The future of open source databases was clouded when Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems which own the largest open database software called MySQL. Oracle has rising to the top of the software industry by getting customers to lock in on its proprietary database systems. MySQL has been thorn in Oracle’s side for years as many would be customers have turned to the lower cost open source MySQL. Publically, Oracle claims that it will support the MySQL platform going forward but many are skeptical.
Who Uses Open Source Database Software?
Many individuals and families on tight budgets choose to utilize open source database software rather than pay for expensive software bundles with their computer. For example, many students are finding that they can get by using Google Documents for free rather than installing a full copy of Microsoft Office, which can cost more than $200 per license. Small research groups are also shying away from expensive licensing agreements in favor of shareware and freeware for .pdf viewing and bibliography organization.
More surprisingly, a 2010 survey revealed that these open source databases are gaining popularity with large companies in addition to the individual users. The MySQL database usage rose more than 30% in 2009, indicating that developers are finding it profitable to program through the more public databases. For software developers who want to employ a single database for the application development as well as the distribution, open source is currently the most attractive option.
Benefits of Open Source Databases
Open source databases offer software at lower prices, and as the databases grow, they are able to integrate easily with other software on the market. These databases have grown to a point where they are stable and more cooperative with multiple platforms, which is what attracts so many programmers to use them. For large companies who are currently paying enormous amounts of money for site licensed software, implementing an open source database can save thousands of dollars each year. This money can be spent on employee training so that use of the software is efficient. The companies hosting the databases have gone through great efforts to reduce operating costs without sacrificing speed or processing power.
Open Source Databases are Dynamic
With open source databases being made accessible to essentially everyone with Internet access, they are constantly being added to and improved. The server is carefully monitored and managed to ensure that the updates and upgrades are of the highest quality. This makes open source databases more dynamic than the private Microsoft and Macintosh counterparts. Open source programmers are likely to be receptive to user feedback and you will see positive changes made with each new update or version of your software that gets released. You also have more variety to choose from when looking for software to perform a specific task. Free open source software packages are available for everything from e-mail and instant messaging to 3D-animation, disk encryption, and bioinformatics. The open source databases will continue to grow to meet the software demands of computer users around the world.
Opening the Door to Affordable Software Solutions
The world of personal computer technology is lead by two major companies – Microsoft and Apple. Most customers are incredibly loyal to either one manufacturer or the other. With these two businesses dominating the field, they are able to use the popularity of their hardware to sequester customers into buying their software as well. The way the Windows and Apple operating systems are designed requires that a software programmer have specific information about how the operating system handles information. Without this protocol, they cannot write programs that are compatible with the operating system platform. This allows Microsoft and Apple to boost their profits by retaining all rights to the computer hardware, software, and peripherals.
Some computer programmers would like to offer generic, more affordable versions of software that we currently associate with the leaders in the field. Word processors, email clients, and digital calendars don’t have to be a brand name to work well. To do this, programmers and developers work with an open source database like MySQL that allows them to share information, collaborate, and provide effective software solutions that will work with a variety of computer platforms.