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What is Holding SAP-DB Back?

Cliff posted about 12 years ago | from the yet-another-RDBMS-question dept.

News 457

Derek Neighbors queries: "The current story about MySQL 4.0 has erupted into a Postgres vs. MySQL debate. We at GNU Enterprise, who have used about all Free and Propietary databases, would like to know why exactly people arent using SAP-DB? It clearly is on par with Oracle, is GPL and frankly has an awesome support team in SAP AG. There was a PG vs SAP-DB recently. Someone else mentioned that you can get CDROMs for free. So again the question is 'What exactly is hindering a wider acceptance of SAP-DB in Free/Open Software projects?'"

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Why doesn't SAP use it? (3, Insightful)

oingoboingo (179159) | about 12 years ago | (#4011444)

If it's so great, why does SAP normally sit atop a different database, like Oracle or DB2?

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (1)

cioxx (456323) | about 12 years ago | (#4011465)

If it's so great, why does SAP normally sit atop a different database, like Oracle or DB2?

How so? Care to elaborate with some examples?


Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011479)

The reason is that SAP sells enterprise applications which integrate with a whole bunch of other applications. Most organizations want a database that can be used not just by SAP application but by all the other applications out there. Buying the database from the same place as the application is just another lock-in

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011482)

You can get SAP on SAP-DB.

SAP-DB used to be the non mainframe version of Adabas, which was being sold by Software AG. SAP bought it (I think because one of their biggest customers was running on Adabas) and open sourced it.

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (1)

alSeen (41006) | about 12 years ago | (#4011507)

The companies that run SAP R/3 choose what db to run. They may already be running an Oracle db.

There is also a perception of "you get what you pay for." Most people would scoff at wine that is 2 dollars a bottle, even if the wine is normally 30 dollars and it that price because the store is trying to free up shelf space.

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | about 12 years ago | (#4011602)

If it is good wine I would by all I can at 2$ a bottle. The problem is that more frequently then not you do "get what you pay for" with wine and many other things. In SAP DB's case it's just not a very good database.

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011659)

you get what you pay for.

Yeah. There's this hack of a playwright that goes by the name "William Shakespeare". You can download his shit for free online, but everyone knows it's crap because it's free.

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011528)

If it's so great, why does SAP normally sit atop a different database, like Oracle or DB2?

Becuase SAP DB doesn't support many of the critical features which are in the larger more respected database systems. The most important feature which is missing is transactions, ie: rollbacks, commits etc etc. At our company, we've had too many half-completed SAP actions messed up to remember! The SAP consultants we hired recommended SAP-DB over Oracle or DB2 because it would save some money, but we regret it now.

Also, SAP-DB doesn't have drivers for some of the more exotic tape systems, unlike DB2 or Oracle. The only tape system we could get working for backups with SAP-DB was an old single drive, manual loader DAT system. I hate to think how many nights I spent manually loading tapes into that thing to try and restore a failed SAP transaction that was messed up by the lack of rollbacks in SAP-DB...go with DB2, Oracle, or even SQL-Server any time. These RDBMS systems have what it takes...SAP-DB is an also-ran.

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011679)

spot on. we also had similar issues with our SAP-DB/SAP installation (although we made sure we got a supported tape library too; there was no way i was going to be stuck doing manual tape loads). it took about 6 months, but we finally got sick of SAP-DB and it's lack of refinements like transactions, and went with Oracle. haven't looked back.

Umm... (3, Insightful)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 12 years ago | (#4011684)

Not sure what business a database has driving a tape deck directly anyway; one would hope that as far as possible the DB would let the OS figure such nightmares out. That's what OSes are for, although Oracle certainly seems to have forgotten that.

PostgreSQL does transactions, hot backups etc, would you consider switching to it?

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011593)

It s easier to replace your Oracle/DB2/SQLServer DBA than your (Insert obscure/fringe DB here) DBA.

Re:Why doesn't SAP use it? (1)

broody (171983) | about 12 years ago | (#4011647)

I don't know all of the details but SAP products include the licenses for the database (selected by the customer). Until recently there was no price difference between selecting Oracle, DB2, or SAP DB. Anything having to compete with DB2 & Oracle with costs being equal is facing quite a challenge.

transient (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011447)


First POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011449)

I got it!!!

