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Sun Hints At Open-Source Database Offering

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the trial-balloon-up-flagpole dept.

Sun Microsystems 167

An anonymous reader points out a ZDNet story which begins "Sun Microsystems has raised the possibility that it might offer customers its own database, a move that could trigger displeasure at Oracle but curry favor with open-source advocates," writing "Last week, during a meeting with financial analysts, Chief Executive Scott McNealy showed a slide that placed the words 'Sun DB' next to a list of existing database products. McNealy offered no details besides 'stay tuned.'"

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167 comments

"Nothing for you to see here. Please move along." (-1, Troll)

MarkEst1973 (769601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595482)

Slashdot error or typical SUN PR?

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (-1, Troll)

ttys00 (235472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595489)

Looks like Sun and Slashdot are saying the same thing ;)

FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

xxblackice (547066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595490)

i'm a douche bAG111!! LOL!!1111!11

Uhm... (4, Interesting)

ceeam (39911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595491)

Do we really, _really_ need another OS/Free RDBMS? What is it going to do what others don't?

Re:Uhm... (3, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595507)

What is it going to do what others don't?

Make the PHB's feel all warm and fuzzy. Also see: StarOffice versus OpenOffice.

Re:Uhm... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595529)

It'll get Sun a few extra column inches. No doubt it'll come with a really good JDBC driver. Maybe they'll really rock the boat and it'll support stored functions written in Java.

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595699)

How does this rock the boat? Oracle's offered Java stored procedures for some time now.

Sarcasm ??? (1)

Hammer (14284) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595797)

Noo, not on /.

Re:Uhm... (2, Insightful)

leonmergen (807379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595533)

Do we really, _really_ need another OS/Free RDBMS? What is it going to do what others don't?

What does it matter ? If Sun wants to launch it, and it's under their not-so-opensource license, why not. It can't hurt. It doesn't cost us anything...

Wasn't that what OSS is all about ? Having the choice ?

Re:Uhm... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595552)

> Do we really, _really_ need another OS/Free RDBMS? What is it going to do what
> others don't?

Stored procedures & triggers?

Re:Uhm... (2, Informative)

ultranova (717540) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595664)

> Do we really, _really_ need another OS/Free RDBMS? What is it going to do what
> others don't?

Stored procedures & triggers?

Funny, I seem to recall using both on PostgreSQL [postgresql.org] , which I had compiled from the BSD-licensed source...

Perhaps you need to try a real OS/Free DBMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595673)

PostgreSQL is an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) based on POSTGRES, Version 4.2, developed at the University of California at Berkeley Computer Science Department. POSTGRES pioneered many concepts that only became available in some commercial database systems much later.

PostgreSQL is an open-source descendant of this original Berkeley code. It supports SQL92 and SQL99 and offers many modern features:

* complex queries
* foreign keys
* triggers
* views
* transactional integrity
* multiversion concurrency control

Additionally, PostgreSQL can be extended by the user in many ways, for example by adding new

* data types
* functions
* operators
* aggregate functions
* index methods
* procedural languages

And because of the liberal license, PostgreSQL can be used, modified, and distributed by everyone free of charge for any purpose, be it private, commercial, or academic.

No need. Just handy. (3, Insightful)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595576)

1) Another choice. Maybe a headache for developers who want to support them ALL, but possibly another choice for customers or those who want to support ONE database - Not sure why this one would be better, but why would it be worse? A different set of features may JUST fit your niche.
2) Competition against proprietary. More open source solutions, less proprietary solutions. Another backstab to MSSQL :)
3) Open source = box of ideas. Port whatever Sun database has cool in its code base to other free databases, make them better.
4) Easier portability to other databases for proprietary software. If something uses SunDB and nothing else, having SunDB source you can easily write glue to make that thing run i.e. on PostgreSQL
5) "Do we need"... and does SUN need another not-quite-competitive piece of proprietary software? What is better, dump it or release as Open Source?
6) Open Source replaces negative competition with cooperation. There probably will be quite a bit current Open Source database developers can learn from Sun developers - and vice versa. And since it's no longer a trade sectret, the exchange is possible. Help? Why not?
7) The Name. Having such a name as SUN behind this thing, customers who would otherwise never trust the "bunch of hippies" who write Free Software may adopt it. And then more of Open Source.
8) Is it worse than others? Who knows what will the benchmarks show...
9) Another move towards OS - another example, another encouragement for others to open up their proprietary products.
10) Don't look the gift horse in the mouth.

Re:No need. Just handy. (1)

r.jimenezz (737542) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595705)

3) Open source = box of ideas. Port whatever Sun database has cool in its code base to other free databases, make them better.

Unless of course it uses the same license they released OpenSolaris and related patents under recently.

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595577)

Well according to some [tweakers.net] we don't... LOL!!!

why not invest in existing open db? (1)

Dewin Cymraeg (607476) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595663)

I agree! If sun want to back an open source db, why not invest in Postgres?

Ahem (2, Insightful)

strider44 (650833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595500)

It's going to be released under CDDL if anything. This in itself denies its use by most of the open source world. *sigh* why does Sun have to keep on trying to destroy Linux and the GPL?

Re:Ahem (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595518)

Yes! Let's destroy Linux by contributing huge our resources to Gnome and OpenOffice.org!

Re:Ahem (1)

Oestergaard (3005) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595527)

Dude, they're not trying to destroy anything in particular.

