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Senior Editor

A look at open source database trends

Mar 15, 20042 mins
Enterprise Applications

* A look at what's happening in the open source database world

The notion of basing critical business work on an open source database might have been unthinkable just a few years ago.  But no longer.

This week our Special Focus section takes a look at what’s happening in the open source database world. Our author ( says open source databases often still are used in specialized niches. But they are important, even vital, niches for a growing number of corporations: Web portals, e-commerce applications, high-speed Web searching, content management, and lately data warehouse reporting.

Consider what’s been happening with these databases:

* Use of MySQL grew over 30% in 2003, according a database survey by Evans Data. In the same period, use of Microsoft SQL Server and Access grew just 6%.

* PostgreSQL 7.5, due out around June, will run on Win32 platforms for the first time, offer a passel of performance improvements, partition data more efficiently, and may include support for two-phase commit, which is vital for transaction processing.

* MySQL will unveil next month new software to cluster database servers, so applications keep running if one server fails.

The mix of developers, consultants and some vendors that make up the communities that create and extend these databases are threading their way between adding features that make these open source applications more robust and reliable, while trying to avoid the panoply of elements that make commercial databases like Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server big, complex and demanding.

There’s plenty more information in our article.