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Sun Microsystems Data Storage Databases Programming Software

Sun Hints At Open-Source Database Offering 167

Posted by timothy
from the trial-balloon-up-flagpole dept.
An anonymous reader points out a ZDNet story which begins "Sun Microsystems has raised the possibility that it might offer customers its own database, a move that could trigger displeasure at Oracle but curry favor with open-source advocates," writing "Last week, during a meeting with financial analysts, Chief Executive Scott McNealy showed a slide that placed the words 'Sun DB' next to a list of existing database products. McNealy offered no details besides 'stay tuned.'"
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Sun Hints At Open-Source Database Offering

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  • Uhm... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ceeam (39911) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:47AM (#11595491)
    Do we really, _really_ need another OS/Free RDBMS? What is it going to do what others don't?
    • Re:Uhm... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dsginter (104154) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:51AM (#11595507)
      What is it going to do what others don't?

      Make the PHB's feel all warm and fuzzy. Also see: StarOffice versus OpenOffice.
      • I have both MySQL and PostgreSQL running happily, doing different jobs. They're warm and fuzzy.

        I think I shall follow McNealy's advice and keep them 'tuned'.

        ;-)

    • Re:Uhm... (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It'll get Sun a few extra column inches. No doubt it'll come with a really good JDBC driver. Maybe they'll really rock the boat and it'll support stored functions written in Java.
    • Re:Uhm... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by leonmergen (807379) *

      Do we really, _really_ need another OS/Free RDBMS? What is it going to do what others don't?

      What does it matter ? If Sun wants to launch it, and it's under their not-so-opensource license, why not. It can't hurt. It doesn't cost us anything...

      Wasn't that what OSS is all about ? Having the choice ?

    • > Do we really, _really_ need another OS/Free RDBMS? What is it going to do what
      > others don't?

      Stored procedures & triggers?
      • Re:Uhm... (Score:3, Informative)

        by ultranova (717540)

        > Do we really, _really_ need another OS/Free RDBMS? What is it going to do what
        > others don't?

        Stored procedures & triggers?

        Funny, I seem to recall using both on PostgreSQL [postgresql.org], which I had compiled from the BSD-licensed source...

    • by Vo0k (760020) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:08AM (#11595576) Journal
      1) Another choice. Maybe a headache for developers who want to support them ALL, but possibly another choice for customers or those who want to support ONE database - Not sure why this one would be better, but why would it be worse? A different set of features may JUST fit your niche.
      2) Competition against proprietary. More open source solutions, less proprietary solutions. Another backstab to MSSQL :)
      3) Open source = box of ideas. Port whatever Sun database has cool in its code base to other free databases, make them better.
      4) Easier portability to other databases for proprietary software. If something uses SunDB and nothing else, having SunDB source you can easily write glue to make that thing run i.e. on PostgreSQL
      5) "Do we need"... and does SUN need another not-quite-competitive piece of proprietary software? What is better, dump it or release as Open Source?
      6) Open Source replaces negative competition with cooperation. There probably will be quite a bit current Open Source database developers can learn from Sun developers - and vice versa. And since it's no longer a trade sectret, the exchange is possible. Help? Why not?
      7) The Name. Having such a name as SUN behind this thing, customers who would otherwise never trust the "bunch of hippies" who write Free Software may adopt it. And then more of Open Source.
      8) Is it worse than others? Who knows what will the benchmarks show...
      9) Another move towards OS - another example, another encouragement for others to open up their proprietary products.
      10) Don't look the gift horse in the mouth.
      • 3) Open source = box of ideas. Port whatever Sun database has cool in its code base to other free databases, make them better.

        Unless of course it uses the same license they released OpenSolaris and related patents under recently.

    • I agree! If sun want to back an open source db, why not invest in Postgres?
  • Ahem (Score:2, Insightful)

    by strider44 (650833)
    It's going to be released under CDDL if anything. This in itself denies its use by most of the open source world. *sigh* why does Sun have to keep on trying to destroy Linux and the GPL?
    • Re:Ahem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:53AM (#11595518)
      Yes! Let's destroy Linux by contributing huge our resources to Gnome and OpenOffice.org!
    • Dude, they're not trying to destroy anything in particular.