You can buy a box that will run Red Hat from them if you want - if you don't like Solaris under the CDDL, just go ahead and run Red Hat, or run the good ole binary Solaris.

It's not like they're hurting anyone in any way other than offering a product under a given license. They are not taking anything *away* from others.

If you don't like it, don't use it.

Just like every other product out there, be it GPL'ed, BSD'ed or evil capitalist proprietary.

Re:Ahem (4, Insightful)

htd2 (854946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595567)

It's going to be released under CDDL if anything. This in itself denies its use by most of the open source world. *sigh* why does Sun have to keep on trying to destroy Linux and the GPL?

Sigh, Sun is the largest single commercial donator of source under GPL dwarfing IBM, SGI, HP and all the other commercial entities involved in GPL by a wide margin.

Just for laughs and to illustrate how risable your point is at the last count more of the Red Hat distribution had been donated by Sun than any other commercial entiry including Red Hat.

The more I read OpenSource (really Linux) advocates flaming Sun for some imagined misdemeanor or other the more I tend to conclude that Sun has been remarkably forbearing with the community as a whole and that if Sun have been a bit rude on occasions they have been rather less rude then the community right royally deserves.

Lets face it if you were to single out one major commercial player who has almost single handed made it possible for Linux ot exist its actually not IBM, SGI, HP but Sun. They were largely responsible for the creation of the commercial UNIX market, they were almost exclusively responsible for insisting on published standards, API's etc and they have made huge donations to the basic plumbing of Linux.

Sadly these hugely worthy but clearly boring activities are nothing compared to the IBM/HP/SGI eye candy which has little to do with fostering open standards and OpenSource and everything to do with moving tin, SW and services.

Sure they are abrasive but lets face it in the face of the abuse they have received I would be pissed as hell as well, talk about biting the hand that feeds.

Re:Ahem (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595707)

The more I read OpenSource (really Linux) advocates flaming Sun for some imagined misdemeanor or other the more I tend to conclude that Sun has been remarkably forbearing with the community as a whole and that if Sun have been a bit rude on occasions they have been rather less rude then the community right royally deserves.

Yeah, that was similar to my conclusions [slashdot.org]

Re:Ahem (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595791)


Is it Sun or Sun's geeks? Would they work for Sun, and would other technical companies work with Sun, if they didn't release free/open software?

Royally? Is it all at the forbearance of Scott McNeally, or is Scott McNeally at the forbearance of the skills, initiative and connections of people who work for Sun?

Is Sun's passive aggressive behavior, or other companies open pushing of free/open software better for the trend of free/open software?

Do people have free will and corporations are trying to ride that, or are we all pawns of corporations?

Note these are all (free/)open questions.

Re:Ahem (2, Insightful)

cyngus (753668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595994)

Is it Sun or Sun's geeks? Would they work for Sun, and would other technical companies work with Sun, if they didn't release free/open software?

Its both. I would work for Sun under almost any conditions they set forth as long as I was paid a decent salary. From what I hear and know of Sun culture, its awesome. A company really run by geeks, which hasn't belped them in the marketing department, but has allowed them to do so kickin' work.

Is Sun's passive aggressive behavior, or other companies open pushing of free/open software better for the trend of free/open software?

Perhaps Sun doesn't feel the need to toot its own horn. After all, if anyone is going to look behind marketing glitz to see what's really going on, you would think it would be geeks. Geeks, who tend to be a little more suspicious and prone to fears of conspiracy and manipulation than the general populace, but such things tend to happen with greater intelligence.

Do people have free will and corporations are trying to ride that, or are we all pawns of corporations?

What a ridiculous question. When I woke up this morning I was free to choose any number of things. You have the choice to do anything. If you've been brainwashed by commercials and media, you have no one to blame except yourself (principally) and perhaps your parents.

Re:Ahem (2, Insightful)

htd2 (854946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596006)

Is it Sun or Sun's geeks? Would they work for Sun, and would other technical companies work with Sun, if they didn't release free/open software?

Sun's founders most notably Bill Joy come from a precursor of OpenSource so you could say that it is ingrained in Sun's culture. But more important than that is Sun's core belief that industry should innovate around open standards. Few companies now would publically disagree with this stance but when Sun started expousing this doctrine it was universally ridiculed by the same companies HP, IBM etc that the OpenSource (really Linux) community hold up to Sun as exemplars of how to support OpenSource. All this does is make the Linux advocates propounding these propositions look ridiculous and ungratefull to Sun and for that matter to anyone with any grasp of computing history.

Royally? Is it all at the forbearance of Scott McNeally, or is Scott McNeally at the forbearance of the skills, initiative and connections of people who work for Sun?

I don't know the answer to that you would need to talk to someone who works for Sun. However Scott and Johnathan sign the checks and the fact that they keep signing the checks to support a huge range of OpenSource projects from OpenOffice to Apache tends to suggest that it is Scott and Johnathan who are being forebearing.

Is Sun's passive aggressive behavior, or other companies open pushing of free/open software better for the trend of free/open software?

Sun responds when its pushed and does so with vigour, the OpenSource (linux) community pushes a lot and gets back rather less than it deserves.

