loss-making for IBM to drop support for it ;).

      And then as you say IBM provide consulting+support services and the hardware to handle all the zillions of combinations of choices ;).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by khakipuce (625944)
      Not only did Sun buy MySQL, Oracle is after BEA (Weblogic, amongst other things). Now, from a Java perspective, Sun used to be the langauge provider, Oracle seemed to have become the de-facto database to run heavy weight Java applications against and IBM Websphere, or BEA Weblogic was the app server.

      I just wonder if these guys are all about to explode the Java App server space (watch out for shrapnel), and try to drive customers down either:
      Sun - Glassfish, MySQL
      Oracle - Weblogic, Oracle database
      IBM - Websp
    • by DannyO152 (544940)
      Let me add, I don't believe that supremacy, mentioned in the summary, is neither necessary nor sufficient for a product's profitability.
  • db2... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fatp (1171151) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @12:48AM (#22866252) Journal
    Why isn't this a competitor of db2?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DougReed (102865)
      Because DB2 isn't really a competitor. It's not really a bad database, but I think only three people in the world is running it. ...my wife being one.
      • Re:db2... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by afidel (530433) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:23AM (#22866392)
        DB2 just doesn't scale down as well as some of the others so it doesn't get as much exposure to the masses, if you check out things like the TCP-H [tpc.org] results you'll notice at the 10TB level DB2 is #1 and #3, it's typically used for very large databases running on IBM big iron. It's yet another IBM technology that kind of sits in the corner running some of the largest financial systems in the world without getting a lot of exposure.
    • Re:db2... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:37AM (#22866468) Journal
      It's not rare for IBM to sell stuff which competes against products its subunits make.

      You can have one IBM unit recommending/selling Cisco products which compete against more expensive IBM products by another IBM unit. You need some Sun stuff to work with some Microsoft stuff? IBM will say they'll do it.

      From what I see, IBM is about providing choice, and helping customers make that choice for $$$$ :).

      If there isn't much choice you don't need as much "consulting" and support. For example if your choices are: reinstall, or format and reinstall, I don't think you'll want to pay a lot.

      • by Heembo (916647)
        IBM is all about cramming the absolutely most asinine complex and difficult to support solutions into your company. After IBM consultants had had their way with your project, you will need to pay them 250-350/hr utilizing their professional services division to support the crap that crammed into your infrastructure. IBM is the IT mafia - absolute bastards!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by firefly4f4 (1233902)
      Why isn't this a competitor of db2?

      For the same reason PostgreSQL and MySQL aren't really competitors to Oracle.

      There might be SOME crossover, but one database system (MySQL, PostgreSQL) is aimed at user performing simpler tasks (web forums, home users) which don't necessarily need all the features of the larger products (transactions, large numbers of simultaneous users, data integrity checking), whereas the other (DB2, Oracle) is aimed at business users who require those full-fledged features.

      Now, I'm not
      • These thoughts are my own

        Fortunately not. Oracle and MySQL operate in two different worlds. Postgres operates somewhere in between, but much closer to MySQL than Oracle. I really don't see the point of trying to compete with both products, it's just not cost effective.

        • Postgres, and especially EnterpriseDB, are basically open-source clones of Oracle. They're designed along the same lines and support very similar features as Oracle. EnterpriseDB for example has added support for Oracle's PL/SQL language, which means that many apps written for Oracle can be ported to EnterpriseDB without too much effort.

          There are a lot of people out there using Oracle because that was one of the only real options five years ago, but don't really need it's high-end features, and certainly do
    • Because Informix is going to take it all.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:03AM (#22866316)
    I love all these Open Source databases but what troubles me most is the absence of a decent [fully] programmable GUI to "slap" onto the actual database back-end. I would like readers to think of Access which is on top of Microsoft's jet database engine. It works and works beautifully but I loath Microsoft's products.

    Can one tell me why we (in the open source world), do not have a single product that competes with Access in terms of functionality, ease of use and ease of programming business logic?

    • by timmarhy (659436) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:19AM (#22866376)
      it's simple. no one in the open source world is dumb enough to WANT to be known as the access db of the open source world.

      postgresql has a couple of brillant gui tools that hold their own easily against sql server managment 2005.

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        I'd like to add that open source does need a simple access style db for simple low brow jobs, but please not something that has a jet style access built in
      • Most DBA's don't use the included tools anyways, they are pretty much crap compared to others.. Look for DBArtisan [embarcadero.com] (One I have seen and used, not sure if its the best, there are many others out there.. Works with every major database, Oracle, Sybase, MSSQL, MYSQL, Postgres, etc. Last I looked it up for our DBA, it was about $7500 per database type.. IE, manage as many Oracle Databases as you want for one price..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by InlawBiker (1124825)
      Maybe because nobody wants to complain about a missing GUI when the product is free. But anyway I've found 4 GUIs for Postgresql in a quick search, not counting Navicat. I've never used it but it looks very nice. I've used PG Admin, which is great for simple work. Most of these are better than Access, which is just a toy, but not as good as Microsoft's query analyzer (now called "server management studio" I believe).