      You can buy a box that will run Red Hat from them if you want - if you don't like Solaris under the CDDL, just go ahead and run Red Hat, or run the good ole binary Solaris.

      It's not like they're hurting anyone in any way other than offering a product under a given license. They are not taking anything *away* from others.

      If you don't like it, don't use it.

      Just like every other product out there, be it GPL'ed, BSD'ed or evil capitalist proprietary.
    • Re:Ahem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by htd2 (854946) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:06AM (#11595567)
      It's going to be released under CDDL if anything. This in itself denies its use by most of the open source world. *sigh* why does Sun have to keep on trying to destroy Linux and the GPL?

      Sigh, Sun is the largest single commercial donator of source under GPL dwarfing IBM, SGI, HP and all the other commercial entities involved in GPL by a wide margin.

      Just for laughs and to illustrate how risable your point is at the last count more of the Red Hat distribution had been donated by Sun than any other commercial entiry including Red Hat.

      The more I read OpenSource (really Linux) advocates flaming Sun for some imagined misdemeanor or other the more I tend to conclude that Sun has been remarkably forbearing with the community as a whole and that if Sun have been a bit rude on occasions they have been rather less rude then the community right royally deserves.

      Lets face it if you were to single out one major commercial player who has almost single handed made it possible for Linux ot exist its actually not IBM, SGI, HP but Sun. They were largely responsible for the creation of the commercial UNIX market, they were almost exclusively responsible for insisting on published standards, API's etc and they have made huge donations to the basic plumbing of Linux.

      Sadly these hugely worthy but clearly boring activities are nothing compared to the IBM/HP/SGI eye candy which has little to do with fostering open standards and OpenSource and everything to do with moving tin, SW and services.

      Sure they are abrasive but lets face it in the face of the abuse they have received I would be pissed as hell as well, talk about biting the hand that feeds.

      • The more I read OpenSource (really Linux) advocates flaming Sun for some imagined misdemeanor or other the more I tend to conclude that Sun has been remarkably forbearing with the community as a whole and that if Sun have been a bit rude on occasions they have been rather less rude then the community right royally deserves.

        Yeah, that was similar to my conclusions [slashdot.org]


      • Is it Sun or Sun's geeks? Would they work for Sun, and would other technical companies work with Sun, if they didn't release free/open software?

        Royally? Is it all at the forbearance of Scott McNeally, or is Scott McNeally at the forbearance of the skills, initiative and connections of people who work for Sun?

        Is Sun's passive aggressive behavior, or other companies open pushing of free/open software better for the trend of free/open software?

        Do people have free will and corporations are trying to ride tha
        • Re:Ahem (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cyngus (753668)
          Is it Sun or Sun's geeks? Would they work for Sun, and would other technical companies work with Sun, if they didn't release free/open software?

          Its both. I would work for Sun under almost any conditions they set forth as long as I was paid a decent salary. From what I hear and know of Sun culture, its awesome. A company really run by geeks, which hasn't belped them in the marketing department, but has allowed them to do so kickin' work.

          Is Sun's passive aggressive behavior, or other companies open pus
        • Re:Ahem (Score:2, Insightful)

          by htd2 (854946)
          Is it Sun or Sun's geeks? Would they work for Sun, and would other technical companies work with Sun, if they didn't release free/open software?

          Sun's founders most notably Bill Joy come from a precursor of OpenSource so you could say that it is ingrained in Sun's culture. But more important than that is Sun's core belief that industry should innovate around open standards. Few companies now would publically disagree with this stance but when Sun started expousing this doctrine it was universally ridicul
          • IBM's donation would appear to be largely useless but has no strings attached, Sun's appears to be very usefull but has strings as usual the community has become obsessed with the strings.

