Big database vendors feel

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-04-14 Print this article Print

the heat"> That strategy is putting pressure on the likes of Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.—vendors whose databases are far more pricey than MySQLs open-source alternative. "We saw Oracle reduce the price of its Standard Edition One," noted Forresters Yuhanna. "That shows the pressure theyre under. Theyre obviously trying to compete with open source. … I feel Microsoft and IBM will have to follow suit in terms of lowering prices to compete with these environments over the next few years. After all, if open-source databases offer the same set of features as DBMSs, what are you going to choose? MySQL has an edge. Its low-cost, and its easier to use than other databases." IDCs Olofson voiced the same thought. "The buzz is that people are increasingly taking MySQL seriously for certain classes of applications," he said. Now [the clustering] is another thing they have that puts them in a position where they can be discussed at the same time other products are."
Click here for Oracles take on MySQLs clustering move in an interview with Ken Jacobs, vice president of product strategy.
Likewise, database vendors are beginning to pay attention, Olofson said. "The way Oracle looks at the future, theyd like to develop their businesses among smaller companies and grow their business, which is natural. … Companies like Oracle and IBM are concerned about the future. They see the [small and midsize business] space as an area that represents their opportunity to do business in the future. When MySQL comes into that area and starts disrupting things, they have to pay attention. Theyre asking questions. Both companies have been taking steps to make sure entry-level prices are more competitive with Microsoft. There are people in both companies and other database companies whose job it is to" keep an eye out on developing threats such as those that MySQL presents, Olofson said. "Large software companies are like big aircraft carriers," he said. "You cant change on a dime. You have to start thinking about that now." Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at for the latest database news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our database news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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