the Future for Open-Source Databases"> "Thats why you see open source do quite well in areas like application servers and Web servers, all on the infrastructure side. But you see few BI, CRM [customer relationship management] or ERP [enterprise resource management] open source," he said.
Some would like to change that. Thus, in the run-up to LinuxWorld, at last weeks OSCON confab, we saw the release of Bizgres Clickstream, which is what a trio of companies call the first complete open-source BI development stack.
Its built on top of Bizgres, a community-supported project whose aim is to make PostgreSQL the industrys platform of choice when it comes to BI.
Another top BI vendor, Siebel Systems, also announced it will run its applications on top of Linux, as well.
Siebel Systems and Novell have announced they have extended their partnership to provide support for Siebel business applications on Novells SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.
For its part, Emic Networks will announce on Tuesday that it is hooking up with Multrix, an application service provider, to make high-availability options available to users of its open-source application clustering technologies.
Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at IDC, said that Emics news, along with other database-centric news, shows that IDC was spot-on when it said back in 1997 that Linux would be considered a mainstream choice and would be on peoples short list by 2005. In fact, IDC wasnt quite optimistic enough, as it got on that short list in a major way by 2004, Kusnetzky said.
"The things I hear revolve around enterprise support, providing the right application development, and supporting the integrity and security of storage on the Linux environment to bring it on a par with Windows," he said.
"Virtualization of all types is under discussion: Virtualization processing systems, storage, provision and management, and security—theres a lot of activity there."
In other words, the open-source platform is being put into service running critical enterprise applications, he said.
What it all boils down to, Kusnetzky said, is that Linux continues to evolve as a platform, following largely the same evolutionary course as Unix did some 20 years ago. Its being considered by for the same kinds of applications by the same kind of people, he said.
Whats on the horizon for databases and open source?
OGrady sees the start of people questioning the relational models aptness for particular jobs—a mirror of the same trend in proprietary database development, as witnessed by the adoption of increasingly sophisticated means of handling XML in proprietary databases.
Granted, open source already has Sleepycat for a nonrelational database, but OGrady said that he foresees yet more announcements of this ilk.
"Theres an increasing recognition in the open-source world that other nonrelational models are called for," he said. "Especially with Web formats dealing with RSS [Really Simple Syndication] or Atom. Whats the point of cramming those into relational databases on the back end when we have it in semistructured format to begin with? Folks are now cramming it into MySQL, or theyre doing the reverse: Theyre generating RSS or Atom out of MySQL."
Not having to do the mapping necessary to get such information into a relational database would be welcome by many, OGrady said.
The release of the object-oriented open-source database DB4Objects at LinuxWorld East was an early indication of what we may see coming from open-source database vendors in the future.
And at this weeks show, Gupta Technologies LLC put some XML icing on the open-source cake.
Gupta is a software development and data management tool vendor. On Monday, it announced that Team Developer 2005.1, publicly available later this month, will ship with new OOP-to-XML interfaces.
Tema Developer is a cross-platform development tool that allows developers to write and deploy rich business applications on Windows and Linux with full source-code compatibility.
Gupta also enhanced Linux database support for MySQL and other open-source databases, and the update includes major enhancements to Report Builder, Guptas reporting solution.
Editors Note: This story was updated to include news about Novell reselling MySQL, Business Objects releasing XI on Linux and EnterpriseDB releasing the final version of its EnterpriseDB 2005 database. It was also updated to correct the name of Stephen OGradys employer.
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