Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IBM Invests In MySQL/Oracle Competitor

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the here-store-this dept.

IBM 204

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

cancel ×

204 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

geeks want to do it right (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866138)

Question: how do you properly pronounce "PostgreSQL"?

Re:geeks want to do it right (5, Informative)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866188)

http://www.postgresql.org/docs/faqs.FAQ.html#item1.1 [postgresql.org]

PostgreSQL is pronounced Post-Gres-Q-L. (For those curious about how to say "PostgreSQL", an audio file is available.)

Re:geeks want to do it right (1)

hunteke (1172571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866338)

Or, the rest of us lazy folks just say Postgres (POST-grez)

Re:geeks want to do it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866638)

Yea whats with the whole "I'm open source so I've gotta have a difficult to pronounce name" thing?...Linux, PostgreSQL. At least XP is straightforward to say.

Re:geeks want to do it right (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866720)

Yes, because Linux is so very hard to say. Same number of syllables as XP, and it sounds just like it reads.

Re:geeks want to do it right (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866944)

Actually its in the pronunciation, Linux is Li-nux...not "Line-ux" or "Line-ex" as I've heard people say. Its because Linus was Finnish that the pronunciation came naturally to him, Finns speak with a somewhat clipped speech. Americans tend Drawl and drag more, making it unnatural for them.

Come on, -1, Uninformative (0, Offtopic)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867488)

Actually its in the pronunciation, Linux is Li-nux...not "Line-ux" or "Line-ex" as I've heard people say. Its because Linus was Finnish that the pronunciation came naturally to him, Finns speak with a somewhat clipped speech. Americans tend Drawl and drag more, making it unnatural for them.
Linus is pronounced Lee - noos
Linux is pronounced Lee - nooks

Re:Come on, -1, Uninformative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22867756)

Hello, my name is Linus Torvalds, and I pronounce Linux as cha-ching! cha-ching! woo-woo! woo-woo!

Re:Come on, -1, Uninformative (0, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867768)

Linus sounds like "penis".

Linux sounds like "kleenex".

Re:geeks want to do it right (0, Flamebait)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867866)

Hello I am Linux Tarballs and I pronounce XP as "ghey".

di bi tu (5, Funny)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866564)

I asked my local IBM sales representive since they now sell PostgreSQL, and he gave the pronunciation in the subject line.

Re:di bi tu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866584)

preemptive whoosh.. that's the sound of your joke not being noticed :(

pity..

EnterpriseDB also has Cloud Database service (3, Informative)

1sockchuck (826398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866158)

Interesting. EnterpriseDB was also in the news today for its partnership with Elastra [datacenterknowledge.com] , a startup that announced a "cloud server" that lets companies quickly create database applications on Amazon's utility computing platform. "In the future, enterprises will view massive capital investment in on-premise server infrastructure to support database applications as entirely optional," said Bob Zurek, chief technology officer of EnterpriseDB, which uses Elastra to run its EnterpriseDB Cloud Edition. Maybe all that IBM money has their head in the clouds.

Re:EnterpriseDB also has Cloud Database service (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866360)

Yeah, if I'm the owner of a company and not just some "Slash and Burn" CEO, I wouldn't want to have my core assets hostage to some third party _company_.

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

Whereas if that trusted person works for you and the assets are in your company, it's a bit easier eh?

Re:EnterpriseDB also has Cloud Database service (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866666)

I don't know, isn't that the whole premise of Akamai? They are a third party company who host a lot of major companies, and they seem to be reliable. I think the key issue here is *trust*. In either case you need to find an entity you trust, whether it is a person or a company. Arguably a company is better than a single person, since a truck factor of one is never a good thing.

Re:EnterpriseDB also has Cloud Database service (2, Informative)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866748)

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

Having your data on Amazon's servers is more like having your email in a Gmail account. The best you can do is frequently back it up so you have a local copy, but since it's the live data you're always going to be slightly behind, and if the company hosting it decides to deny you access to it for some reason (legal, technical, bullying, incompetence) you're pretty much screwed until you can get the courts to force them to give you access to your data.

