Sunday, July 22, 2007

Should Oracle Worry About Open Source Databases?

This is a blog entry at my blog on Does Oracle have anything worry about from open source databases like PostgreSQL or MySQL? Charles Babcock, at InformationWeeks' Open Source Blog posts Why Oracle Should worry . In that entry he talks about FTD and how they recently switched from Oracle to EnterpriseDB for a reporting application and, according to Jason Weiss, FTD Software Architect, "EnterpriseDB enabled us to run our Oracle application at one-sixth the price of Oracle, freeing budget for other important initiatives. EnterpriseDB's fantastic technical support is also a refreshing change from what Oracle usually delivers." He even said, "Oracle should be terrified." That is bad. In one fell swoop, Oracle lost a client, to a competing database, who went very public about his dissatisfaction with both Oracle's licensing costs and it's support. In Oracle's defense, I have dealt with Oracle support for many years and have had pretty good results. I can think of only a single instance where I was completely unhappy with the results. In most cases, things were resolved quickly. No support organization gets it right every time. I personally think Oracle support does a pretty good job. Having said that, I have not liked Oracle's licensing for a long time. I think it is too confusing and too expensive. This is not just an Oracle issue. I think all of the major database players are too expensive and and most enterprise licensing schemes are too complex. If I could change anything about Oracle, it would be licensing. I think stories like FTD will become more common over time as EnterpriseDB, PostgreSQL and MySQL become more mainstream. Oracle does need to look at their licensing and make changes. Oracle does NOT need to worry on this score. If they adjust prices, modify the process and continue innovating, they will stay the number one database. Oracle has something else to be worried about and I think it is a much more significant threat. Recently, Tomax switched from Oracle to EnterpriseDB. Tomax is the leading provider of real-time merchandising and store execution applications and services. "EnterpriseDB allows us to bring the benefits of open source to all our customers, large and small, without sacrificing the quality or performance of our retail management solution," said Eric Olafson, chief executive officer, Tomax. "We are also extremely pleased with the outstanding technical support provided by EnterpriseDB. Thousands of smaller, retailer-owned food distributors and grocers now have an affordable way to realize the same labor cost savings and competitive advantage enjoyed by their larger rivals." You can finished reading this blog at Should Oracle Worry About Open Source Databases?