For some strange reason the OpenSource (linux) community is much more receptive to blandishments from IBM. As an example the current ludicrous discussion about the merits of IBM's 500 expiring some non SW patent "donation" to OpenSource vs Sun's donation of 1600 current patents but under a license that not everyone likes. IBM's donation would appear to be largely useless but has no strings attached, Sun's appears to be very usefull but has strings as usual the community has become obsessed with the strings.

In my opinion if the OpenSource community wants to have a better relationship with by far its largest commercial backer then its largely up to the OpenSource community. Less whinging, less focus on style and more focus on substance would go a long way.

Re:Ahem (1)

Too Much Noise (755847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596937)

IBM's donation would appear to be largely useless but has no strings attached, Sun's appears to be very usefull but has strings as usual the community has become obsessed with the strings.

You seem to disregard the fact that 1600 patents that you can't use due to strings attached are actually harmful (you need to avoid them, Sun explicitly said the license is GPL-incompatible on purpose) while 500 patents that you don't need to use are harmless. Besides, let's see how Sun clarifies the "we don't know yet whether we want to retain the rights to sue our developers for patent infringement over these" stance.

Compare the two offerings to MS's offering of licensing protocols to anyone ... who is willing to pay and sign the onerous non-disclosure license (yes, it's against F/OSS, sounds familiar?) And them saying that the protocols are "freely available" Strings attached are good now, eh?

If something is given freely, then it should have no limiting restrictions for use. Otherwise calling it "free" is just a PR stunt.

Re:Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595840)

..ahem.. you haven't talked to any Sun sales reps lately have you?

Re:Ahem (1, Insightful)

photon317 (208409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596102)


You're counting contributions by sun employees semi-officially and/or on their own time. Sun as a corporate entity isn't as giving to the GPL as you have portrayed them.

Re:Ahem (3, Insightful)

htd2 (854946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596309)

You're counting contributions by sun employees semi-officially and/or on their own time. Sun as a corporate entity isn't as giving to the GPL as you have portrayed them.

Really, so you have never heard of OpenOffice just the largest single donation of source under GPL (made by Sun) and Sun still continues to be by far in away the largest contributor with something like 100 full time staff.

Heard of gnome Sun is heavily involved in Gnome. They have made big donations to Apache, Mozilla and a whole range of other OpenSource projects.

Where do you think the NFS source code came from, PAM, XFN ext the list is pretty endless.

Perhaps Sun's problem is that they have given too much and given it in too wide a swathe of areas. Perhaps Sun should have concentrated on one narrow area like say donating a filesystem to run alongside all the other available filesystems with pretty much identical capabilites. Now who was that ??

Re:Ahem (1)

photon317 (208409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596991)


Quit being such a lopsided bigot.

NFS, PAM, XFN, etc that you list... the standard was set by Sun as an open standard, but the open source versions of them were reinvented on the outside, not donated by Sun.

Sun didn't invent Gnome, they adopted it as a commercial strategy. The primary gnome developers were not Sun employees, although I havent kept track if they have become so recently.

OpenOffice is definitely a huge chunk of GPL code, but they also didn't develop that. They purchased a dying company and opensourced the company's product. It was a cheap move aimed at poking holes in Microsoft's officeware dominance.

I know full well about Sun's positions on the matter. I've raised the merits of Open Source repeatedly to my Sun sales and technical representatives, who generally frown at me and hand me Sun company dogma about how they're going to crush linux into the ground, and that open source is just a phase.

Re:Ahem (1)

freemacmini (852263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596987)

"Just for laughs and to illustrate how risable your point "

risable? What does that mean?

Re:Ahem (4, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595573)

It's going to be released under CDDL if anything. This in itself denies its use by most of the open source world. *sigh* why does Sun have to keep on trying to destroy Linux and the GPL?

So you can't use CDDL code in Linux. So what? You can't use GPL code in FreeBSD. I don't hear the FreeBSD folks claiming that Linus is out to destroy FreeBSD.

And what's this about "denies its use by most of the open source world"? What FUD! You can use it all you damn well like. You just can't mingle it with GPL code and distribute the result.

You can, however, mingle CDDL code with BSD code and distribute the result.

Get some perspective. It's free. It's open source. Yes, the license is intentionally incompatible with the GPL. You'll get over it. You're no worse off than you were before.

Re:Ahem (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595721)

In Sourceforge, the GPL accounts for 41410 out of 62416 projects, which is approx 66.3% of all projects. The BSD license accounts for 4297 projects, which is about a tenth of what the GPL has. I'm saying that the source code is useless for most of the open source world. I don't really care whether it's "free" (as in beer) or not - my (admittedly short and vague) argument had nothing to do with that. I was talking about free as in speech.

If over two thirds of the projects in the largest repository of open source works can't use the source code, then usually (unless the reason is that it offers more freedoms, which the CDDL does not), I don't like the license.

Re:Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596077)

nice try at a comeback. too bad it sucked. mit and bsd licenses are more free than the gpl, which *makes* you follow the stupid rules of only working with other gpl software and forcing you to make available the source. what is free about a license that makes you do that? exactly, nothing. the free as in speech argument is a farce.

Re:Ahem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596095)

Your argument is flawed. First of all, most of the projects on SF are dead or never got off the ground. Yeah, they planned on using the GPL, but without any actively maintained codebase, I wouldn't really count them. Second, SF shouldn't be your source. Apache produces a lot of software that has a lot more market share than most of the stuff on SF, and it certainly doesn't use the GPL. Others come to mind as well . . . eclipse, subversion, openssh. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there aren't more GPL projects than there are BSD, but there are indeed a lot more things that need to be considered than a simple search on SF.