Re:First POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011471)


Oracle (2, Informative)

yatest5 (455123) | about 12 years ago | (#4011450)

It clearly is on par with Oracle

I think you'll find one of the main strengths of Oracle is it's REPUTATION. People know they can trust it as its been around for years and 'everybody' uses it.

Re:Oracle (-1, Offtopic)

duncangough (530657) | about 12 years ago | (#4011463)

that's a bad sig, plain and simple

Re:Oracle (1, Offtopic)

yatest5 (455123) | about 12 years ago | (#4011487)

I know somewhere you can get cheap glass for the broken panes on your house... ;-)

Re:Oracle (1)

Kobal (597997) | about 12 years ago | (#4011483)

Except that unlike some other pieces of s...oftware, it can live up to this reputation. Of course, it can also be a weakness when the outsiders' technology get noticeably ahead. Kind of a mammoth effect.

Re:Oracle (-1)

Grape Smuggler (569838) | about 12 years ago | (#4011596)

Kinda like shut the fuck up.

I didn't even know they existed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011453)

I'm definitely gonna check 'em out now.

Frist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011455)


Newbie-ish question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011457)

What is it? Honestly, is it like MySQL? Can I shoot my MySQL db through it easily?

sapdb is too complicated - interbase/firebird. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011458)

sapdb needs a lot of effort to set up and create a
database, sometimes even worse than the magic juju you need to go through with Oracle.

What surprises me more actually is that Interbase/Firebird is not more successfull.
It is free and as simple to set up/use as mysql in my opinion, but avoids most of the
mysql limitations.

bad source code too (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011492)

Another thing I forgot: sapdb is unhackable. If you ever wanted
to see what unmaintainable for normal people code looks like, go no further than to sapdb.
It is incredibly bloated and complex, very crufty internally, written in a weird pascal/C++ mix
with an SAP specific format for the files, has a build system that could be
only described as ununderstandable, no comments.
It is what you would expect from a 20+ years old codebase
I'm glad the SAP Berlin guys understand it (they seem to at least), but I see not much chance to do any changes
on your own. This makes it not very useful as a free software project.
Of course it is still nice that they offer it for free, but for all practical purposes it is like a binary only download. To be fair interbase has some of these problems too, but it has still relatively nicer source than sapdb. mysql is much better in this regard.

Re:bad source code too (2, Interesting)

Dark Fire (14267) | about 12 years ago | (#4011590)

I agree. The sapdb uses a non-standard build system instead of open source tools like automake, autoconf, make and/or ant. Actually, ant would be a nice build tool for sapdb. Converting to a standard build tool would really help get more open source developers interested in trying to unravel and improve the code. While the pascal/c++ mix might be strange, I think someone would hack-a-way at it (I would) anyway if the build tools had an atleast familiar feel. When I setup sapdb, it was definitely more difficult to setup than mysql. I really liked the feature set and I almost used it for a production project I am working on now. It has a lot of potential, but sap is going to need to push towards using the tools the open source community is familiar with.

Re:sapdb is too complicated - interbase/firebird. (1)

marcovje (205102) | about 12 years ago | (#4011527)

I also like Interbase/Firebird. Good tradeoff between ease of use and functionality.

Re:sapdb is too complicated - interbase/firebird. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011604)

I also like Interbase/Firebird. Good tradeoff between ease of use and functionality.

Does it beat vi / grep?

tried it .. crashed (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011461)

i recently installed the latest sapdb and followed the HOWTO instructions from their website. while running the db_cold command, the server crashed with sigsegv. :( i was too lazy to look for further help and/or report the bug. right now i try out firebird (interbase), which didn't crash yet *g*

Re:tried it .. crashed (1)

Bush_man10 (461952) | about 12 years ago | (#4011485)

One time I installed Linux and followed there HOWTO instructions while I was upgrading hardware and I had a crash happen. I was also too lazy to look for further help...

I never trust other people talking about crashs when they don't look into what the problem was :) Not the smartest way to install software :)

Re:tried it .. crashed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011606)

I feel the same way....except I feel it about people that distribute software that crashes.

Hmph (2, Interesting)

ViceClown (39698) | about 12 years ago | (#4011467)

After checking out the SAP-DB website... now Im wondering just why more people aren't using it? Looks like it has a good feature set. Does anyone know if there are php functions for it? A quick scan of the php web site didn't turn up anything...