            You seem to disregard the fact that 1600 patents that you can't use due to strings attached are actually harmful (you need to avoid them, Sun explicitly said the license is GPL-incompatible on purpose) while 500 patents that you don't need to use are harmless. Besides, let's see how Sun clarifies the "we don't know yet w
      • Re:Ahem (Score:2, Insightful)

        by photon317 (208409)

        You're counting contributions by sun employees semi-officially and/or on their own time. Sun as a corporate entity isn't as giving to the GPL as you have portrayed them.
        • Re:Ahem (Score:3, Insightful)

          by htd2 (854946)
          You're counting contributions by sun employees semi-officially and/or on their own time. Sun as a corporate entity isn't as giving to the GPL as you have portrayed them.

          Really, so you have never heard of OpenOffice just the largest single donation of source under GPL (made by Sun) and Sun still continues to be by far in away the largest contributor with something like 100 full time staff.

          Heard of gnome Sun is heavily involved in Gnome. They have made big donations to Apache, Mozilla and a whole rang

          • Quit being such a lopsided bigot.

            NFS, PAM, XFN, etc that you list... the standard was set by Sun as an open standard, but the open source versions of them were reinvented on the outside, not donated by Sun.

            Sun didn't invent Gnome, they adopted it as a commercial strategy. The primary gnome developers were not Sun employees, although I havent kept track if they have become so recently.

            OpenOffice is definitely a huge chunk of GPL code, but they also didn't develop that. They purchased a dying company and
            • Re:Ahem (Score:3, Insightful)

              by htd2 (854946)
              NFS, PAM, XFN, etc that you list... the standard was set by Sun as an open standard, but the open source versions of them were reinvented on the outside, not donated by Sun.

              Wrong Sun has released the NFS source code and they also funded the University of Michigan to do a Linux port.

              And last time anyone actually counted Sun had more code attributed to it in the Red Hat distribution than any other commercial company including Red Hat. OpenOffice is definitely a huge chunk of GPL code, but they also di
          • Oh, so you're just hanging this all on StarOffice: a product which for the majority of it's actual life was nurtured by Star Division and not Sun. Swooping down and buying something with ill gotten dot-bomb cash is unimpressive when considering that it was StarDivision that for years had the gumption to attempt to compete directly with Microsoft on their own turf.

            The problem with Sun is that they can't decide whether or not they want to help us or to FUD us to death. This is why they get less respect than
      • The more I read OpenSource (really Linux) advocates flaming Sun for some imagined misdemeanor or other the more I tend to conclude that Sun has been remarkably forbearing with the community

        How long do you think it's going to be before Sun says "Screw you guys, we're going home?"
      • Sure they are abrasive but lets face it in the face of the abuse they have received I would be pissed as hell as well, talk about biting the hand that feeds.

        Sun started the abuse. Abrasive is when you rub your beard stubble; Sun's top executives' open hostility and condescension towards the GPL and Linux has been well documented for years in various news outlets. A backlash from the community isn't only expected, but understandable.

        What confuses the community is that there are Open Source engineers on

    • Re:Ahem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nathanh (1214) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:07AM (#11595573) Homepage
      It's going to be released under CDDL if anything. This in itself denies its use by most of the open source world. *sigh* why does Sun have to keep on trying to destroy Linux and the GPL?

      So you can't use CDDL code in Linux. So what? You can't use GPL code in FreeBSD. I don't hear the FreeBSD folks claiming that Linus is out to destroy FreeBSD.

      And what's this about "denies its use by most of the open source world"? What FUD! You can use it all you damn well like. You just can't mingle it with GPL code and distribute the result.

      You can, however, mingle CDDL code with BSD code and distribute the result.

      Get some perspective. It's free. It's open source. Yes, the license is intentionally incompatible with the GPL. You'll get over it. You're no worse off than you were before.

      • In Sourceforge, the GPL accounts for 41410 out of 62416 projects, which is approx 66.3% of all projects. The BSD license accounts for 4297 projects, which is about a tenth of what the GPL has. I'm saying that the source code is useless for most of the open source world. I don't really care whether it's "free" (as in beer) or not - my (admittedly short and vague) argument had nothing to do with that. I was talking about free as in speech.

        If over two thirds of the projects in the largest repository of
    • Re:Ahem (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LarsWestergren (9033)
      Hey, there are loads of open source databases already. Why would this be any more of a threat than the others?

      I also object to this FUD that Sun is out to destroy Linux. There is an amazing amount of badwill on Slashdot towards Sun.