Re:Ahem (2, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595640)

Hey, there are loads of open source databases already. Why would this be any more of a threat than the others?

I also object to this FUD that Sun is out to destroy Linux. There is an amazing amount of badwill on Slashdot towards Sun.

Bruce Perens compared the new CDDL licence to Sun "holding a gun" to the heads of the Linux community and "asking them to be grateful for it". WTF? No one is forcing the Linux community to use this database or the patents previously discussed. It is Suns products, they can do what they want with them.

And we are totally free to ignore them if we want to.

Re:Ahem (2, Interesting)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595645)

What's it to you?
Keep using your GPL software.

It really goes on my nerves to see people claim that GPL is the only "free" license?
CDDL? Big deal - download the software and use it - you never have to pay a single cent to Sun.

The point here is that
a) As the fucking article said, Sun's fed up with giving Oracle 50% of every DB deal they close while Oracle constantly competes with their application server platform
and
b) Lack of their "own" database is deterimental to Sun's utility strategy (presumably even IBM can take their lame DB2 and make money by renting it to their utility or Websphere customers), while Sun is stuck with Oracle.
I think GPL databases like mySQL and PostgreSQL are too "Linux-biased" for Sun's liking, so they might be looking for a non-GPL open source DB with enterprise features.

Re:Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596453)

> I think GPL databases like mySQL and PostgreSQL are too "Linux-biased" for Sun's liking, so they
> might be looking for a non-GPL open source DB with enterprise features.

Except that PostgreSQL has never been, and never will be, GPL.

Oh really? Um, yay.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595502)

Another Open Source database already? How many do we need? MySQL, Postgres..didn't SAP release their DB engine under an OSS licence too? Given that Sun currently don't even offer their own closed database product, I can't imagine any OSS database offering from them is going to amount to much.

Re:Oh really? Um, yay.. (1)

kbahey (102895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596228)

Sun would not really add much value here.

Other vendors had their databases recently converted from closed model to open source. For example Computer Associates and Ingres, also IBM with Cloudscape (or whatever its name is now).

Sybase has offered their database (which was MS SQL Server way back when) for free too, though not open source.

So, why add one more thing to a saturated field?

As someone else said, why not take PostrgreSQL and pool resources around it?

How many do we need? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596362)

all of them.

MySQL, kinda like Access.

Postgres, quite nice, easyish to bolt extensions onto, could do with proper xpath queries, and better synchronisation not great for some workloads etc...

SAP, does it work as a good general database?

Then there are a few text DB engines that should be replaced with XML, Berkley DB that should just be replaced especially now there's SQLLite.

MySQL (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596438)

MySQL is already in Solaris 10.

_Curry_ flavored open source databases? (2, Funny)

Unique2 (325687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595505)

What with they think of next?

Re:_Curry_ flavored open source databases? (1)

Avishalom (648759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595539)

mod parent funny
certainely not redundant (of course it will be once the ditors fix the mistake)
"Sun Microsystems has raised the possibility that it might offer customers its own database, a move that could trigger displeasure at Oracle but curry favor with open-source advocates,"

Throw money into an existing oss database instead. (4, Insightful)

johnjaydk (584895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595510)

IMHO It's a bit stupid if Sun looks into getting their hands on an existing database in order to open-source it afterwards.

Their resources would be better spent on improving an existing open-source db. My personal favorit is Postgresql but hey, it's their money.

Re:Throw money into an existing oss database inste (1)

iwadasn (742362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595535)


Depends on how good the database is. If they bought one of the real contenders (I guess Sybase is the last one that might be buyable.....), then it could be quite worth it.

Though I agree that the OS DB world has become too balkanized. There is really only need for a few of the OSS databases. I would say that HSQL, Derby, Postgres, and Firebird would pretty much cover the spectrum.

Re:Throw money into an existing oss database inste (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595647)

Now that someone (finally!) mentions Firebird, what if they "properly" buy out Interbase? IB7 has some really nice features added since the fork. I wonder where the fork could be re-merged with lots of the good things that the FB community done. FB is the clear winner IMO for most of small-to-medium complexity projects except for some "idioms", like case-sensitivity rules and generators.

think openoffice (1)

io-waiter (745875) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595586)

My guess is that sun will buy a DB vendor and offer the db as OSS under their opensource license and a supported binary version, just as they do with openoffice and will do with solaris. I wonder what DB it will be. The crucial part here is that they want more controll than they would get if the just poured money into any OSS project that IBM and HP then get for free, IBM on the other hand has much more weight than sun and can buy PR points by offering resources "directly" to the OSS community. Looks like an emerging strategy here, one binary supported version one OSS free unsupported version with code moving in both directions.

Re:Throw money into an existing oss database inste (1)

htd2 (854946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595602)

IMHO It's a bit stupid if Sun looks into getting their hands on an existing database in order to open-source it afterwards.

Its a good thing that they ignored your advice or similar when Sun bought StarDivision otherwise OpenOffice would not exist now would it Sun did buy a DBMS sometime ago when they bought Clustra which is currently used as part of their J2EE app server.

Re:Throw money into an existing oss database inste (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596327)

Well, given that OpenOffice is a giant piece of shit I would say that it is a bad thing that they didn't retroactively listen ot the original poster. OpenOffice is slow and ugly, and all of the money wasted on its development could have gone into work on KOffice or AbiWord/Gnumeric.