Re:Hmph (1)

Kj0n (245572) | about 12 years ago | (#4011500)

From the website:
  • From version 4.0.3, PHP 4 accesses SAP DB via PHP's Unified ODBC and the SAP DB ODBC-driver. Similar to Perl, this can be performed using a driver manager.
So, there is no native interface from PHP to SAP DB, but you can go via ODBC. Of course, this is only easy to do under Windows.

Re:Hmph (0)

spewn- (264750) | about 12 years ago | (#4011506)

In response to the php support (and other languages) for sap-db I think this page [] should suffice most :]

Re:Hmph (3, Informative)

stilwebm (129567) | about 12 years ago | (#4011577)

The PHP comment brings up a good reason why it has not yet taken off. MySQL and other open source DBs have widespread support in applications and more importantly, developer communities. People who are comfortable developing with and even for those packages will continue to develop with and for those packages. As more community resources are available, more people will become comfortable using SAB DB.

Linux/PHP/Sap DB tutorial (3, Informative)

yivi (236776) | about 12 years ago | (#4011588)

I think that this is what you wanted.

SAP DB vs. Oracle (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011468)

Why are most SAP R/3 installations using oracle as a database if SAP-DB is on par with Oracle??

Makes no sense at all. SAP DB is GPL, Oracle costs shitloads, so there must be a good reason why 99% of all R/3 installations use Oracle.

Re:SAP DB vs. Oracle (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 12 years ago | (#4011523)

so there must be a good reason why 99% of all R/3 installations use Oracle

answer: the CTOs are mostly idiots who pay for brand names and ability to finger-point down the road, not functions.

but Oracle is still better than SAP-DB, anyway. scalability, speed, not to mention the cadre upon cadre of available PL/SQL programmers. how many people do you have to choose from if you're looking for someone to embed some SAP-DB code?

Re:SAP DB vs. Oracle (2)

MADCOWbeserk (515545) | about 12 years ago | (#4011608)

not to mention the cadre upon cadre of available PL/SQL programmers

When SAP/DB was Addabas it was one of the least popular commercial databases, and it run pretty counter to way everyone else it. To be honest aside for the multitude of SQL's there is Postgres and IBM -DB2, there just isn't need for an oddball database that is harder to program for than anything else.

Re:SAP DB vs. Oracle (3, Insightful)

_Swank (118097) | about 12 years ago | (#4011627)

while it's certainly not the reason for all installations, it's likely that a large percentage of those places already had Oracle on site and not SAP-DB. and it takes a lot of effort and several really good reasons for most companies to switch databases. few have a database for this and a different database for that and a yet still different database for something else.

Imaginary Business Meeting (0, Redundant)

yatest5 (455123) | about 12 years ago | (#4011472)

Big boss man: So, what database technology will be using?

Plebian: SAP-DB.

BB Man: What is that, I've never heard of it. Why would we use that ratehr than the industry standard, Oracle?

Plebian: Er, I've heard that you can get a free CD-ROM of it.

BB Man: Free CD-ROM? WOW - our business is saved!!!

Re:Imaginary Business Meeting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011530)

SAP is a Very Big Compan, with adds in all the big management magazines. If your boss hasn't heard of them he hasn't been paying attention.

Re:Imaginary Business Meeting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011545)

I think most big bosses have at least heard of SAP.

SAP is just as standard as Oracle (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | about 12 years ago | (#4011549)

I imagine that if your big boss man has never heard of SAP, better start looking for another company. SAP [] produce ERP software (Enterprise Resource Planning). This kind of software manages just about every aspect of a business, including billing, orders, inventory, salaries, etc etc... In short, almost every company worth anything uses it (I believe the count was something like 97 out of Fortune 100) and installation costs run up to tens of millions of your favourite currency. SAP also happens to be one of the biggest software companies in the world.

You can use their software with another database (usually Oracle or DB2) running on a separate server, which many businesses do, in order to consolidate all their database tasks together. You can also use SAP-DB, SAP's own SQL database with decades of testing behind it. It just happens that SAP AG released it under the GPL about a year or so ago. Don't underestimate it.

Re:Imaginary Business Meeting (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011560)

Plebian: SAP-DB.

BB Man: What is that, I've never heard of it. Why would we use that ratehr (sic) than the industry standard, Oracle?

Plebian: What sort of fucking idiot Boss are you if you've never even heard of SAP for fucks sake? Jesus Christ, why am I even talking with you about this, you're about as clueless as a shit smeared stick!

