Re: Off Topic: open source databases

From: John Hurley <>
Date: Thu, 27 May 2010 17:32:19 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>


> I don't think Oracle's onership of MySQL (or Sun's before that) has
> really changed that much because they really appeal to two different
> markets/requirements.
> Many web hosting companies provide MySQL. Very few provide Oracle. I
> think this is mainly because a lot of web applications really only use
> databases in a very limited way - essentially a repository for key-value
> pairs. MySQL is pretty good for this type of use, while Oracle is
> overkill.
> My experience has been that most of the apps I've worked with that use
> Oracle are apps where the database is the main part of the application.
> The non-Oracle parts of the app tend to be just interfaces.
> The MySQL systems I've worked with, the app is usually some other
> 'thing' like Java, perl, ruby or PHP and the database is really just a
> simple data store.
> I think the main appeal of MySQL is that it can easily be administered
> by a competant sys admin or developer. There is not a lot you can
> tune/tweak and the feature set is quite limited. Oracle on the other
> hand is a much more complex beast, with a lot that can be tuned/tweaked
> and a much richer set of features. I have never met a good developer or
> sys admin who is also an up-to-date, experienced and competant Oracle
> admin.
> Postgres does appear to be gaining some ground, though I suspect a bit
> of this is more discussion than actual usage i.e. some are a little
> worried regarding what Oracle will do with MySQL, so for risk
> mitigation, they are considering postgres for new apps. At the same
> time, they are alittle worried about postgres as its a little less
> proven in the enterprise. From my limited experience, I find postgres to
> be somewhere between Oracle and MySQL. I am a little negative regarding
> MySQL due to issues I've had with it in the past, particularly with
> respect to its storage reliability and limited SQL compliance, such as
> not supporting subqueries (my MySQL knowledge is probably out of date -
> I believe its underlying storage engine is now much improved and its SQL
> has been extended). Postgres is also relatively easy to administer and
> easily within the skill set of a competant sys admin/developer. Postgres
> has had a reputation as being slower than either Oracle or MySQL and
> unlike Oracle, you don't have many options to tweak performance. It has
> been fine in systems I've used it for, but none of them are what I would
> have categorised as being under a heavy load. However, I've always
> preferred postgrs over mysql because it has always felt more like a real
> database to me where mysql always felt like a cut down somewhat crippled
> system.
> I believe there is also plans out there to fork MySQL and have an OSS
> version that is not controlled by Oracle. The original author of MySQL
> was pretty vocal regarding his oposition to Oracle, which in my opinion
> was pretty pathetic - he sold it for a large sum of cash to Sun, which
> I think forfits his rights to get huffy about what someone does with it
> who has paid to own it.
> Some of the recent Oracle support and licensing stories I've heard
> recently does make me wonder if postgres might not become more popular,
> but I think this is separate from anything related to MySQL.

Nice summary. I don't do anything with MySQL but what you said and noted makes sense to me. Received on Thu May 27 2010 - 19:32:19 CDT

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