      Bruce Perens compared the new CDDL licence to Sun "holding a gun" to the heads of the Linux community and "asking them to be grateful for it". WTF? No one is forcing the Linux community to use this database or the patents previously discussed. It is Suns products, they can do w
    • Re:Ahem (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Donny Smith (567043)
      What's it to you?
      Keep using your GPL software.

      It really goes on my nerves to see people claim that GPL is the only "free" license?
      CDDL? Big deal - download the software and use it - you never have to pay a single cent to Sun.

      The point here is that
      a) As the fucking article said, Sun's fed up with giving Oracle 50% of every DB deal they close while Oracle constantly competes with their application server platform
      and
      b) Lack of their "own" database is deterimental to Sun's utility strategy (presumably even IB
  • Oh really? Um, yay.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:49AM (#11595502)
    Another Open Source database already? How many do we need? MySQL, Postgres..didn't SAP release their DB engine under an OSS licence too? Given that Sun currently don't even offer their own closed database product, I can't imagine any OSS database offering from them is going to amount to much.
    • Sun would not really add much value here.

      Other vendors had their databases recently converted from closed model to open source. For example Computer Associates and Ingres, also IBM with Cloudscape (or whatever its name is now).

      Sybase has offered their database (which was MS SQL Server way back when) for free too, though not open source.

      So, why add one more thing to a saturated field?

      As someone else said, why not take PostrgreSQL and pool resources around it?
    • by turgid (580780)
      MySQL is already in Solaris 10.
    • SAP's is called SAPDB, or more recently MaxDB, and they are connected with MySQL now. There's also Firebird, which was Interbase when it was proprietary. Then there's the embeddable SQLite for the low-low end of SQL databases.
  • What with they think of next?
  • by johnjaydk (584895) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:52AM (#11595510)
    IMHO It's a bit stupid if Sun looks into getting their hands on an existing database in order to open-source it afterwards.

    Their resources would be better spent on improving an existing open-source db. My personal favorit is Postgresql but hey, it's their money.


    • Depends on how good the database is. If they bought one of the real contenders (I guess Sybase is the last one that might be buyable.....), then it could be quite worth it.

      Though I agree that the OS DB world has become too balkanized. There is really only need for a few of the OSS databases. I would say that HSQL, Derby, Postgres, and Firebird would pretty much cover the spectrum.
      • Now that someone (finally!) mentions Firebird, what if they "properly" buy out Interbase? IB7 has some really nice features added since the fork. I wonder where the fork could be re-merged with lots of the good things that the FB community done. FB is the clear winner IMO for most of small-to-medium complexity projects except for some "idioms", like case-sensitivity rules and generators.
    • My guess is that sun will buy a DB vendor and offer the db as OSS under their opensource license and a supported binary version, just as they do with openoffice and will do with solaris. I wonder what DB it will be. The crucial part here is that they want more controll than they would get if the just poured money into any OSS project that IBM and HP then get for free, IBM on the other hand has much more weight than sun and can buy PR points by offering resources "directly" to the OSS community. Looks like
    • IMHO It's a bit stupid if Sun looks into getting their hands on an existing database in order to open-source it afterwards.

      Its a good thing that they ignored your advice or similar when Sun bought StarDivision otherwise OpenOffice would not exist now would it Sun did buy a DBMS sometime ago when they bought Clustra which is currently used as part of their J2EE app server.
    • I guess everyone is missing the fact that they already have bought a database:
      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/03/1 9 /sun_saves_ clustra_from_enemy/

      replete with the postgres admirers 2+ years back:
      http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-hacker s/2002- 11/msg00893.php

      -----------
      sorry - just seeing this thread now (submitted on friday, pending for 2 days and was rejected .. but glad the story finally made it:) .. probably redundant info in here too
  • Build or Buy ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by supersnail (106701) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:56AM (#11595530)

    Given that a reasonably useful database system would be several hundred thousand lines of code, and, that Oracle & IBM have a 25 year head start not to mention MicroSofts 10 year head start. I don't think it would make sense for SUN to roll thier own database software.