Build or Buy ? (5, Interesting)

supersnail (106701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595530)

Given that a reasonably useful database system would be several hundred thousand lines of code, and, that Oracle & IBM have a 25 year head start not to mention MicroSofts 10 year head start. I don't think it would make sense for SUN to roll thier own database software.

So the question is who are they gonna buy? IBM has already snapped up Informix. CA has "given" Ingres to the Open Source community. SAP has donated SAP/DB to MySql. MicroSoft is unlikely to sell Access or SQLServer. Which leaves -- Sybase?

Could be intersting.

That question is what the entire article is about (1)

anno1602 (320047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595553)

That question is what the entire article is about. I mean, at least skim TFA before talking out of your ass. And no, I'm not new here.

Re:Build or Buy ? (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595614)

Or they could simply fork an open-source database such as PostgreSQL.

Re:Build or Buy ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596898)

Sybase was a potential Sun takeover target about five years ago, when I was still talking to folks from both firms. Basically, Sun was losing market share on Wall Street, and Sybase was losing market share everywhere *but* Wall Street, so there was some very loose discussion about taking over Sybase. I doubt very much it ever got past the speculation phase, but there's you unsubstantiated rumor for the week.

I doubt they can unseat MySQL... (3, Interesting)

ShinSugoi (783392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595532)

... as the preferred choice for small-to-mid sized DB projects. I'm sure Sun is aware of this, so this "SunDB" is probably not something you're going to run for a typical website.

This begs the question; exactly what role would high-end Open Source DB software be able to fill today? Oracle is well entrenched with both DBAs and businesses -- Unless there are serious flaws in it that I am unaware of, I don't see the SunDB going very far.

Re:I doubt they can unseat MySQL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595543)

You mean it raises the question.

Hope that helps, have a nice day.

Re:I doubt they can unseat MySQL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595666)

Shut up. "begs the question" can be used the wya the grandfather post did.

Evenr time I see one of your smug comments I intentionally use that expression several times, not because I need it, but just to annoy you.

Re:I doubt they can unseat MySQL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595687)

Replying to my own post. You can see how upset I was by the number of typos I made.

Now, time to realise that the language evolves and new expressions appear. You don't see me pointing out that "gay" means happy, and has nothing to do with homosexuals.

No it can't. (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595741)

The phrase "beg the questioN" comes from the world of logic and debate - specifically, the public debates in Athens. In said debates, one could ask one's opponent to agree on certain starting principles, then one was supposed to argue from those agreed principles to one's position.

To "beg the question" was to ask your opponent to concede the principle under debate in disguise. So, as a gross example, if the topic of the debate was the existence of God, and I asked you to acknowledge that there is, of necessity, an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent personal being, I would be asking you to concede the debate at the outset. It's bad form.

Re:No it can't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595977)

And the word "gay" originally meant "happy". Just like the expression "beg the question", it too has changed meaning.

Re:No it can't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596349)

What you meant to say was that you are ignorant of its meaning.

Re:No it can't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596481)

Begging the question isn't always bad. For instance if the conclusion is logically equivalent to the premise, then it is logically valid.

Also just because a person says they are begging the question doesn't mean they are. This person wasn't. You can remove that statement from the argument and there is no meaningful difference.

Re:I doubt they can unseat MySQL... (2, Informative)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595708)

Well, considering the fact that mysql is the windows of the database world (crappy product, people use it despite its crappiness) it's going to be hard for any product to unseat it.

Re:I doubt they can unseat MySQL... (1)

gswallow (115437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596616)

How can this be modded "Informative"? It's purely opinion.

Re:I doubt they can unseat MySQL... (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596726)

Solaris 10 comes with MySQL.

Say Ingres (4, Interesting)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595570)

My guess is it's going to be CA's Ingres.

a) It is Open source
b) CA is a non-competitor (no application server)
c) CA has been harmonizing their open source license with Sun's (I wonder why?)
d) CA hopes to make some buck from Ingress and even if they split it even, they're going to make a shitload more than by cooperating with Oracle.
e) Ingres has parallel features like Oracle RAC so it's more suitable for Sun's vision and for enterprise customers than PostgreSQL or other open source databases.
f) Oracle is competing with Sun (Oracle's application servers compete with Sun's J2EE servers/apps); there's no reason for Sun to help Oracle.

I'd really really enjoy see Oracle on their own. I've really had enough of their sales people...

The time for them to pause and think real hard how they're going to compete in the future.
Did they really think their competitors were going to stand idly and watch them take all the money (Oracle + Linux).... Hahahaha....

Re:Say Ingres (2, Informative)

freemacmini (852263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596925)

YOu forgot the most important reason.

Ingres is the only "enterprise" open source DB that can scale to lots of processors.

Obviously sun will want to go with something that will run well on their high end hardware.

It will be interesting to see sun try and sell ingres though. CA couldn't really sell it to any new customers and sun isn't known for their marketing savvy.

Linux the greatest threat to Sun? (3, Insightful)

Secrity (742221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595575)

It seems that Sun has decided that Linux is more of a threat to it than MS. Sun has competition in the server market from three places; other Sys 5 distributors, Windows, and Linux. Sun seems to have made it's peace with MS by entering settlements with them. The other major Sys 5 distributors are either moving to Linux, moving to Windows, or are suing their customers. This leaves Linux with it's GNU license as Sun's major threat. It is only logical that Sun use it's resources against it major threat, which is now Linux and the GPL. I wonder how long Sun will still support Open Office. I wonder how long Sun will still distribute GNU licensed software with Solaris.