Re:Imaginary Business Meeting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011629)

Plebian: What sort of fucking idiot Boss are you if you've never even heard of SAP for fucks sake? Jesus Christ, why am I even talking with you about this, you're about as clueless as a shit smeared stick!

It would be better than having a clueful boss who would say, "SAP-DB? You idiot! You're fired!"

Re:Imaginary Business Meeting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011658)

Well if you just wanted a general database, then yeah, I wouldn't bother with SAB-DB alone. If you wanted to buy in to SAP R/3, then blimey, I don't think you'll be getting fired for that. Unless you're not a Fortune 500 company, in which case you're boss would certainly laugh at the purchase order.

How about Hypersonic SQL? (1)

sbrown123 (229895) | about 12 years ago | (#4011473)

There are plenty of databases out there.

Re:Worm's eye view (2)

einer (459199) | about 12 years ago | (#4011494)

Because it doesn't support views/inner queries/real big joins ... ? That's more of an embedded db...

Re:Worm's eye view (1)

sbrown123 (229895) | about 12 years ago | (#4011548)

>>inner queries

Last time I looked MySQL did not support inner queries either.

I have no idea what you mean by "real big joins". What limition on Hypersonic's join capability are you trying to describe?

And even though Hypersonic can be used for embedded it is not limited to that. It can run as a standalone server.

Re:Worm's eye view (1)

sbrown123 (229895) | about 12 years ago | (#4011567)

I just looked at the most recent docs for hypersonic. It appears it can to inner queries.

Maybe... (0, Redundant)

JoshuaDFranklin (147726) | about 12 years ago | (#4011476)

it's the lack of Slashdot articles.

See ya!

SAP-DB (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011477)

All this talk about free database servers tends to fly in the face of mission-critical nonstop environments. Personally at our company, I have pooh-poohed the free DB's and rather pay a little more for centralized support and two good DB administrators.

As much as everyone maligns M$, nobody ever puts in MS SQL in the conversation. (We're a DB2 shop not M$) .sig

beware of the trolls

On par with Oracle? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011478)

Oracle does replication and hot standby. SAP-DB doesn't. These are pretty important features in the enterprise. Therefore, SAP-DB is not on a par with Oracle. What do you do if you need to work on your primary database machine and you don't have a standby?

Re:On par with Oracle? (1)

ovapositor (79434) | about 12 years ago | (#4011621)

I would also add that SAP-DB's replication amounts to bulk data loadign and unloading with it's Replication Manager. Umm... I prefer the Replication model that Microsoft SQL server uses where there are publishers and subscribers, and it proceeds aomewhat automatically once set up. I mean calling bulk data load/unload replication boggles my mind. It must be a German thing ;)

Re:On par with Oracle? (3, Interesting)

Watts Martin (3616) | about 12 years ago | (#4011623)

I know you're responding to someone else's claim about SAP-DB being on par with Oracle, but the meaningful question is whether SAP-DB deserves more recognition as a free software database solution, isn't it? What do you do if you need to work on your primary database machine and you're running PostgreSQL? You take the machine down in a maintenance window, and if necessary, put up a secondary machine that is "manual standby."

SAP-DB is pretty much the back end of SAP's commercial systems like SAP R/3. I'm sure there are things that Oracle does that SAP-DB doesn't (just like there are systems that actually do things Oracle doesn't, even though your Oracle sales rep won't admit it), but it's difficult to argue that the system doesn't have credibility in the enterprise.

It also supports Microsoft's cluster server on Windows, with failover; they're working on a cross-platform solution for hot standby, according to the website. It does have a batch mode replication manager, too, at least.

Cndr Taco Recipe (-1)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | about 12 years ago | (#4011480)

1 Lb Feces (1/2 Human 1/2 Dog Shit is best) 1 Jar Pace Picante Sauce 6 Tbl Chili Powder 1 Onion 3 Jalapeno Peppers Garlic Powder to taste 1/2 Cup Fag Cum Cook until shit is quite warm (do not drain any diarrea juices) Add chopped onion/Jalapenos Cook 5 more minutes. Add everything else except man juice and simmer for 45 minutes. Warm Tortilla shells and ladle mixture on them Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese top with fag man cum Yum Yum feeds one fat Cmdr Taco Fag Boy

Not in BSD ports tree. (5, Insightful)

marcovje (205102) | about 12 years ago | (#4011481)

Subject says it all. Probably also goes for Linux, (but the argument there would probably be more
"doesn't comes (integrated) with the distribution"

If something gets included with distributions, it spreads much faster

People don't know ? (2, Informative)

DarkDust (239124) | about 12 years ago | (#4011490)

Well, I just learned only a week ago that SAP released (part of) their DB as open-source. Everyone and their dog know that MySQL and Postgres are free, but I guess SAP's DB being free as well is a fact that is not well known enough.

