Open source database study has obvious results


From the ‘OSCON 08 research study bonanza‘ files:

The biggest conclusion of the EnterpriseDB open source database study is that PostgreSQL is the open source database of choice for transactional applications. Not a surprising conclusion given that EnterpriseDB is a sponsor of the PostgreSQL project and has its own supported distributions of it.

While the open source database that often comes to mind for many is MySQL, the EnterpriseDB open source database press release surprisingly makes no mention of them.

 “The survey did ask respondents which open source databases they and their companies use, and MySQL was definitely one of the choices,” Bob Zurek, EnterpriseDB’s CTO  wrote in an email to “The news that EnterpriseDB is announcing is about PostgreSQL and not about MySQL, so MySQL is simply included in mentions of ‘other open source databases’.  (MySQL’s popularity is definitely not ‘news’.)”

Here’s some free advice for EnterpriseDB  – if your survey found that PostgreSQL is somehow displacing MySQL you really should call that out. Hiding MySQL in the category of ‘other’, removes the transparency from the study in my opinion.
The other issue which troubled me is the fact that the study is titled the open source database survey while EnterpriseDB also offers the Postgres Plus Advanced Server which is not open source. According to Zurek that’s not an issue either.

“The survey was focused on open source databases generally, and not EnterpriseDB’s branded products particularly,” Zurek said. “Postgres Plus Advanced Server, the EnterpriseDB product that can run applications written for Oracle, is not open source, so we didn’t ask about it in the survey.  In fact, the survey did not even mention Postgres Plus, EnterpriseDB’s professional distribution of PostgreSQL.”

Overall, Zurek noted that the survey results tell us that the ‘lack of in-house knowledge’ is by far the biggest inhibitor of enterprise open source database adoption.  It’s an area that EnterpriseDB is aiming to correct with a new certification program as well as new efforts to come to further raise the profile of PostgreSQL.

It certainly sounds like a good idea. I would just hope that in the future, EnterpriseDB isn’t afraid to call out its competitors open source or otherwise. PostgreSQL has been a leading database worthy of comparison with name brand databases for a decade.

With Sun, which had been a leading proponent of PostgreSQL trying to get its money’s worth from its $1 Billion acquisition of MySQL, EnterpriseDB is the poster child for PostgreSQL so if anyone is going to go full hog promoting PostgreSQL it will be them.

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