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Open Source Databases

  1. The Open Source Database Benchmark
    Featuring ports to DataBlitz and Oracle, as well as a preliminary Perl implementation, this is the best iteration of OSDB yet! This version of OSDB can
    * Skip tests that are inappropriate for the database engine, with the --restrict switch
    * Run under MPI, for true cluster and multiprocessor benchmarks  New results have been posted in the expected/ directory, suggesting useful ways of invoking OSDB. Barring results to the contrary in the next couple of weeks, this will soon be the new "stable" version of OSDB. 
                                   
  2. Open Source Databases: A brief look
    This month I take a brief look at Open Source Database Management Systems. I do not aim to find the 'best' one, or perform an in-depth feature-by-feature analysis, but rather a introduce you to the variety of solutions out there. I am presuming readers of my columns by now already have an understanding of what Open Source is, and why one would use it. If not, see the resources at the end of the article. So which are the Open Source databases? Most readers have probably heard of MySQL. Its byline is The World's most popular Open Source database after all. Unlike most of the others listed here, Berkeley DB is not a full DBMS, complete with graphical reporting tools and the like. It does not even contain a query-processing layer. Instead, it is a lightweight embedded relational storage engine, meant for applications that do not require a separate DBMS installation. Users of MySQL have the option to use the Berkeley DB storage engine 
                                             
      
  3. Open-source databases gaining favor
    The open-source database MySQL grew rapidly in popularity over the last year, according to results from a survey released Monday by research company Evans Data. Usage of MySQL for developing applications rose 30 percent over the past year, while usage of Microsoft's SQL Server and Access databases increased 6 percent, according to the survey of 550 developers conducted last month. Overall Microsoft's products continue to dominate the database development market. But open-source software's price and its ability to integrate with other software mesh well with the priorities of application developers, said Evans Data analyst Joe McKendrick. Programmers often select a single database for both application development and deployment. 
                                    
  4. Open-Source Database Technologies Flourish at LinuxWorld
    Microsoft can snipe all it wants at the TCO and security of open source, but a flood of database-, BI- and data-center-related news coming out of LinuxWorld means one thing: Linux has drilled so far down into overall IT frameworks that it's simply another option on the short list.
    Commercialization of open source is one trend evident at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo and it's being reflected big-time in database-centric offerings. We're seeing the notion that open-source products have a very, very viable business model and have established themselves as credible players," said Steve O'Grady, an analyst at RedMonk. While they don't play in exactly the same markets and don't compete feature-to-feature with proprietary [solutions], there's a sizable market that's not interested in all the bells and whistles included with proprietary vendors.
                                           

  5. Open-Source Databases Hike Enterprise Appeal
    The creators of the open-source databases MySQL and PostgreSQL are trying to push them further into the enterprise with new features aimed at better support for transactions, database recovery and replication. MySQL AB's MySQL 4.0, expected to be released as a stable version by year's end, provides the InnoDB transaction storage engine that includes row-level locking. Coming in Version 4.1 early next year will be the ability to handle stored procedures and triggers. MySQL 5.0, due late next year, will add more advanced management tools and replication as well as speed improvements, said Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, in Uppsala, Sweden. Separately, developers of PostgreSQL, which has transactional capabilities, are working to add support for distributed databases. That support as well as new replication capabilities are likely to be available in the next year or two, according to Thomas Lockhart, a member of the Postgre SQL steering committee and a director at Postgre- SQL Inc., one of many companies providing the PostgreSQL database.
                                                   
  6. Open Source databases rounded up and rodeod
    you could be forgiven for not knowing about the storm of activity in the database market this season. You would have to have read several dozen articles, press releases, and have followed the right bloggers to track all the strategic acquisitions, new releases, and defensive posturing And even so you might still be wondering what it all means. But help is here in the form of a guide to open source database companies and what they've been up to. You may first wonder what's so interesting about open source databases. Isn't all the open source fun and action happening with Linux and Apache? Hardly! After many years of hard work and little attention, these open source databases are starting to have a noticeable impact on the largest database companies. Company activity in the database sector is really heating up.
                                           
  7. SQL Server 2005 leaves open source databases
    Sean McCown isn’t afraid of controversy. He assured me of that when I interviewed him last week in preparation for this column. So when the InfoWorld contributing editor referred to DBAs (database administrators) who favor open source databases as “tree huggers” who don’t want to pay for commercial software, I can only assume he knew what he was in for. SQL Server’s prime competitor, Oracle, has held an edge among the largest enterprises, which demand bulletproof disaster recovery and zero downtime. With this release, Microsoft has caught up. Along with major changes to the code itself, McCown points out, the new SQL Server brings one other advantage to the party: .Net.
     .Net gives SQL Server a huge piece of new functionality,” McCown says. “Oracle has Java, which extends its functionality by providing direct access to system and network resources.” .Net performs the same function for SQL Server, effectively closing that loop on Oracle. “The open source guys can’t even begin to touch that,” he adds. 
                                              
  8. Open source databases are ripe for acquisition
    The courtship of open source database vendor MySQL by Oracle, as well as MySQL's rejection of those advances, is only the beginning of another interesting year for databases. Analysts predict that the $300 million open source database market is going to continue to grow rapidly. Forrester Research Inc.'s analyst Noel Yuhanna projects that mission-critical deployments of open source databases will increase by 20% this year. It is that growth that Yuhanna believes will drive the OSS database market from $300 million now to the $1 billion mark by 2008. Most importantly, analysts say, this segment is being taken seriously by proprietary database vendors attracted to making open source technology part of their own product offerings. Oracle Corp. is only one of the Big Three database vendors that is contemplating big buys in open source database space, industry analysts say. Microsoft and IBM have sizeable war chests with which to buy market share, and vendors like EnterpriseDB, MySQL and Ingres Corp. could provide it. Whether they follow Oracle's lead or invest in other ventures remains to be
    seen.
                                           