Why? (0, Offtopic)

mjstrom (244211) | about 12 years ago | (#4011496)

There are a few reasons

1. It is relatively unknown
2. Look at the home page [] for the database - look at the top of the page, see the ad for SAP? I think things like that are a major factor for why no one uses it. From the appearances (IHMO) the sites gives the impression that SAP opened up the database so they could say "we are an open source company" and jump on that bandwagon.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011580)

Mod the parent down. Besides linking to the wrong site (probably his own site that needs hits) he is spewing absolute bullshit. SAP-DB has been open-sourced since 2000, SAP is a very large company that has solutions (other than DB) implemented in many Fortune 5000 companies, and the site (the correct one) is a relatively professional looking site.

What SAP doesn't want you to know... (4, Funny)

skryche (26871) | about 12 years ago | (#4011497)

Has anyone else noticed the mysterious blacked out sections on the SAP-DB history page [] ? Creepy.

aha (1)

News for nerds (448130) | about 12 years ago | (#4011536)

This whole topic of SAP-DB sucks a lot,
but only your finding of blacked-out DB name part
is just great enough to awake myself, thanks!

Re:What SAP doesn't want you to know... (1)

thm-1 (237355) | about 12 years ago | (#4011550)

this looks like they had to black out Adabas.
Adabas is a commercial DB from Software AG, SAP bought it or better branched it and later gpl-ed it.

Re:What SAP doesn't want you to know... (4, Informative)

muffel (42979) | about 12 years ago | (#4011614)

Someone found the original text in a previous discussion []

i was going to say... (3, Interesting)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 12 years ago | (#4011498)

that SAP DB isn't supported out of the box by Java, Perl, or PHP, etc. but one quick glance [] shows they support Perl through DBD::ODBC, have an ODBC driver suitable for PHP, and supply a JDBC [] driver for Java programs.

so now i'm wondering what the catch is. too big? bloated? slow?

well, the minimum requirements on Linux [] list a base memory footprint of 128 MB. MySQL runs on just about the smallest box you own, and most people tinkering with MySQL are on budgets of $0, meaning, no new bigger boxes for a long, long time.

SAP DB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011501)

Simple... never heard of it before or if I did the letters SAP just obfuscated anything that might have come afterwords with another assumption...

That's what a strong trademark gives you: recognition! But it also comes with a price, assumptions...

SAPdb is also on par in admin requirements (1)

JohanV (536228) | about 12 years ago | (#4011511)

I recently tried quite a few databases to get a free one with full JDBC and Unicode support. Let's just say that even with first installing Cygwin PostgreSQL was a lot easier to get running on Windows, let alone on Unix. FireBird idem.
I don't see SAPdb overcoming this hurddle on the entry level easily. On the top level, it is probably issues like the (lack of a) reputation.

thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011517)

thanks for the hint, ill give it a try.

I never heard of SAP-DB... (3, Informative)

sys49152 (100346) | about 12 years ago | (#4011520)

... and I've taken a look around for other RDBMSs. Maybe the problem is that it's flying a little under radar.

However, I have had the same question in relation to the open source version of Borland's Interbase, the Interbase fork - Firebird, and the hsql Database Engine.

It seems to me that the community has latched on to MySQL and PostgreSQL as -the- database solutions, and this very acceptance places them higher up the food chain. For instance, hunt around for an open source based Content Managemnet Sysytem (ala SlashCode or PostNuke), and almost invariably it has a MySQL backend.

Re:I never heard of SAP-DB... (2)

Ooblek (544753) | about 12 years ago | (#4011598)

Its lack of popularity is probably due to a phenomenon called "market share" where the first ones that get noticed in the market generally enjoy a dominate position with little effort. Too bad too many CS students get caught up in the "I can make a difference" funk of open source software and spend their most creative and energetic time of their careers hacking something that has only a slim chance of really becoming a big deal. Had they gotten a job, weather it be in an open source type company or even making commercial software, some people might understand this.