Re:Linux the greatest threat to Sun? WHAT?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595668)

is this astroturfing or ignorance?

arguably, sun has contributed more lines of open source code than any other corporation. The GPL is not a threat to Sun. Cheap hardware running a free OS may hurt their bottom line slightly, but GPL'd software surely is OK with them.

considering that Sun is responsible for openoffice, i would guess they plan to support its use for a long time to come. Did you ever even bother to look at the splash screen on OOo when it starts up? (check out that sun logo)

Re:Linux the greatest threat to Sun? (1)

cpuh0g (839926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595694)

Why is it that some people automatically reduce every posting about Sun down to "Linux is a huge threat to Sun, Sun hates the Open Source community, blah blah, blah" ?

What a bunch of crap.

Sun will be supporting Open Office for a L-O-N-G time, its the only realistic alternative to Office in the Unix/Linux market, how would Sun benefit by abandoning OpenOffice?

Have you ever even used Solaris? Lately? Solaris is full of GNU software, there are entire CDs full of GNU packages distributed as part of Solaris 9 and Solaris 10. Huge chunks of GNU and Open Source code has been integrated into Solaris in the past few years. Why would they just abandon this - what would the benefit be to Sun?

You have to evaluate Sun's intentions from a business perspective. It makes no sense for Sun to abandon GNU or any other sort of Open Source code - its free, its popular, and people seem to want to use it.

It would, however, be bad business move to abandon Solaris. Solaris is a rock-solid, very mature, and a very strong competitor in the Unix/Linux market. For companies running big-iron SPARC boxes for scalability and hardware robustness, there is no alternative. Even on intel and AMD hardware, it is a very strong competitor with the introduction of Solaris 10.

Re:Linux the greatest threat to Sun? (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595960)

I have been a Solaris Sys Admin for several years and I run several "big iron" Sun HA clusters. Several of the servers I maintain have Sun Platinum service contracts and all of the others have gold service contracts. I know about the GNU software CDs for Solaris 8, 9, and 10. A Sun person hand me boxed Solaris distribution sets, which include GNU licensed software, whenever a new release of Solaris comes out. I said nothing about Sun abandoning Solaris, I like Solaris (and it pays my salary). When I said that other Sys V distributors are abandoning Sys V -- I was referring mostly to HP and IBM, it is SCO that is suing it's Sys V customers. That said, Linux is becoming a serious threat to Solaris, especially on the low end. IBM has not ported some of it's application software to Solaris 10, which could be a problem for Sun.

Re:Linux the greatest threat to Sun? (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596990)

IBM has not ported some of it's application software to Solaris 10, which could be a problem for Sun.

Solaris garantees backwards binaray compatability. You can run all your old Solaris x86 32-bit binaries unchanged and with better performance on a nice shiny new Opteron or Athlon 64 with 64-bit Solaris 10. This move by IBM is not a threat to Sun. It just shows that IBM is running scared from Solaris 10.

Solaris 10 is set to take a lot of customers away from IBM. IBM is very afraid.

Re:Linux the greatest threat to Sun? (3, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595750)

Insightful?

Fud fud and more goddamn fud more like it. "Sun has decided that Linux is a threat" "Sun are in bed with MS". You mean the settlement patent that Gosling recently said "means less and less to us".

Sun gave us Open Office, and a damn lot of support for free, as well as a shitload of other things, and now you are "wondering" (a sneakier more underhanded way of accusing them) if they are going to stop. Well, if that is the gratitude they get, don't be surprised if they do.

I wonder how long Sun will still distribute GNU licensed software with Solaris.

And what does this have to do with anything? They have no reason to remove it, and if they did this would only be an inconvenience to Solaris users. It would do nothing to hurt GNU/GPL/Linux or whatever.

It is only logical that Sun use it's resources against it major threat, which is now Linux and the GPL.

Just more unusbstantiated accusations.

Damn... (1)

No. 24601 (657888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595599)

BerkeleyDB has got to stop letting licensees change the name of the source product!

Move along people, no competition here for Oracle or DB2.

Clustra anyone? (4, Interesting)

rleyton (14248) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595619)

Some three years ago, folk might recall Sun picked up a superb little database outfit by the name of Clustra [theregister.co.uk] . They buried it in iPlanet.

Used it a lot myself [leyton.org] , and felt that - like many other companies Sun have bought - the pointy haired bosses there just didn't realise what they'd acquired.

Maybe a much-needed clue has finally hit home at Sun, and they're going to give Clustra the lease of life it sorely needs and deserves.

Re:Clustra anyone? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596299)

That might be the case - Sun certainly has the appropriate competence available. Clustra, which was located in Norway and recruited most of its engineers from the local university's database systems group, still has about 40 engineers working on database products at the same offices as before, although now under the Sun Microsystems name.

No matter what DB it is, Sun needs its "stack" (3, Interesting)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595641)

Sun's been touting selling an "application stack" for at least 6 years now. They've been pushing it with Veritas and Oracle as underpinnings for quite a while, but with Solaris 10's ZFS, they can push out the need for Veritas Filesystem and Volume Manager, and this can be a step to push out Oracle.

