User:Cclitten/Open Source Databse

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Open Source Database Open source is defined as "something pertaining to or denoting software whose source code is available free of charge to the public to use, copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute."[1]

Open source databases allow the user to modify the source code to fit their specific needs. Additionally, open source databases are generally free of charge. Another benefit of open source coding is the fact that the user does not rely on a software company. Dependence on a software company for DBMS could cause problems if that company were to go out of business or bankrupt. Eventually, the software would become obsolete and unusable, making the data in the DBMS unusable as well.

Some downsides to open source include the lack of company support. Have a company to back the product not only allows for constant technical support, but also guarantees a standard, professional interface. Additionally, hardware companies are less likely to make products for use with open source software, which can lead to inconvenience for the open source user. The issue of security in these two types of DBMS is an interesting one. Supporters of each type say that their DBMS is more secure. Commercial supports say that having a company’s name on a product helps to insure security. However, open source supporters explain that more people view open source software coding, which acts as more people “checking” it. If someone in the network detects a security issue with an open source product, then they could alert others and work to fix the issue. Similarly, open source coding guarantees against a back door to encryption. If the code were available to view and modify, any type of weak link would be soon identified.

Benefits of Open Source
Generally free - some may charge nominal fee for complex features
Ability to modify source code - customize usage to needs
Not dependent on software companies - if software company were to fail, commercial software eventually would become obsolete
More feedback - more people look at coding to find error, security risks, etc.

Disadvantages of Open Source
Lack of technical support - no customer service representatives to call
Messy interface - interface is not standardized by manufacturer
Lack of supporting hardware - hardware companies are hesitant to make products compatible with software that does not have a brand name to back it up

Commonly Known Open Source
Android - mobile platform
Google Chrome

Business Intelligence Implications
In recent years, social networking has taken gained widespread popularity. Social networking has a place with open source software in the world of Business Intelligence. Open source software encourages networking and sharing information. Consumer demand is changing. As open source software is becoming more and more prevalent, consumers are beginning to expect more for less. Previously, paying for DBMS was considered a given. But with the growing popularity of free or almost free open source programs, consumers are building a general opposition to paying for these systems. In order to keep up, commercial software companies are often giving out trials of their programs or limited services for free.

Looking Ahead
Most large companies are sticking with commercial databases. The trust that comes with a name brand backing their information is more valuable to them than the flexibility of open source software. Most companies are also largely invested financially in whatever company supports their information, so making a switch is a big adjustment. However, some companies are starting to take advantage and utilize open source software. For these companies, the cost benefit and customizability supersede the desire for a company name.

Some commercial brands are exploring the open source field. Oracle is looking to combine their technology with that of products such as MySQL. This combination offers the flexibility and customization of open source software while offering a reputable brand and support.[2] This may prove to be the path that many companies take in the future in order to get the best of both worlds.

[3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Oracle". Oracle's Support for Open Source and Open Standards. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Gonzalez-Barahona, Jesus. "Conecta". Advantages of open source software. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Lowe, Scott. "Tech Republic". Selecting a database: Open source or commercial?. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Whiting, Rick. "Information Week". Open Source, Open Questions. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Mullins, Craig. "Database Trends and Applications". A Quick Look at the Open Source DMBS Market. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Dashboard Insight". Retrieved 20 April 2011. 

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