Another difference is that Akamai are caching data which is intended to be public (or at least semi-public), which may not be the case with a hosted database app. If you've got private data you won't be putting it on your website for Akamai to cache in the first place, and if you have a secure "members only" area there's a good chance that content will only be on your own servers, and not served by Akamai. But if all of your data (both public and private) is on someone else's servers, then you're trusting them to a) keep it secure and b) respect your privacy.

Re:EnterpriseDB also has Cloud Database service (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867634)

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

The only difference in this case is what data is being stored.

Re:EnterpriseDB also has Cloud Database service (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867154)

Banks are a better counter example to my OP. Companies have to trust banks with their cash and financial transactions.

So yeah I'm wrong.

Re:EnterpriseDB also has Cloud Database service (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867338)

I don't think it is company vs. individual, it is main focus vs peripheral interest. If looking after your data is either the person's or the company's priimary task, you are much more likely to get good, focussed service from that individual. If your data is only one of 47 differnt things the company, or the indiividual, does, and is not regarded as the main one, then inevitably you will get poor service, and may be dropped or otherwise inconvenienced when they regard other aspects of their business as more important.

Obviously, if you employ someone, it is easy to tell them that their primary job, on which their salary depends, is storing and searching your data. But you can say the same about a company whose sole focus is managing other people's data: if they screw you around, you can werck them by telling the truth about their service. That would not be true if your data were stores by some giant such as Google or Amazon whose main business is elsewhere.

A small, hightly specialised, company is likely to perform as well as, or better than, your single employee, but with a higher truck number. But keep an eye on their financials - if they go bust you could be truly screwed. It is in your interest for them to be profitable. And what you do when tney get takenover by Google, I don't know. But what you do when your one in-hous expert leaves is no easier.

Re:EnterpriseDB also has Cloud Database service (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867340)

Yeah, if I'm the owner of a company and not just some "Slash and Burn" CEO, I wouldn't want to have my core assets hostage to some third party _company_."

Ya mean like with DNS?

MySQL databae supremacy (4, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866198)

Now there's an oxymoron!

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

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

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (3, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866228)

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

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (1)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866262)

I think part of the reason for MySQL being so prevalent is the fact that it is probably the easiest backend database you can use for a web app. I've seen quite a few that have started life with MySQl and added in additional database support as the application has grown and matured.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (4, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866434)

2002 called. It wants its MySQList retort back.

MySQL is no longer easier to use than PostgreSQL. PG is now availabe for Windows with a nice packaged msi installer. It is as easy or easier to install under Linux/BSD/other POSIX, and is (if you assume the same level of experience with both system) far easier to administer.

Not only that, MySQL's community consists of many newbies, which makes getting help on complex issues difficult. PG on the other hand has a vibrant community consisting of highly skilled DBAs and the PG core developers themselves. I've often had help from the PG core dev team members. Finding similarly skilled MySQL help is like trying to find Dodos in Manhattan.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (2, Interesting)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866632)

That may well be true now, because the last time I tried using PostgreSQL was nearly two years ago and it was a configuration nightmare that was poorly documented for windows. But if PostgreSQL is so much easier to use now than MySQL, why is MySQL still that default database for hosted websites, and why do most open source web applications that I've looked at recommend a LAMP/WAMP stack?

Incidentally, you do know that Slashdot runs on MySQL don't you?

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (1)

Zarluk (976365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867384)

If the purpose of the database is mainly for to answer some queries (i.e., mainly reads) and you are not using transactions, MySQL might be the right answer, as long as you don't need to use more sofisticated stuff, like triggers or transactions.

In theese cases, MySQL tend to give the user faster response times then PostgreSQL but, again, if you use PostgreSQL you are probrably also taking advantage of PostgreSQL more sofisticated fetures.