It might also have something to do with the fact that SAP itself is pretty much known as a big deal to install. This might be the reason why their clients are mostly Fortune 1000 - it costs a lot to install the software after you buy it.

one more possible reason... (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 12 years ago | (#4011532)

the Windows download [] is in TGZ format. how many Windows applications come packaged in TGZ? how many come in ZIP, or even more likely, self-extracting EXE?

you'd think they'd get a clue about this, when they have to warn on their own website: Check whether your browser changes the package extension from tgz to tar during the download. If so, rename the package to tgz before installing it.

Re:one more possible reason... (3, Funny)

Tonetheman (173530) | about 12 years ago | (#4011555)

Winzip will open tgz files.

I guess if you cannot figure out how to open the tgz file in Windows, it is probably better that you are not trying to install SAP. Natural selection is a wonderful thing.

Re:one more possible reason... (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 12 years ago | (#4011592)

naturally i can figure it out, i have cygwin on my windows environment and can tar xzvf the damned thing.

but i know that *i* for one do not have winzip installed on any machine which might be used as a database server.

Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011643)

First you say

how many come in ZIP, or even more likely, self-extracting EXE?

Which would imply that you expect the download to be a ZIP file. Then you say

but i know that *i* for one do not have winzip installed

If you don't have WinZIP installed, how were you expecting to unzip the download if it was a ZIP file? Magic?

You don't know what you want; you're complaining about a complete non-issue.

Re:Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011646)

What part of "Self-extracting EXE" didn't you understand?

BTW, I am not the original poster.

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

_Swank (118097) | about 12 years ago | (#4011660)

what part of "or" don't you understand?

BTW, I am neither the original poster, the one who replied to that poster, nor the one who replied to that reply.

Re:Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011675)

Yeah, because everyone downloads and installs enterprise software via. a single self extracting EXE, don't they? I mean, running some EXE which could do $(SOMETHING) on your server is much better than being given a file which you can extract yourself, break into seperate archives, check over first etc. before you have to run it, isn't it?

If you were running any of my companies servers, you'd be out the door like a bullet if you were downloading & running EXE's on the servers, and I don't care where you downloaded them from!

They don't use it because... (1)

LordYUK (552359) | about 12 years ago | (#4011537)

its easier to say 'oracle' than 'sap-wb'. I mean, come on, "or-a-cle", "sap-dub". One sounds all high and mighty (the all knowing Oracle!!) while the other sounds like a cartoon on the Dubba dubba dubba dubya-B!

That was, of course, a joke. :)

Documentation (3, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | about 12 years ago | (#4011538)

Where's the O'Reilly book on SAP-DB?

It doesn't exist. The bottom line is that most websites and the like don't need all the features of Oracle. In fact, they don't even need all the features of MySQL or PostgreSQL. Most of them could probably run fine on DBASE. So, the fact that SAP-DB has sixteen billion enterprise features doesn't really make a difference. Combine this with a total lack of third-party documentation for SAP-DB, and it really makes sense to stick with the "standards."

Incidentally, another problem is that, when I develop a web app, I know I can easily find hosting on PostgreSQL (my preferred DB). What hosting providers run SAP-DB? The bottom line is that most web apps run on hosted servers that often don't allow people to run their own DB engines, so this is a big issue.

Ease of Setup and Use are the most critical... (5, Interesting)

DigitalCH (582593) | about 12 years ago | (#4011540)

One thing that bothers the hell out of me is that no DB out there is easier to setup and use than MS SQL server...

In my job I have used literally every DB out there and none of them are easier to setup than Microsoft. It also the easiet to use from the application side. With oracle and other db's you need to know all kinds of listener and config info about where you dbase is. With MS and a few others you just need the servername and dbname and it works. Thats how things should be.

I am quite happy with the way MySQL is coming along.. they finally have a decent admin interface and the other feature they have needed for years... now if installation and usage were just a bit easier they could really compete.

whats even more bothersome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011661)

is the lack of dbas in these shops. their datamodels are probably pathetic. offering nothing more than kludge.

Already using it (2, Informative)

TheICEBear (536953) | about 12 years ago | (#4011541)

We are in the process of finishing a large J2EE project with the database end running on SAPDB and we have had no regrets. It runs along smoothly and in fact the only annoyance with it has been a crufty manager application for datamanipulation (for tests), which was remedied by using Access as an ODBC client and a little trouble with the actual creation of a database. The same database has had a 3 months run under load and with the developers hitting it with the weirdest commands and it has only needed one service restart so far. I recommend it.