  9. The database the open source community
    A week or so ago I was chatting with a friend about a meeting I had scheduled for the following morning. I said I'd be speaking with a guy whose company markets a commercial database product built around open source software. A cynic, my friend was half serious. And yet, when I met with Andy Astor the next morning, he didn't seem like a parasite. I believe that open source software changes everything about enterprise applications," Astor says. "It is as fundamental a shift in enterprise applications as the Internet was or as XML was. It is at that level of importance. Exactly how it pans out, nobody knows, and exactly what the business models are, nobody knows. EnterpriseDB approach represents something of a middle ground. At the heart of the EnterpriseDB product is PostgreSQL, a mature open source database. Astor's company provides support, but it also adds something extra: an engine that lets PostgreSQL understand Oracle's (Profile, Products, Articles) PL/SQL dialect of the SQL language. 
                                     
  10. Open-source databases find their place in the enterprise
    The sales pitch for EnterpriseDB (EDB) is pretty simple: it's an enterprise-class relational database management system (RDBMS) based on twenty years of open-source development, compatible with Oracle - and costing a fraction of the price of a commercial system. EDB is based on the BSD-licensed database PostgreSQL, widely considered the most advanced open-source DBMS around, with the addition of commercial features such as Oracle compatibility and enterprise-level support. If the business model sounds familiar, that's because it's the same idea with which Linux distributors and companies such as MySQL have already found success. It was just a matter of time before PostgreSQL got the same treatment, say industry observers. Regardless of EDB's eventual success or failure, the staggering prices of commercial DBMS and the existence of high-quality open source databases mean the opportunity is there, analysts say.
                                     
  11. Java. net: An Open Source Database Benchmark
    PolePosition is an open source Java framework for benchmarking databases. The impetus behind PolePosition came from the observation that developers evaluating candidate databases for future applications often resorted to constructing ad hoc benchmarks rather than using "canned" benchmark tests (or relying on vendor-provided data). This is entirely understandable; to properly evaluate a database for a specific project, you would want to exercise that database in ways that correspond to the application's use of it. Put another way, if the target application will use the database in read-only fashion, you'll have little interest in a benchmark that runs the database through write operations. PolePosition was designed with just such people in mind. Using the metaphor of a series of automobile race courses ("Circuits"), PolePosition provides a structure that simplifies the three primary tasks that a database benchmark developer might face: building the tests, adding database drivers, and reporting results.
                        
  12. Analysis: Open source databases
    Many enterprise software users and vendors have made significant commitments to open source technologies. Projects such as the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, and the Perl programming language, have proven themselves as viable alternatives to equivalent commercial offerings. But what about the tools used to hold core information assets? Are open source databases ready for the enterprise?
    Until recently, databases have been a relative unknown amongst open source software. However, the increasing adoption of open source database technology by well-known multinational organisations has led to more enterprise recognition and hence consideration. There are many open source databases with different features of which MySQL and PostgreSQL are the best known. 
                                                 
  13. Open source database firm gets webMethods infusion
    The ex-webMethods crew at PostgreSQL database start-up EnterpriseDB has added to their numbers with a fresh board appointment. Web
    Methods board member Jack Lewis has been elected to the EnterpriseDB board to bring 35-years' experience in legal and business development to the young company. Lewis joins webMethods founder and former chief executive Phillip Merrick on the EnterpriseDB board, along with former webMethods vice president Andy Astor who is EnterpriseDB founder and CEO. In a statement, Merrick called Lewis a "great strategist and insightful industry observer." Lewis' experience spans business development, from start-up to IPO and beyond, while Lewis also runs a law practice where he advises technology and e-commerce clients about technology protection, licensing, raising capital and M&A.
                              
  14. MySQL Leads In Open Source Databases
    MySQL continues to have the largest mind share in the industry, and with the release of version 5 last year, it has narrowed its functional gap with Ingres and PostgreSQL, projects that offer the most comprehensive database features. With MySQL becoming more aggressive in churning out new releases, unless Ingres focuses on innovation, MySQL could potentially overtake Ingres to claim the top spot in the feature and functionality race. MySQL has broad support for transactional applications and embedded databases, especially for in-memory databases, but it lags in data warehousing, lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) integration, and programmability features
    .
                                                      
  15. Open source databases - a sword that cuts both ways
    The first thing to decide is the areas in which open source is to be deployed. Does this only apply to Linux and network servers or does it extend to application servers, databases and development environments? In each case, you also need to decide which open source products you are going to endorse from a strategic perspective. If we take the open source database market as an example, we have MySQL, PostgreSQL (both generically and from Pervasive), Ingres, Firebird, Max DB, Cloudscape, the putative Sun DB (possibly), HSQLDB and a bunch of others. Now, some of these are niche products but, even so, there are too many of them. Not all of the companies involved will be able to make enough money out of these products to stay in business. That means that at some point in the future the market will consolidate and a number of these products will disappear. This may not matter too much if the products are not that important to you, but it certainly does if they are strategic.
                                        
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