      I have specialized in database applications with a web front-end for a while now. While
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jaseuk (217780)

        Maybe because nobody wants to complain about a missing GUI when the product is free. But anyway I've found 4 GUIs for Postgresql in a quick search, not counting Navicat. I've never used it but it looks very nice. I've used PG Admin, which is great for simple work. Most of these are better than Access, which is just a toy, but not as good as Microsoft's query analyzer (now called "server management studio" I believe).

        You've missed the point with Access. Access is a very simple to use application development environment. Someone with minimal database and programming experience can cobble together straightforward applications. Discounting Microsoft Access as a toy really shows ignorance of the power of the platform, the database engine may have been limited particularly with scaling and multiuser performance, but it's SQL feature set was far superior to MySQL for many years supporting features such as subselects, co

        • The new version of Open Office does offer the Open Office Base program. I think it uses SQLLite as the back end and can attach to real databases like Postgres if you need to.
          I do agree with you that FOSS needs something like Access. I hate Jet with a passion because too many people abuse it and use it for tasks that I just don't think it is well suited too.
          The standard FOSS solution is to us LAMP but for something like a CD collection that is just massive overkill. I don't want to have to set up a SQL serve
    • by ashridah (72567) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @01:25AM (#22866408)
      Uh. Because we actually do have a product like this?

      OpenOffice.org has support for pulling data from a database. [linux.com]
      It also has support for a forms-like [openoffice.org] interface.
      It also has it's own vb-alike [openoffice.org] language. (Still in development perhaps, by the looks of it)

      There are also plenty of other tools. RealBasic, etc.

      • by bogaboga (793279)
        In my experience all features of OpenOffice.org suck big time!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ashridah (72567)
          That's okay. He wanted a tool similar to access....
          • by ashridah (72567)
            And he, I meant "you". Didn't realise you were the same.

            So what, exactly, is your problem with openoffice? it's worked well enough for my purposes in the past. It edits documents, does spreadsheet stuff, and can be made to suck data out of a database or create presentations.

            Sure, its memory usage is high, it's an older style interface, and sometimes it's a pain finding things, but for the most part, it's pretty capable. We sure don't have much else that's as complete. TeX is nice, but doesn't fill everyone'
    • by kylehase (982334)
      Probably because people in the open source world write their own GUIs specifically for the task at hand in whatever language they are comfortable. I write my own PHP GUIs for MySQL databases all the time. If you're talking about GUI admin interfaces you may want to check out phpMyAdmin [phpmyadmin.net] or HeidiSQL [heidisql.com].
    • by scorp1us (235526)
      Check out KDE's Kexi [kexi-project.org]

      Kexi is a Free/Libre and Open-Source integrated data management application, a long awaited Open Source competitor for products like Microsoft Access. Kexi can be used for creating database schemas, inserting data, performing queries, and processing data. Forms can be created to provide a custom interface to your data. All database objects - tables, queries and forms - are stored in the relational database, making it easy to share data and design.

      I also like the (commercial) Maestro too [sqlmaestro.com]
    • by tacocat (527354)
      Access is not a database. Its a toy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by fatp (1171151)
      I basically agree with your comment. Actually, I did a lot of search recently for application builder (which run on windows) for PostgreSQL and have the following findings:

      1) OpenOffice.org: Very poor scripting ability... wait for 3.0
      2) pgaccess: Access for PostgreSQL. Looked promising, with Form Editor, Report Editor etc & scripting with TCL. But the project is dead and website is recycled.
      3) bond (http://www.treshna.com/bond/ [treshna.com]): Looked interesting but I could not run the windows version... never tried
    • The whole point of sql in the first place was so that you could have, say, management do some queries without HAVING to have somebody code a userland tool for them.

      Do people forget this? SQL itself is the 'gui'.
    • Best of both worlds can be had with the right use of ODBC as a database abstractor.

      Use Access for the forms and user interface, keep the data in whatever DB floats your boat.
    • One reason why you really don't have a plethora of good Open Source GUI apps for PostgreSQL is that there's really no good, reusable Open Source framework for writing PostgreSQL applications. Yeah, you've got basic client interface libraries that let you run basic queries, but to write an effective GUI DB app you need execute lots of those queries in one pass and to save the information in some structured way via objects which can easily be manipulated and turned back into further collections of complex que
  • What I want to know is can I run a Postgres DB on a cluster of servers? We want to add some failover capabilities to our server cluster, and our current solution is incapable of five-nines availability. Is there a way to cluster them to provide both load-balancing and redundancy with a single database?

    I've heard Oracle has some capability to that end, but I'm not clear on just what it can do.

    • by jsse (254124)
      IBM has its own (real) enterprise-level database [ibm.com] that does everything and all way before Oracle ever exists.

