MySQL and FirebirdSQL Top Open Source DB List

A new report out this week from Evans Data shows that FirebirdSQL and
MySQL are the most popular open source databases currently in use.

The findings are part of Evans Data’s Winter 2005 Database Development
Survey of more than 400 developers. According to the survey, 52.9 percent said they are using
MySQL and 51.6 percent said they were using FirebirdSQL.

PostgreSQL came in
third at 14.8 percent, and Sleepycat’s Berkely DB (4.1 percent), GNU
SQL (3.3 percent) and SAP DB (1.2 percent) rounded out the list.

The Firebird name became the subject of heated dispute in the open source
community in 2003 when the
Mozilla project re-named
its next-generation browser Phoenix to Firebird. After bowing to pressure
from the community and the FirebirdSQL project, Mozilla
changed the name to
Firefox last year.

According to Evans Data’s research, MySQL and FirebirdSQL are each fulfilling
different niches.

“Firebird has a very strong position in what we define as edge databases that
could be embedded databases — databases sitting at the periphery of the enterprise,”
Evans Data analyst Joe McKendrick told “MySQL had a
stronger showing on the enterprise level.”

The distant third place showing by PostgreSQL in the Evans Data survey is
likely related to its previous lack of proper Windows support, according to
McKendrick. PostgreSQL
just yesterday released
version 8.0 of its database, which now includes native Windows support.

“In our survey, 90 percent of our developers work with or deployed to Windows platforms,”
McKendrick explained. “Windows dominates this space, and a database that
doesn’t run on Windows or doesn’t run effectively in Windows would have
a fairly limited reach.”

Among the other findings of the Evans Data study is that data restoration
capabilities have climbed over the past year. In 2003, 41 percent of respondents
reported they could restore mission critical data within an hour. That number
jumped to 62 percent in 2004.

Security also seems to a strong point for database administrators in 2004. Eighty-nine
percent of respondents reported they had no database security breaches.

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