Once most websites just use a database to store data that is seldon updated, it's natural that most websites continue to use MySQL.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (4, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867592)

why is MySQL still that default database for hosted websites, and why do most open source web applications that I've looked at recommend a LAMP/WAMP stack?

Inertia.

Incidentally, you do know that Slashdot runs on MySQL don't you?

Yes, which is why they need to do such a large number of crazy voodoo tricks to scale.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (3, Interesting)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868028)

As the other poster said, inertia.

I run a few mysql servers in addition to postgresql and mssql servers. I LOATHE mysql. Yet I use it in a few cases. Why? Because there are a few applications I need to run which were unwisely written to only support mysql. If postgresql or any other database support is ever added to them (or I ever find the extra time to add it myself) I'll switch in a heartbeat. But for now, since I need to run those applications, I am stuck using mysql.

So don't think every mysql server running out there is running it because the admin thinks it's the best or even just-as-good of a database. (It isn't)

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (2, Informative)

asc99c (938635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868044)

MySQL is a database that is very well suited to running a web application. That's why. Many web apps are generally going to have many more reads than writes. Additionally, the writes tend to be pretty simple and not require complex locking mechanisms.

E.g. my photos website uses gallery2 which works easiest on the LAMP stack. The main database queries are simple - what albums are there, does the user have permission to see them, what photos are in this album etc. The updates are similarly easy - add a new album, add a new photo, add a new user. For this, MySQL is perfect, simple and fast.

However once you start writing more complex systems with tougher constraints things become a lot harder. Typically, you have a record in a state that needs notifying to another system. You need to read that record, send a message to the other system and then modify that record to say the message is sent and the other system then has control over it. For this you need the various locking mechanisms and guarantees from the database or the two systems get out of line. MySQL just isn't the database to use for that sort of application.

PostgreSQL ROCKS (4, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866728)

As the CTO of a rapidly growing, million-dollar company that provides ASP-model information management software, I can attest that PostgreSQL is just... awesome.

It quickly and easily scales into the hundreds of millions of records with good support on commodity hardware and incredible reliability. It provides excellent data-integrity checks - it's like programming with a safety net built in! Its license is open to commercial development, the support is great, and rarely needed. We rely HEAVILY on foreign keys, constraints, and the like to ensure clean data, with a schema now at almost 200 tables, fully normalized. PostgreSQL handles 12-table joins with flair. Bonus - its syntax is highly compatible with ANSI SQL, meaning that porting a project developed on PG will easily port to Oracle or DB2, even when you use a rich database schema!

Could it be better? Yeah - replication options are weak, especially in our environment, where we have a database schema that changes daily. But even in this case, this is mitigated by hourly database snapshots created a la cron - the performance hit is minor, and the recovery time in the (very rare) event of a failure is quick. And as a former sysad, I can attest to the number of times MySQL replication got it all wrong and had to be rebuilt from scratch.

Really, I just don't understand why MySQL still gets all the press - in nearly every metric that matters, PostgreSQL wins hands-down.

Re:PostgreSQL ROCKS (4, Interesting)

sirket (60694) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866744)

I love postgres- use it to handle millions of queries per day- but let's not kid ourselves: postgres replication in the form of slony blows. I have a master DB and it plublishes to a dozen read only databases. Managing that with slony just plain sucks. The simple fact is that setting up replication with mysql is dirt simple and that's part of why people use it.

I'm thinking of giving EnterpriseDB and their custom replication engine a try.

-sirket

PostgreSQL runs factories (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866886)

MySQL runs web sites.

Almost literally. I know of at least one large multi billion dollar semiconductor manufacturer which basically runs it's fabs on postgresql.

