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Senior Editor

The open source database

Apr 28, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsOpen Source

* A growing number of network executives are pioneering open source databases

Are open source databases for you?  Maybe, maybe not.  Seems that at least some offerings are mature enough to handle busy corporate transaction enviroments, some are not.

This week our Special Focus author ( says that a growing number of network executives are pioneering these freely available data managers. They’re finding that open source databases are reaching a state where they can become the latest addition to their inventory of open source tools, including the Linux operating system, the Apache Web server and the Tomcat Java servlet engine.

Users say the attractions include:

* Very fast performance especially in read-only applications.

* No, or nominal, licensing costs.

* Low administrative and operational costs.

Open source databases are available for free or a nominal charge. Typically, the releases include the complete source code, which is the equivalent of a body’s heart, brain and digestive system. Finally, in accordance with the terms of the GNU General Public License, the users typically have the freedom to change any part of the source code, and use it without charge, as long as they publish the change. Once published, the change can be used by anyone else. An alternative arrangement is the Berkeley Software Development license, used by PostgreSQL, which gives source code developers a proprietary “head start” of 24 months for their innovations, after which they become part of the public code base.

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