Isnt SAP _JUST_ a buzzword ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011542)

I thought sap was like b2b or something like that, inventent during the .com boom to get peoples attention.

I didnt realise it was more than just talk and there was actual code.

What is SAP and what does it have to do with a database ?

Maybe you should change the name to

Simple... (0, Redundant)

The Big Bopper (150305) | about 12 years ago | (#4011543)

I never heard of it before now.

Bad OS integration? (1)

bo-eric (263735) | about 12 years ago | (#4011544)

For me, the lack of debian packages (and, indirectly, the fact that it doesn't use "normal" paths and autoconf/automake) is a major reason why I haven't tried it out. For example, look at this message [] about using sapdb on a debian system.

Applications (5, Insightful)

Captain Kirk (148843) | about 12 years ago | (#4011554)

There is a strong first mover advantage to Internet applications. For example, if you want to create a online shop, there are loads of free apps, tutorials and useful mailing lists for php/mysql. There are a lot less for php/postgresql. Almost none for php/sap-db.

Unless you are a software genius, the sensible choice is the one with most support in the community. Think perl, mysql.

This creates a network effect that your expertise gets added to the pool of knowledge and thus that pool becomes even more inviting.

Taken to the next step, you see fine languages like Python and fine databases like PostgreSQL fall behind in terms of support because their pool of expertise comes from a smaller number of users. But they do fine because there are so many developers out there who love them. These tools thrive with a a certain "less popular but more excellent" feel.

Sadly, if a third player comes along some years later, then they will have a very hard time getting a following big enough to generate the pool of expertise that leads to having lots of applications. Think Ruby, SAP-DB.

And its applications that determine popularity.

That is the short answer to the question - waht is holding SAP-DB back. Excellence isn't everything - being first on the scene gives huge advantages. And they were nowhere near first...


Distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011557)

It's not in Debian.

(You asked, I answered.)

Because... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011559)

For me the reason is because it _IS_ licensed under the GPL.

I'll take PostreSQL any day, thank god for that license.

I can tell you what is holding SAP DB back... (1)

DigitalCH (582593) | about 12 years ago | (#4011572)

Its partly about trust. The most important feature of all databases is their replication and clustering support. Thats it.

Businesses will only trust something that has been around a while and that they no can failover and be brought back online. Thats the reason that Oracle, Sybase, MS SQL, and DB2 are so popular. No one in the business world would think of using Mysql or something like SAP DP unless they were truly desperate.

yet more reasons... (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 12 years ago | (#4011576)

i run a FreeBSD shop. i check out [] and there is nothing about SAP-DB to be found. there is MySQL and PostgreSQL a-plenty, though. has TWO projects listed: SAP Database [] and SAP DB [] . both link back to [] .

Flooded enterprise market (2)

Matey-O (518004) | about 12 years ago | (#4011578)

Speaking of ANY commodity:
There will only be two or three REALLY popular entrants, the rest will be left to muck about with single digit usage.

Without belaboring GPL v. Microsoft v. Oracle, I'd recommend you look at the Cola Wars: Coke has the margin (60%+), Followed by Pepsi (30% ish) and _everybody else_ scrounges around for the ramaining 10%.

Re:Flooded enterprise market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011671)

except with computer systems a single digit could be a high end profitable niche. Think mainframes.

Why we (I) don't use it... (5, Interesting)

Thackeri (203958) | about 12 years ago | (#4011581)

The company I work for uses alot of open source software in it's development - both in terms off server side (linux, apache, etc) and for the application side (Tomcat, JServ, etc).

We don't use SAP-DB because:

  1. Our clients break down into 2 camps - those who want cost-effective solutions (so we go down the open source route of Tomcat/MYSQL) and those who want brand-labelled solutions (so we use JRun/Oracle etc).
  2. We need to limit our support base. Having gained skills in maintaining MYSQL, Oracle and [shudder] MS SQL Server adding another DB to that side makes life harder for us in the short to medium term.
  3. Until this article I (and most of the developers here) hadn't heard of SAP-DB!

I dare say that if we had a pressing business case to learn the extra skill (i.e. we required some of it's fetures on a project that hadn't got the Oracle budget) then we'd consider it.

Then again there are other Dbs that would also cut it in that case too.

MYSQL has a big name in terms of Open Source software and that alone may prevent people from switching from it in favour of a less well known 'brand'.