 

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (4, Interesting)

Daimaou (97573) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866346)

I completely agree. PostgreSQL used to be a bit slow, but for the last few years, there just isn't a reason to choose MySQL over PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL's license is certainly better and all the great features and SQL standards compliance makes it a no brainer, I think.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (-1, Troll)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866490)

I refuse to use PostresSQL because its license is less free. If someone made a GPL fork of PostgresSQL I would then consider it.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866544)

your a dud.

http://www.postgresql.org/about/licence [postgresql.org] it uses the fucking BSD license, it doesn't get anymore free.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866854)

Good luck using MySQL for your next commercial product. If you run into problems there, perhaps Oracle or MS's SQL server will suit your needs better.

If you want truly free, you might as well go with SQLite. Sure, it'll be a little slower, but nothing's more free than public domain.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (3, Interesting)

Niten (201835) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867260)

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

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

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

Commercial open source software (2, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866420)

That's not really open source.
It is open source, according to the people who invented the term.

Open Source would never make you pay server licensing fees for use in commercial software, it would only make you distribute your source at worst.
MySQL doesn't make you pay a license fee in commercial software, if you distribute your software under an open source (as defined by the people who invented the term) license. Like, e.g., Sun does with their very commercial MySQL product.

Oh, I agree. (0, Flamebait)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866454)

MySQL is not a serious competitor any more in the FLOSS world. It has lost the edge on speed, lacks features, and the licensing issue is getting to be a pain. Although old, Community Edition Ingres compares remarkably well on speed and features, and the license is GPL, lining us up for another superb BSD-vs-GPL showdown. The main drawback with Ingres is that distros don't provide it as an option, otherwise we'd be watching the battle of the goliaths by now.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (2, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866472)

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

This is a blatant distortion bordering on an outright lie.

MySQL community edition is licensed under the GNU GPL (version 2 even) and may be used inside any random commercial entity without having to distribute anything. And if you want to use MySQL in commercial software you may use it as long as you distribute source code for MySQL and any changes you have made to it.

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

Personally, I consider PostgresSQL's license to be less free, and I'm disappointed in IBM for supporting it in any way. Ultimately IBM is throwing away their money by doing this. The article even tells you why PostgresSQL's license is less free. The company distributes proprietary extensions to PostgresSQL. They've essentially forked the code. If their proprietary extensions even become widely accepted and relied upon they have essentially rendered PostgresSQL no longer Free Software.

I'm surprised that IBM would be throwing away money on such a thing. They are essentially encouraging the development of another little monopolistic company making secret software that could ultimately hurt them very badly.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (3, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866646)

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

Yeah sure... we all do that (/sarcasm).

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (2, Informative)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867874)

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

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

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (4, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866484)

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

Joke you not.

Re:MySQL databae supremacy (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867096)

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

Any software linking with the MySQL client library must be compatible with the GPL, but I don't see any reason why a different implementation of the protocol would necessarily be bound by the GPL. So if you wanted to use MySQL to hold data for a GPL-incompatible application, such as a proprietary one, the most you should have to do is write a new client.

1999 called. It wants its fanboi back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22867696)

I've been reading this crap since 1999. At that time, postgres had taken "a little break" for a few years and that was why the barbarians at mysql got ahead. Or something.

I like mysql. It works well. postgres is gathering place for malcontents and troublemakers that will only use something if it is not popular.

Let me guess, you were into Ruby on Rails until it was on the cover of a magazine, so now you're pushing Eiffel with postgres as a backend.

Or as Austin Powers put it, "why won't you die?" (referring to postgres, not the poster).

MySQL license clarification: free as in freedom (1)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867898)

"PostgreSQL is BSD. MySQL is anything but."

Both the community server and the enterprise edition of MySQL are licensed under the GPL, which is freer than BSD (BSD vs GPL holy war, go!). You just can buy it under a different license for embedding purposes if you want to, but you don't have to.

"Sure, the community edition is free, but it cannot be used with commercial software."

WTF? It's GPL. It can be used for commercial purposes with any commercial software. The only restriction is that it cannot be derived to or distributed as an indivisible part of a commercial product that's not released under the GPL. This means the embedded server. If you don't use the embedded server (like 99.99% of MySQL developers/users), you can very well build any commercial product that uses MySQL and license it with any terms.

