Open-Source Databases Win New Converts

Developers are warming up to the quicker-paced, less costly open-source alternatives to large-scale database offerings.

Rapid commoditization of databases is sparking momentum for open-source database vendors, such as MySQL AB, among others, to firmly establish notoriety for quicker-paced, less costly alternatives to large-scale database offerings.

Experts say developers are showing a growing comfort level toward open-source database tools, primarily due to the proliferation of Linux combined with liberal licensing terms and relative deployment ease for non-back-office applications.

"It wouldnt surprise me to see that 2004 will be when we move into the early-adopter phase of open-source databases," said analyst Charles Garry, of Meta Group Inc., in Stamford, Conn. "I get calls now [from customers], not Should I use an open-source database, but instead its Should I use PostgreSQL or MySQL?"

/zimages/5/28571.gifMySQL or PostgreSQL? Read Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas thoughts on the subject.

According to sources, IBM is paying close attention to that demand and is considering offering its support for an open-source database technology, likely that of MySQL, later this year.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., would not confirm or deny its open-source database interest.

Keying on the trend, however, is MySQL, which this week will release the Alpha development version of its MySQL 5.0 database software.

A significant addition in the 5.0 upgrade is stored procedures support to facilitate moving legacy database applications from an application server without interference, said Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, based in Uppsala, Sweden.

Additional upgrade features include new server-side cursor support for stored procedures accessibility, as well as internationalization capabilities and portability and migration enhancements.

Next page: MySQL at LinuxWorld.