    So the question is who are they gonna buy? IBM has already snapped up Informix. CA has "given" Ingres to the Open Source community. SAP has donated SAP/DB to MySql. MicroSoft is unlikely to sell Access or SQLServer. Which leaves -- Sybase?

    Could be intersting.

  • by ShinSugoi (783392) on Monday February 07, 2005 @07:58AM (#11595532)
    ... as the preferred choice for small-to-mid sized DB projects. I'm sure Sun is aware of this, so this "SunDB" is probably not something you're going to run for a typical website.

    This begs the question; exactly what role would high-end Open Source DB software be able to fill today? Oracle is well entrenched with both DBAs and businesses -- Unless there are serious flaws in it that I am unaware of, I don't see the SunDB going very far.
    • Well, considering the fact that mysql is the windows of the database world (crappy product, people use it despite its crappiness) it's going to be hard for any product to unseat it.
    • Solaris 10 comes with MySQL.
  • Say Ingres (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Donny Smith (567043) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:06AM (#11595570)
    My guess is it's going to be CA's Ingres.

    a) It is Open source
    b) CA is a non-competitor (no application server)
    c) CA has been harmonizing their open source license with Sun's (I wonder why?)
    d) CA hopes to make some buck from Ingress and even if they split it even, they're going to make a shitload more than by cooperating with Oracle.
    e) Ingres has parallel features like Oracle RAC so it's more suitable for Sun's vision and for enterprise customers than PostgreSQL or other open source databases.
    f) Oracle is competing with Sun (Oracle's application servers compete with Sun's J2EE servers/apps); there's no reason for Sun to help Oracle.

    I'd really really enjoy see Oracle on their own. I've really had enough of their sales people...

    The time for them to pause and think real hard how they're going to compete in the future.
    Did they really think their competitors were going to stand idly and watch them take all the money (Oracle + Linux).... Hahahaha....
    • Re:Say Ingres (Score:2, Informative)

      by freemacmini (852263)
      YOu forgot the most important reason.

      Ingres is the only "enterprise" open source DB that can scale to lots of processors.

      Obviously sun will want to go with something that will run well on their high end hardware.

      It will be interesting to see sun try and sell ingres though. CA couldn't really sell it to any new customers and sun isn't known for their marketing savvy.
    • "Get the money, get the fucking money"
  • by Secrity (742221) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:08AM (#11595575)
    It seems that Sun has decided that Linux is more of a threat to it than MS. Sun has competition in the server market from three places; other Sys 5 distributors, Windows, and Linux. Sun seems to have made it's peace with MS by entering settlements with them. The other major Sys 5 distributors are either moving to Linux, moving to Windows, or are suing their customers. This leaves Linux with it's GNU license as Sun's major threat. It is only logical that Sun use it's resources against it major threat, which is now Linux and the GPL. I wonder how long Sun will still support Open Office. I wonder how long Sun will still distribute GNU licensed software with Solaris.
    • is this astroturfing or ignorance?

      arguably, sun has contributed more lines of open source code than any other corporation. The GPL is not a threat to Sun. Cheap hardware running a free OS may hurt their bottom line slightly, but GPL'd software surely is OK with them.

      considering that Sun is responsible for openoffice, i would guess they plan to support its use for a long time to come. Did you ever even bother to look at the splash screen on OOo when it starts up? (check out that sun logo)
    • by LarsWestergren (9033) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:40AM (#11595750) Homepage Journal
      Insightful?

      Fud fud and more goddamn fud more like it. "Sun has decided that Linux is a threat" "Sun are in bed with MS". You mean the settlement patent that Gosling recently said "means less and less to us".

      Sun gave us Open Office, and a damn lot of support for free, as well as a shitload of other things, and now you are "wondering" (a sneakier more underhanded way of accusing them) if they are going to stop. Well, if that is the gratitude they get, don't be surprised if they do.

      I wonder how long Sun will still distribute GNU licensed software with Solaris.

      And what does this have to do with anything? They have no reason to remove it, and if they did this would only be an inconvenience to Solaris users. It would do nothing to hurt GNU/GPL/Linux or whatever.