Re:MySQL license clarification: free as in freedom (3, Informative)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867984)

The problem is that the client lib, which applications link with when they need to talk to mysql is also gpl. So I i write a
c++ program which connect to mysql, I need to release my application under a gpl compability license.

Interesting... (4, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866226)

Here's a few random thoughts:

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

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

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

Re:Interesting... (3, Insightful)

Cosmic Debris (650504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866320)

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

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

Since your thoughts are random, I'll assume you're using Microsoft's Random Number Generator.

20% revenue, 40% profit (2, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866532)

The software division of IBM accounts for 20% of their revenue, and 40% of their profit.

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

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

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

But the non-disclosed revenue from Rational is probably pretty much standalone.

Re:Interesting... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866412)

Yep.

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

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

And then as you say IBM provide consulting+support services and the hardware to handle all the zillions of combinations of choices ;).

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866416)

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

That doesn't make sense. If software drives sales, it makes them money.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866456)

"Last I checked, IBM makes its money from two things: hardware and support."

No, you forgot one, the consulting / solutions group.

Investing in PostgreSQL makes a lot of sense, since now they have a solution for when DB2 is obvious overkill, and the customer isn't _that_ gullible.

Re:Interesting... (1)

perlith (1133671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867680)

"Last I checked, IBM makes its money from two things: hardware and support. Note that software is not one of them; the software is (to them) merely what enables them to sell their bread and butter. It's also costing them money to develop and maintain software that drives sales." Check your facts. 20% of IBM's income is from software and growing. Annual reports are good things to read if you are an investor: http://www.ibm.com/annualreport/ [ibm.com]

Re:Interesting... (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867720)

Sun also has some Postgres core developers on payroll.

db2... (3, Interesting)

fatp (1171151) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866252)

Why isn't this a competitor of db2?

Re:db2... (3, Funny)

DougReed (102865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866336)

Because DB2 isn't really a competitor. It's not really a bad database, but I think only three people in the world is running it. ...my wife being one.

Re:db2... (5, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866392)

DB2 just doesn't scale down as well as some of the others so it doesn't get as much exposure to the masses, if you check out things like the TCP-H [tpc.org] results you'll notice at the 10TB level DB2 is #1 and #3, it's typically used for very large databases running on IBM big iron. It's yet another IBM technology that kind of sits in the corner running some of the largest financial systems in the world without getting a lot of exposure.

Re:db2... (2, Informative)

firefly4f4 (1233902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866732)

I believe DB2 manages more data than Oracle, whereas Oracle has more installations. Disclaimer: I work for IBM. The thoughts posted are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of IBM.

Re:db2... (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866468)

It's not rare for IBM to sell stuff which competes against products its subunits make.

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

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

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

Re:db2... (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866726)

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

Re:db2... (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867732)

Any IT service company is IT mafia. It's just a result how deep you let them reach into you company.

Re:db2... (3, Insightful)

firefly4f4 (1233902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866524)

Why isn't this a competitor of db2?

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

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

Now, I'm not saying that PostgreSQL and MySQL don't provide some of the features, but people will choose what best suits their needs. You won't see banks running PostgreSQL/MySQL on for their financial transactions, just like you most likely won't see DB2/Oracle running as the backend of your (run-of-the-mill) web forum.

Disclaimer: I work for IBM. These thoughts are my own, and may not represent those of the company.

Re:db2... (1)

ryszard99 (1193131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867222)

..which don't necessarily need all the features of the larger products (transactions, large numbers of simultaneous users, data integrity checking...
I'm a postgres user and i know your generalising here, but postgres has supported transactions for some time, and foreign keys. I also used to work in one of the major 4 banks in australia, and altho' i wasnt privy to all the purchasing details, i believe one of the major reasons oracle was chosen, (and infact most business critical software and hardware), is support from vendors and direct access to hardcore mofo's that know what to do when "once in a decade" bugs are found.

as others have mentioned postgres replication sucks, but other than that, my experience is that postgres is a more than capable database for the enterprise.