With MySQL being dual-licensed, and questionable for Enterprise-level DB use, it's not really an option to sell incorporated into the stack. PostgreSQL would be an option, since they could fork it (and the PostgreSQL team not having heard anything is irrelevant to an extent, since it's BSD-licensed). I think we can sit back and see what happens pretty safely. They're certainly not going to make things incompatible with Oracle for a back-end, but I'm sure they'd like to offer a cheap solution since they're obviously trying to lower-cost solutions in order to stay alive.

What's the status of compatibility with native Java bits with Ingres? Oracle has obviously bitten on the Java-compatibility of everything, but I think that anything Sun would want to do DB-wise would keep Java squarely in the mix.

focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595656)

Shouldnt sun be focusing more on improving thier products and really innovating more than investing more money in more technologies. By default I would expect that it may result in only a mediocre product rather than having fewer areas/products but a better quality and more innovative products.

For the love of Pete... (-1, Troll)

hardgeus (6813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595671)

OK, you have to forgive me. It is Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, and I am drunk and typing on Slashdot.

But for Shiva's sake man! Sun is an evil company. All us Slashdot kids have watched this writhing beast spew out whatever cool word it can in its death throes.

Maybe we'll Open Source Solaris. Maybe we'll do this or that. Maybe we'll do something cool and our efforts will finally make your webcam work with Yahoo under Linux. Maybe.

Buy our servers.

Fuck Sun. They aren't our friend and you know it. And their little weekly press releases made to satiate the masturbating Slashdot masses mean two (2) things. Jack and Shit.

Fuck Sun. I am tired of reading their bullshit. I am tired of reading 20 pages of banter that completely contradicts what old MC Nealy swore was the company "vision" last month. Sick of it. Were it not for lock-in, those bastards would have dried up and died 5 years ago.

I would continue, but my drunk girlfriend is yelling at me for typing at 7:39 in the morning.

"What in the fuck are you typing?" she shouted at me.

"I am writing on Slashdot, it's like the #1 site in the world for Linux dudes. I'm totally drunk typing and bitching about how much I hate Sun and it's pretty funny. And I'm going to promote my site and make my company's bandwidth get farked."

http://www.hardgeus.com

Re:For the love of Pete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595809)

Wow, slightly more rational and coherent than most anti-Sun rants on Slashdot. You are still a jackass though. And no, I won't forgive you.

Re:For the love of Pete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596282)

OK, you have to forgive me. It is Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, and I am drunk and typing on Slashdot.

You know you're a loser when...

Re:For the love of Pete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596420)

I'm tired of reading your bullshit as well.

Assuming too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595681)

Who said "database server"? Sun could be talking about the Adabas desktop database already used in StarOffice.

Or they could be talking about opening up their LDAP server (LDAP servers are specialised flat-file databases, and I doubt McNealy knows the difference).

If they are attacking MySQL head-on, I am happy. Because MySQL is NOT true Open Source when you want to use it for anything other than non-commercial use - you have to pay commercial licences to use it, which many people choose to ignore and infringe the licencing instead - and it is unstable and performs badly under real-world loads (e.g. lots of concurrent access).

financial analysits (1)

iamthemoog (410374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595716)

...during a meeting with financial analysts...

Might this mean their database will have time-series functionality, a la FAME [sungard.com] ?... or was McNealy just blathering to anyone who'd listen...

Could be a move to out-do Oracle (1)

bbrack (842686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595836)

With the announcement made (last year I think) that oracle would charge for each processor in a multi-core processor, combined with Sun's push towards CMP, Sun could be trying to make their servers more attractive towards potential DB owners...

So it's MySQL then. (0, Troll)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595866)


I bet Sun just bought a MySQL license.

Another "Open" DBS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11595926)

Why would we bother dealing with all the rigamarole of Sun's concept of "open" softwhere when there are so many more superior products that actually are open (see also: free as in beer, speech, *)? I don't know about the rest of you, but I, personally, am getting tired of Sun's attempt to ride the "we opened our prioprietary standards" bandwagon. It's gotten old, and I think only the slashdot editors are still fooled.

This karma whoring disgusts me (1)

jmkrtyuio (560488) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595981)

This play for suspensefull anticipiation is becoming increasingly aggravating and annoyingly predictable.

Only a SUN junkie could possibly sit through any more of this crap.

They are like a circus magician...always trying to tease you about whats coming next, never up front how they do their tricks and predictably unpredictable.

While this makes for good entertainment, its impossible to believe a thing they say and all the furor they keep trying to provoke is getting old really fast. All these antics of theirs are really lame and annoying.

Contrast IBM and SUN.

IBM: Here are 500 patents and their terms.

SUN: Day 1: There will be something, maybe Patents
SUN: Day 2: 1500 Patents!
SUN: Day 3: For Open Source
SUN: Day 4: Only Our Open Source
SUN: Day 5: We are still thinking of terms.
SUN: Day 6: Real Soon Now

Who respects whom?

SUN is the ultimate karma whore.

JUST ONCE I would like to see SUN make an announcement that requires no follow up. None of this "stay tuned business". Enough is Enough. All sun stories now get blacklisted.

So SUN, to you I say: SHUT UP and Deliver. Yes that means you too Mr. Ponytail Schwartz.

Do they think we are retarded and statements of "Shiny Object....Shiny Object" will keep our attention forever?