      It is only logical that Sun use it's resources against it major threat, which is now Linux and the GPL.

      Just more unusbstantiated accusations.
      • Sun has given some stuff to the open source community, but they have also kept some important stuff proprietary and even lied about it (most importantly, Java).

        Fud fud and more goddamn fud more like it.

        Funny, Sun fanboys like you scream "FUD" at the top of their lungs whenever anybody criticizes the company or has concerns about their future. But those concerns are well grounded. Sun has lost its traditional customer base, they are not a competitive Linux vendor, and they aren't going to make money of

    • Just go peruse Sun's blogs (http://blogs.sun.com). Sun doesn't hate Linux, several of their engineers say so, and they even sell Linux on their servers and as part of the Java Desktop System.

      Sun is a _systems_and_services_ company. Sure, their main product is Solaris on SPARC (and, now, Opteron), but they'll keep on selling Linux, I bet. The reason is that Solaris and Linux both use open standards and protocols, so interoperability isn't the big mess it is with Windows.

    • Mod parent down I think... (unless you make it uninsightful ;-)

      Sun is placing itself in a very key role, and is expanding its market despite very turbulent times.

      Sun has given us many many things, and has scored major victories over MS, far better than MS's current homework assignment to bring an apple to the eu bosses office, and rape windows.

      To be honest, the whole anti-competative thing of removing media player was an anti-climax.

      They needed to have lasting requirements never to throttle peoples acce
  • BerkeleyDB has got to stop letting licensees change the name of the source product!

    Move along people, no competition here for Oracle or DB2.

  • Clustra anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rleyton (14248) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:17AM (#11595619) Homepage
    Some three years ago, folk might recall Sun picked up a superb little database outfit by the name of Clustra [theregister.co.uk]. They buried it in iPlanet.

    Used it a lot myself [leyton.org], and felt that - like many other companies Sun have bought - the pointy haired bosses there just didn't realise what they'd acquired.

    Maybe a much-needed clue has finally hit home at Sun, and they're going to give Clustra the lease of life it sorely needs and deserves.

    • Re:Clustra anyone? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That might be the case - Sun certainly has the appropriate competence available. Clustra, which was located in Norway and recruited most of its engineers from the local university's database systems group, still has about 40 engineers working on database products at the same offices as before, although now under the Sun Microsystems name.
    • Re:Clustra anyone? (Score:2, Informative)

      by noodle dancer (852371)
      I'd put my money on it being Clustra any day. Why would Sun want to fool around with MySQL, or Postgres, or Ingres when they have their own HA DBMS and a truck load of developers.

      Clustra was developed by Svein-Olaf Hvasshovd, Oystein Torbjornsen, and Svein Erik Bratsberg http://www.informatik.uni-trier.de/~ley/db/indices /a-tree/h/Hvasshovd:Svein=Olaf.html [uni-trier.de]. Looks like Svein-Olaf - Sophus - went back to Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. But Oystein and Svein-Erik still work fo
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Monday February 07, 2005 @08:22AM (#11595641) Homepage
    Sun's been touting selling an "application stack" for at least 6 years now. They've been pushing it with Veritas and Oracle as underpinnings for quite a while, but with Solaris 10's ZFS, they can push out the need for Veritas Filesystem and Volume Manager, and this can be a step to push out Oracle.

    With MySQL being dual-licensed, and questionable for Enterprise-level DB use, it's not really an option to sell incorporated into the stack. PostgreSQL would be an option, since they could fork it (and the PostgreSQL team not having heard anything is irrelevant to an extent, since it's BSD-licensed). I think we can sit back and see what happens pretty safely. They're certainly not going to make things incompatible with Oracle for a back-end, but I'm sure they'd like to offer a cheap solution since they're obviously trying to lower-cost solutions in order to stay alive.

    What's the status of compatibility with native Java bits with Ingres? Oracle has obviously bitten on the Java-compatibility of everything, but I think that anything Sun would want to do DB-wise would keep Java squarely in the mix.
  • ...during a meeting with financial analysts...

    Might this mean their database will have time-series functionality, a la FAME [sungard.com]?... or was McNealy just blathering to anyone who'd listen...