Re:db2... (1)

odourpreventer (898853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867408)

These thoughts are my own

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

Smart move for IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866314)

Verizon is now moving to that. They want to move off all the sybase, MS Sql, and oracle and standardize on just this and Oracle where needed. I know of other companies that tired of being ripped off.

Still waiting for a decent GUI (4, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866316)

I love all these Open Source databases but what troubles me most is the absence of a decent [fully] programmable GUI to "slap" onto the actual database back-end. I would like readers to think of Access which is on top of Microsoft's jet database engine. It works and works beautifully but I loath Microsoft's products.

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

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866370)

What???????????
Access
jajajaja...

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866376)

it's simple. no one in the open source world is dumb enough to WANT to be known as the access db of the open source world.

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

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866426)

I'd like to add that open source does need a simple access style db for simple low brow jobs, but please not something that has a jet style access built in

Still waiting for a decent OODBMS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866442)

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

Yeah! That's geeks for you. Holding their own.:) But seriously is their any good Open Source OODBMS's out their?

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866496)

Most DBA's don't use the included tools anyways, they are pretty much crap compared to others.. Look for DBArtisan [embarcadero.com] (One I have seen and used, not sure if its the best, there are many others out there.. Works with every major database, Oracle, Sybase, MSSQL, MYSQL, Postgres, etc. Last I looked it up for our DBA, it was about $7500 per database type.. IE, manage as many Oracle Databases as you want for one price..

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (3, Insightful)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866402)

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

I have specialized in database applications with a web front-end for a while now. While they can't touch Oracle yet (or even MS SQL), Postgresql and MySQL are rapidly improving, and beat some of the expensive commercial offerings of not too long ago. A lot of medium-sized applications can exist just fine on either one. Eventually they will find the limitations of either system too limiting and switch, but for starting up they are both good back ends. With an expert at the helm, a serious application running either MySql or Postgresql is very possible.

At the rate they're improving MS and Oracle should be very concerned. IBM and Sun throwing serious money into the mix is a very interesting development.

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (2, Interesting)

jaseuk (217780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867650)

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

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

I'm not an Access fan by any stretch of the imagination, but it has a niche that is not filled by pretty much any other commercial or open-source database in that a "power user" can put together an application.

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (3, Informative)

ashridah (72567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866408)

Uh. Because we actually do have a product like this?

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

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

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (1)

kylehase (982334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866444)

Probably because people in the open source world write their own GUIs specifically for the task at hand in whatever language they are comfortable. I write my own PHP GUIs for MySQL databases all the time. If you're talking about GUI admin interfaces you may want to check out phpMyAdmin [phpmyadmin.net] or HeidiSQL [heidisql.com] .

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866712)

Check out KDE's Kexi [kexi-project.org]

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

I also like the (commercial) Maestro tools [sqlmaestro.com]

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866790)

Access is not a database. Its a toy.

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (1)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867400)

Say what you want, but together with Excel's pivot tables these two it's the centerpillar of small to medium sized business' administration. Not having a competing opensrouce product is just too bad, because there's money to be saved and it would further the use of OSS.

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22867458)

Not true. You hear this a lot from people who have never used it.

Disclaimer: I use Linux exclusively. I used to "code" in VBA.

Access is just a front-end. You can hook it up to any database. It works... and for most people not familiar with the ins and outs of databases... it works well. Even the JET engine - as lame as it may be compared to Oracle etc - was for a long time and lot more capable than MySQL in terms of supported features and speed. It's even, say it quietly, a really capable and powerful reporting tool.