Are there any normal people at SUN who are not mortified anytime their Fearless Leaders play their stupid games?

Re:This karma whoring disgusts me (2, Funny)

Biolo (25082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596343)

I used to work at Sun, and yes most of the tech guys there do get really annoyed at some of the BS that comes out from the top guys. That was certainly the #2 reason I left the company, I'd lost respect for them. Reason #1 was money. The whole Microsoft sellout was the straw that did it for me.

Re:This karma whoring disgusts me (1)

htd2 (854946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596421)

IBM: Here are 500 patents and their terms SUN: Day 1: There will be something, maybe Patents SUN: Day 2: 1500 Patents! SUN: Day 3: For Open Source SUN: Day 4: Only Our Open Source SUN: Day 5: We are still thinking of terms. SUN: Day 6: Real Soon Now

Day 7: IBM sorry we forgot to tell you but those 500 patents we gave you they were all expiring.
Day 8: IBM and some of them arn't applicable to software (but 500 is a nice round number).
Day 9: IBM but they are compatible with GPL.
So who is the idiot ??????

Must be quite the secret (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11595992)

If Sun is doing a database, somebody better tell Tim Bray [tbray.org] :

Other Questions [from the Sun Analyst Summit] There were lots of questions, most of them good; here are the ones that stuck in my memory...

Why Doesn't Sun Do a Database? Well, it would be nice to have one, but does the world need another?

So, is McNealy just being coy, or is Bray terminally out of the loop?

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596010)

Sun is saying "Here, look at me... I'm over here... I'm still relevent... HEY!" Next they may make silly statements. Sort of like the class clown in search of attention.

Hasbeen... The SUN is setting. The company is headed for very rough waters soon. IBM should buy openoffice from them, maybe java and let Sun set.

Cloudscape (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596026)

Isn't this just Sun's answer to CloudScape?

Monkey see, monkey do?

What class of db? (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596040)

I wonder what class of DB will be released by sun. On the lowest end, something like minisql, sqlite, sleepycat, middle level mysql, higher level postgresql, ingres, sybase, or highest level, oracle.

Theyre not competing with oracle if the database is for webservers, or to keep email aliases for sendmail.

bad for Open Source (3, Interesting)

FSK (123170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596105)

IBM kicked Sun in head by dropping support for DB2 on Solaris so maybe McNealy wants to find out what it feels like when Oracle kicks them in the stomach as well.
Very few people in the enterprise world trust MySQL or PostgreSQL for anything other then web apps so this isn't going to win Sun any new business.

Oracle is an amazingly vindictive company, they will put the screws to Sun if they feel even slightly threatened. This is bad for Open Source because it just gives IT managers one more reason to replace Unix based systems with WinNT. Convincing your boss to move from Unix based commercial OS to Linux or BSD is a lot easier then trying to get Linux or BSD into a Windows shop. So in the end this will be bad for Open Source.

Makes sense - here's why. (3, Interesting)

t482 (193197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596254)

Actually I forecasted this [xminc.com] on my weblog last week.

Here is why: Oracle is now officially pushing linux on its customer base (they are slowing moving Oracle Hosting Services (OHS) over to a Linux based service. IBM is removing support for Solaris (Domino, Websphere, DB2). And Checkpoint is pushing Linux appliance servers. And so Sun is seeing an assult from all quarters.

In fact most people buy Oracle per CPU (typically $50K per CPU). Those running a machine with AMD Opterons running 64 bit Suse Linux and Oracle can expect to see a 4x improvement in performance per dollar of Oracle licensing fees. PowerPC also outperform Sun machines - and so many Banks are switching to AIX to reduce Oracle licensing fees.

What does that leave for Sun? To move up the value chain and start selling a system with a database integrated right into the OS. Sun will want a database that they can control though - so I bet the relationship with CA Ingris will sour (joint ventures almost never work) and they will switch to supporting Postgresql or another database they can dominate and buy up most of the developers.

This makes NO sense! (1)

Glomek (853289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596306)

Why does Sun keep releasing things the community does not need (another Open Source operating system, another Open Source database) instead of releasing what the community has been BEGGING for, namely an Open Source Java?

Don't bother (1)

dan14807 (162088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596467)

If they can release something that's better than postgresql, then yay. Otherwise, they shouldn't bother. Simple as that.

currying favors (0, Flamebait)

jeif1k (809151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596571)

Sun could "curry favors" with the FOSS community if they followed through on their committment made 10 years ago to turn Java over to a standards process. They would also curry favors if they just kicked out Schwartz, who has been behaving like a jerk towards FOSS.

Yet another database won't make any any difference in their reputation. If anything, it's just a sign that Sun doesn't play well withothers--they could just use PostgreSQL.

This Is Only Relevant (2, Interesting)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11596789)

if Sun provides a decent competitor to Access on the desktop - one that's better and better supported by them than the new database being introduced with OpenOffice 2.

Sun is in no position to beat Oracle, MS SQL Server, Sybase, or (in the OSS community) MySQL, FireBird, and PostgreSQL with something new in that space. No community for one thing, no rep for another.

If it's just a "warm fuzzy" for their locked-in customers nervous about open-sourcing Solaris, then it's irrelevant to the rest of us.

Does DB stand for something else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11596879)

DB doesn't necessarily mean database; it could mean debugger or something else entirely...
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