PostgreSQL is truly free (as in BSD) (3, Insightful)

Chuck Messenger (320443) | about 12 years ago | (#4011599)

Being GPL is not nearly as nice as being BSD. That's a big advantage of PostgreSQL (but not MySQL). In other words, if you want to sell an application which includes an embedded DB, then GPL is no good.

As far as I know, PostgreSQL is the only truly free database (in this licensing sense).

But I could be wrong -- I'm standing by to be corrected...

the actual question (3, Insightful)

mydigitalself (472203) | about 12 years ago | (#4011605)

the statement about sap-db being on a par with oracle has forked this conversation off into a million "how can it be on a par with oracle" comments. not the question...

one fine example of this was the boss conversation thread (this one [] ).

the point was, its an open source database, why aren't people using it INSTEAD OF PG/MYSQL.

i tend to agree with the complexity side of things as about 3 years ago i tried getting it up and running - without much success. although, friends of mine who know pretty much nothing about unix are running a web solution on apache jakarta (jsp+servlets) using SAPDB as the databaase which they installed from RPMs. they sing its praises all day long.

maybe its the communities fear of a traditionally large $$ corporation giving away its technology?

Of the same reason people use Windows 95. (3, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | about 12 years ago | (#4011616)

It's "Industry Standard".
I mentioned Firebird the other day when a guy asked /. about a MySQl update feature. People didn't give a shit.

We use what we're used to, even if it's outdated or pointless. Other stuff is of no interest, Try telling a guy the advantages about Linux over WinXP and you'll know what I mean.

People are using it, and happy with it, but... (5, Informative)

Monkius (3888) | about 12 years ago | (#4011648)

It is...

1. harder to install, with a slightly strange mix of admin tools (combination of old/crufty, and new/experimental)

2. definitely trickier to manage, as you need to learn protocols for setting up, and backing up, databases and their logs, at least. This is true of other RDBMSs of course, but the trend has been toward more self-managing systems.

3. Relies of ODBC as the cli--which is actually fine (eg, compatible with PHP) but still less familiar to Unix/OSS people

4. Still undergoing stabilizing bugfix cycle, seemingly, although I haven't myself ever encountered a problem with it

5. Is, as mentioned, less tolerant of inexpert admins--and more problematic, the error codes are frequently impossible to understand

6. Really is difficult, at present, to hack. In general, the code is VERY challenging to work with (particularly the ugly, custom built build system), although it should be said that the SAP internal developers are steadily improving all aspects of the system, and a time WILL come when external developers can see rewards for their hacking efforts.

Compensating for this is the VERY skilled and responsive SAPDB development team, and a very strong feature set.

Its the licence stupid. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4011649)

It uses that GPL licence, whereas PostgreSQL uses a far eaiser to understand BSD style license.

The GNUenterprise people should spend their time producing the accounting system (this is what, your 3rd year of existance w/o any accounting code?) rather than worrying about SAP's acceptance.

time (5, Insightful)

denshi (173594) | about 12 years ago | (#4011681)

Time is the thing 'holding it back'. As Paul Graham pointed out, "Inventors of wonderful new things are often surprised to discover this, but you need time to get any message through to people. ... It's not when people notice you're there that they pay attention; it's when they notice you're still there." No matter the benefits of SAPDB (which I have not used), it still has to keep hacking it while people subconciously adjust to the existense of another valid product. This inertia is everywhere, it is the normal thing to do... 3 years back, even when it was obvious that Postgres kicked MySQL's ass 6 ways from Sunday, many people kept using MySQL. It was a known quantity, and this new thing was just something with some wild claims that users didn't take time to validate. A couple years later, the LAMP crowd is/has finally moving/moved towards Postgres; it's not b/c of anything developed last year, it's just that users have realized that it's not going away. Same problem here, scaled back several years.

The originator of the thread should learn that technology doesn't change overnight, and certainly not without the kind of marketing budgets behind Java & C#. Change takes time.

As another answer, I'd ask what is the driving point behind SAPDB? MySQL has/had noteriety for being a very simple system; Postgres had noteriety for advanced research into ORDBMS'es as well as coming out of a university lab that produced two very successful commercial DBs in the past. What's the big focus with SAPDB? All I know so far is that it was an in-house thing that worked for SAP. No idea what that's supposed to mean to me. Maybe someone should answer that first.

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