Basically, Access provides an easy way for n00bs to build quite sophisticated databases... whether they should be doing it is another matter. On the other than, if they didn't have Access... they just use fucking Excel to store rows and rows of stuff, and having seen several dozen businesses run on enormous quantities of copied/linked Excel sheets... I'd rather deal with Access.

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (2, Informative)

fatp (1171151) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866842)

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

1) OpenOffice.org: Very poor scripting ability... wait for 3.0
2) pgaccess: Access for PostgreSQL. Looked promising, with Form Editor, Report Editor etc & scripting with TCL. But the project is dead and website is recycled.
3) bond (http://www.treshna.com/bond/ [treshna.com] ): Looked interesting but I could not run the windows version... never tried linux version :P
4) rekall, knoda: both are database frontends for KDE. Looked interesting. I hope they will come with KDE on windows

Also, if your objective is to find something free (as beer), and have plenty of resources, you can have a look on Oracle XE+Application Express. Looks a bit strange at first (with a non-WYSIWYG form builder), but much better after one understand its design concept.

Re:Still waiting for a decent GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22867832)

There is a number of access like applications for postgresql.

Checkout the postgresql website.
http://www.postgresql.org/docs/interfaces [postgresql.org]

Here are two postgresql form creators I have found useful in the past
http://www.glom.org/ [glom.org]
http://www.treshna.com/bond/ [treshna.com]

IBM needs to make up their mind (1)

k1980pc (942645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866396)

They have DB2 and DWE for enterprises.
Informix for certain niche areas.
Cloudscape for Websphere applications
They use Derby in Rational suite.

Not even counting the different versions for each of these.

Just say "PostgreSQL" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866470)

The title of this submission dumbs it down too much. Slashdot readers who care about databases will instantly recognize the name "PostgreSQL". So why introduce it as "MySQL/Oracle Competitor"? Reading simply the headline I was confused what the hell that meant. It almost looks like they're investing in MySQL and an unnamed Oracle competitor.

Postgres clusters? (2)

the_greywolf (311406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866504)

What I want to know is can I run a Postgres DB on a cluster of servers? We want to add some failover capabilities to our server cluster, and our current solution is incapable of five-nines availability. Is there a way to cluster them to provide both load-balancing and redundancy with a single database?

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

Re:Postgres clusters? (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866664)

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

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

Disclaimer: I were programming with DB2 during my time in IBM, therefore I may not be too objective in comparing DB2 and PostgreSQL. Please bear with me. ^^

Re:Postgres clusters? (3, Informative)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866832)

The subject of this article, EnterpriseDB, is trying to target this market with GridSQL [enterprisedb.com] . As it's new in it's current form, impossible to say how reliable systems built with it will be quite yet. Those looking for reasons behind the IBM investment might consider whether GridSQL might one day talk to DB2 databases as well.

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

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

Good enterprise-grade clustering with load-balancing is still on the PostgreSQL work in progress list rather than being here right now. I expect the core infrastructure piece needed to really make it work well (support for read-only warm-standby slaves) will make it into PostgreSQL 8.4 and be released around a year from now. I started a comparison page of the replication solutions currently available that's on the PostgreSQL wiki [postgresql.org] now that is trying to track progress in this area. Much like core PostgreSQL support for enabling replication, it still needs some work .

There is no such battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866670)

MySQL bought Sun. Josh Berkus of Postgresql and a number of his colleagues are working for Sun. The Sun Database Management Group is now part of the MySQL organisation inside Sun.

Postgres: Best Intro of All Worlds (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866736)

IBM buying into Postgres through EnterpriseDB is clearly a response to Sun's buying into MySQL. But what's really exciting about the move is that Sun also bought into Postgres, shipping it with Solaris 10 and integrating it with its Java App Server, as an entry-level database. Since Sun is also supporting and bundling MySQL (and therefore using it to drive sales of Sun machines), tools for porting between Postgres and MySQL are likely in the works.

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

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

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

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

Re:Postgres: Best Intro of All Worlds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22866778)

...which will mean IBM tools for upgrading from Postgres to DB2.

