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Monday, February 04, 2008

The Future of DBMS and Database Computing and How Postgres will do to Oracle What Linux has done to Unix vendors.

Database Management Systems (DBMS) have been with us for several decades now, significant progress has been made in DBMS software evolution, the database management software is become ever more powerful, scaling horizontally and vertically. Database software vendors such as Oracle, Sybase, IBM, Informix keep updating their software offerings with more features being added almost on daily basis. With the database computing consolidating in the hand of single company - Oracle the logical question comes to mind what is next? Will Oracle once again reinvent the database computing or fall inevitable victim of GNU software projects. We have witnessed Linux taking over server operating systems computing and slowly dissolving and assimilating away all proprietary Unix offerings (AIX, HP, Tru64….and others), the list is ever shrinking and eventually even the last big four (AIX, HP-UX, Sun, Tru64) will succumb to overwhelming power of GNU Development. Will this happened in the database world? Of course, most of us blessed with the “vision” saw the inevitability of this evolution back in early nineties with the advent of Linux. GNU databases will overpower traditional DBMS vendors in terms of scalability, costs, performance and features. Some already exist and some have not been invented yet. So who will conquer the ever powerful database vendors such as Oracle and others? The contender is already here – PostgreSQL. A distant relative of Oracle it will come back and claim the throne of database computing.

Inevitability. PostgreSQL or any other GNU/BSD database offering will not conquer proprietary database single handedly but rather though a process of “computing evolution” i.e. our perception of database and DBMS will evolve and along with propelling GNU database software to the commanding role. There are several evolutionary elements that needed to be present in order for GNU software offering become the dominant platform of choice.

1. Project vs. Product. The GNU software in our case PostgreSQL has to be a “project” and not a “product”. Seems confusing at first but bear with me here, lets compare two database offerings PostgreSQL and MySQL one is a “project” and the other is a product. MySQL is a “product” that is owned by a software company MySQL AB with available source code. “Product” can be sold, discontinues assimilated etc…Speaking of which that probably exactly what will happened to MySQL after the recent acquisition by Sun Microsystems.

More will follow…….

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