  • With the announcement made (last year I think) that oracle would charge for each processor in a multi-core processor, combined with Sun's push towards CMP, Sun could be trying to make their servers more attractive towards potential DB owners...
  • If Sun is doing a database, somebody better tell Tim Bray [tbray.org]:

    Other Questions [from the Sun Analyst Summit] There were lots of questions, most of them good; here are the ones that stuck in my memory...

    Why Doesn't Sun Do a Database? Well, it would be nice to have one, but does the world need another?

    So, is McNealy just being coy, or is Bray terminally out of the loop?

  • Isn't this just Sun's answer to CloudScape?

    Monkey see, monkey do?

  • I wonder what class of DB will be released by sun. On the lowest end, something like minisql, sqlite, sleepycat, middle level mysql, higher level postgresql, ingres, sybase, or highest level, oracle.

    Theyre not competing with oracle if the database is for webservers, or to keep email aliases for sendmail.
  • bad for Open Source (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FSK (123170) on Monday February 07, 2005 @09:35AM (#11596105) Homepage
    IBM kicked Sun in head by dropping support for DB2 on Solaris so maybe McNealy wants to find out what it feels like when Oracle kicks them in the stomach as well.
    Very few people in the enterprise world trust MySQL or PostgreSQL for anything other then web apps so this isn't going to win Sun any new business.

    Oracle is an amazingly vindictive company, they will put the screws to Sun if they feel even slightly threatened. This is bad for Open Source because it just gives IT managers one more reason to replace Unix based systems with WinNT. Convincing your boss to move from Unix based commercial OS to Linux or BSD is a lot easier then trying to get Linux or BSD into a Windows shop. So in the end this will be bad for Open Source.

    • by grigori (676336)
      IBM hasn't dropped DB2 for Solaris - they just haven't done it (?) for Solaris on peecee. They still do lots of it on SPARC. Oracle already screwing Sun and their cost/core really hurts total purchase price. This way Sun can say 'you want a DB app for free on our OS - here ya go'
  • by t482 (193197) on Monday February 07, 2005 @09:54AM (#11596254) Homepage
    Actually I forecasted this [xminc.com] on my weblog last week.

    Here is why: Oracle is now officially pushing linux on its customer base (they are slowing moving Oracle Hosting Services (OHS) over to a Linux based service. IBM is removing support for Solaris (Domino, Websphere, DB2). And Checkpoint is pushing Linux appliance servers. And so Sun is seeing an assult from all quarters.

    In fact most people buy Oracle per CPU (typically $50K per CPU). Those running a machine with AMD Opterons running 64 bit Suse Linux and Oracle can expect to see a 4x improvement in performance per dollar of Oracle licensing fees. PowerPC also outperform Sun machines - and so many Banks are switching to AIX to reduce Oracle licensing fees.

    What does that leave for Sun? To move up the value chain and start selling a system with a database integrated right into the OS. Sun will want a database that they can control though - so I bet the relationship with CA Ingris will sour (joint ventures almost never work) and they will switch to supporting Postgresql or another database they can dominate and buy up most of the developers.

  • If they can release something that's better than postgresql, then yay. Otherwise, they shouldn't bother. Simple as that.
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Monday February 07, 2005 @10:46AM (#11596789) Homepage
    if Sun provides a decent competitor to Access on the desktop - one that's better and better supported by them than the new database being introduced with OpenOffice 2.

    Sun is in no position to beat Oracle, MS SQL Server, Sybase, or (in the OSS community) MySQL, FireBird, and PostgreSQL with something new in that space. No community for one thing, no rep for another.

    If it's just a "warm fuzzy" for their locked-in customers nervous about open-sourcing Solaris, then it's irrelevant to the rest of us.

  • by teneighty (671401) on Monday February 07, 2005 @01:22PM (#11598662)

    The database in question is probably a database originally created by a Norwegien company called Clustra. This company was acquired by Sun 2 or 3 years ago. Clustra built a distributed database system that was seen by Sun to be a good fit for Sun's J2EE platform.

    If it's true that this database is being offered as an open source product, it could be very interesting because it's a very good database from what I hear.

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