I just love it when I can upgrade from free software to an expensive licensing contract!

Re:Postgres: Best Intro of All Worlds (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866916)

As I said, Postgres is fairly high-end itself.

But the licensing, and the support it brings, is worth a lot more than just whichever DB platform happens to be running. For running enterprises, not only does DB2 have major features that Postgres doesn't, but you can get DB2 experts from IBM available at the drop of a table (;). For major applications, that's worth the very expensive prices IBM charges.

And with Postgres as a path to DB2, IBM would be able to give lots more people that pitch. And a lot more people who now have to choose not to use DB2 because of the upfront expense, would instead be able to include DB2 in their plans as they deploy a Postgres app designed to be eventually upgraded to DB2.

And of course that's also true about Oracle.

Which, as I explained, is why each of them are buying into the free platforms. They didn't get rich for nothing. They're smart, and they know what they need to sell DBs to a largely saturated market.

Re:Postgres: Best Intro of All Worlds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22867282)

As an ex-Oracle user, now using PostgrreSQL, I sure as hell would never go back. In the unlikely situaiton that PGSQL didnt meet my needs, there is only one way to go and thats DB2. Oracle is NOT the answer. The problem is not technical. The problem is Oracle is just NOT a company I'd bet the farm on, having been bitten twice.

Anyone working on a modern comparison? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22866860)

Is anyone working on a clear, modern comparison of MySQL vs. Postgres? I believe the old arguments for and against both are no longer accurate: Postgres has gotten faster, and MySQL has gotten stricter.

MySQL vs PostgreSQL (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867694)

The reason why MySQL wins over PostgreSQL for me is because my el-cheapo web host provides me only with MySQL database backend.

Really, show me a host which is competitive to ICDSoft (which have very nice support service) for $6 a month for 1000 MB / 20 GB-traffic with php-perl-python-ruby-tcl and whatnot.

I don't want your business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22867936)

ooh, can I please line up to be your supplier of 1GB of drive space for a whole $6 (which is like what, 4.5 euro?) per month?

I'd love to have you as a customer. That $6 will make a big difference.

Oh, and then I can have you make constructive criticism like I'm "cheapo."

Nothing like receiving advice on engineering infrastructure from a guy who's worth $6.

I had a customer who called me, his nephew from NYC was visiting and wanted me to match the price of some ISP that was offering $9/mo. hosting. I told him I had my price (I charge $150/year for 300MB space/50GB xfer without voice support), that others had their prices. In any case, they left the service.

Of course, 6 months later they came back.

Brand Identity Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22867184)

Enterprise DB are a commercial parasite to the PostgreSQL project.
Having exploited its code base to develop proprietary tools nobody wanted to buy, they blew their early rounds of funding and were recently forced to sack their sales staff.
Does this tie up with IBM strengthen postgresql.org? No, I don't think it does.
Instead it looks more like a deliberate, unashamed land-grab. Even the name "PostgreSQL Plus" is a deliberate attempt at brand identity theft. They hope to mutate customer perceptions into thinking PostgreSQL Plus is a related, upgraded version of what they can download for free from postgresql.org. It's not.
IBM and other investors are not investing in postgresql.org, but a proprietised version on it.
Licensing PostgreSQL under GPL would have kept this project honest.

Looks to me as if Sun and IBM have .... (1)

chris_sawtell (10326) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867706)

Just learnt about one of the oldest sales gimmicks in the book.

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

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

proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22867842)

EnterpriseDB is based on PostgreSQL, but it is not open source. If EnterpriseDB rolled all of their changes back into the open source project, this would be exciting; but in reality, EnterpriseDB is a proprietary fork. In that sense, using EnterpriseDB provides no more benefit that using any other proprietary offering, such as Oracle or DB2; each of which provide more features and more industry wide acceptance.

If they had only invested back in 2001 (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22867872)

I might still be working at Great Bridge.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>