      Putting 10m into PostgreSQL's vendors could be an marketing strategy. If you ask an IBM sales executive the same questions, he'd introduce their own line of DB2 for your needs - depends on how deep your pocket, that is. ^^

      Disclaimer: I were programming with DB2 during my time in IBM, therefore I may not be too objective in comparing DB2 and PostgreSQL. Please bear with me. ^^
    • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:14AM (#22866832) Homepage
      The subject of this article, EnterpriseDB, is trying to target this market with GridSQL [enterprisedb.com]. As it's new in it's current form, impossible to say how reliable systems built with it will be quite yet. Those looking for reasons behind the IBM investment might consider whether GridSQL might one day talk to DB2 databases as well.

      The closest fully open-source PostgreSQL solution to your requirements that's been around a bit is pgpool-II [postgresql.org]. It think it's still too immature to be considered five-nines quality though, and there are some restrictions you have to observe. A PostgreSQL replication solution that is very robust and proven is slony [slony.info] but it's not a load-balancing solution in the way I suspect you want.

      There's also the Greenplum Database [greenplum.com], which isn't free or open-source but is rooted in PostgreSQL technology.

      Good enterprise-grade clustering with load-balancing is still on the PostgreSQL work in progress list rather than being here right now. I expect the core infrastructure piece needed to really make it work well (support for read-only warm-standby slaves) will make it into PostgreSQL 8.4 and be released around a year from now. I started a comparison page of the replication solutions currently available that's on the PostgreSQL wiki [postgresql.org] now that is trying to track progress in this area. Much like core PostgreSQL support for enabling replication, it still needs some work .
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @02:47AM (#22866736) Homepage Journal
    IBM buying into Postgres through EnterpriseDB is clearly a response to Sun's buying into MySQL. But what's really exciting about the move is that Sun also bought into Postgres, shipping it with Solaris 10 and integrating it with its Java App Server, as an entry-level database. Since Sun is also supporting and bundling MySQL (and therefore using it to drive sales of Sun machines), tools for porting between Postgres and MySQL are likely in the works.

    Now IBM will follow suit, probably offering Postgres as an intro to selling its DB2 database, which will mean IBM tools for upgrading from Postgres to DB2. Meanwhile, EnterpriseDB already offers tools to port Oracle apps to Postgres.

    The next move will probably come from Oracle. To continue the head-to-head competition, Oracle will probably offer tools for porting Postgres (and maybe MySQL) apps to Oracle. It's surprising that Oracle didn't buy a Postgres or MySQL company before Sun or IBM got them, but maybe that's why Sun bought one of each: to keep them from Oracle. Though Oracle did buy the InnoDB corp that makes the MySQL engine with serious DB features, and SleepyCat, the BerkeleyDB corp.

    So as the dust settles, there could finally be a grand unification at work. IBM, Sun and Oracle each have incentive and in-house teams for producing tools to port between Postgres, MySQL and their proprietary high-end RDBMS'es. And since the lower-end (though Postgres competes well with them all) DBs are all open source, there is a good chance the upgrades will be available for freely porting among all of them.

    The age of database lockin might finally be falling behind us. We might finally be free to use whichever DB is best for the job today, not determined by which DB was best for some other job yesterday.
    • by illumin8 (148082)

      The age of database lockin might finally be falling behind us. We might finally be free to use whichever DB is best for the job today, not determined by which DB was best for some other job yesterday.

      It's interesting to note that what is driving all of this is the rise of multi-core processors. Oracle charges entirely too much for licensing ($$$ per CPU) and only discounts 50% if that second CPU is another core. So, now that companies like Sun and IBM are starting to push quad core, octo-core, and in Sun'

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Well, per-CPU pricing is a way to charge for how much work the DB is doing, which (when the DB is good) is roughly proportional to CPU capacity. So they're roughly charging the more profitable businesses per operation as much as they're charging those who make less off of each operation. That's why the less profitable customers will chafe, as the average pricing works against them, while subsidizing their more profitable "fellow" customers (some of whom can be competitors).

        Oracle and IBM would do well to go
        • by Shados (741919)
          That said, Microsoft for example charges per socket, not per core/cpu/whatever in their "per cpu" softwares such as SQL Server. I foresee Oracle changing its way eventually.
  • Is anyone working on a clear, modern comparison of MySQL vs. Postgres? I believe the old arguments for and against both are no longer accurate: Postgres has gotten faster, and MySQL has gotten stricter.
  • Just learnt about one of the oldest sales gimmicks in the book.

    It's called 'bait and switch'. The vendor introduces the cheap version and then sells the still somewhat confused purchaser the (much - in these cases, infinitely) more expensive model. For these two vendors it makes sense because the free software moves the lever to open the door to generate the hardware sale.

    I'm amazed they didn't think of it earlier.

  • I might still be working at Great Bridge.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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