Who should be buying expensive commercial database systems?

According to Curt Monash, few people should be buying high-end Database management systems:

There are relatively few applications that wouldn’t run perfectly well on PostgreSQL or EnterpriseDB today. (…)

What’s more, these mid-range database management systems can have significant advantages over their high-end brethren. The biggest is often price, for licenses and maintenance alike. Beyond that, they can be much easier to administer then their more complex counterparts. (…)

And what these mid-range DBMS don’t do today, they likely will do soon. (…)

EnterpriseDB is equal or superior in every way I can think of to Oracle7, a few security certifications perhaps excepted.

If you work for an organization that has expensive contracts with Oracle or Microsoft for their DBMS, it is most certainly in vain.

Meanwhile, the world of open source Business Intelligence is getting more interesting every day. We now have Pentaho Mondrian, Jedox, Birt, Enhydra Octopus, and so on. In 2005, I asked whether open source was ready for Business Intelligence. The question seems less controversial in 2008, doesn’t it?

Most of the database industry has been commoditized. If you stick around with these old schemas, you lose.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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