Monday Jun 02, 2008

Community Statistics for Netbeans Database Usage

"The database support in NetBeans allows users to connect to a database and view and modify the database structure and data. These graphs show which database servers users connect to most often."

Of particular note, besides the large usage of MySQL and Oracle, is the large usage of Java DB (Derby), and the significant PostgreSQL usage.

Thursday May 22, 2008

Sun OpenSolaris on Amazon Web Services

Simone Brunozzi writes about availability of OpenSolaris on Amazon Web Services.

PGCon 2008

After two days of PostgreSQL tutorials, several evenings of gatherings and a hackers' meeting, PGCon 2008 sessions began today.

Yesterday, Yahoo did make an important announcement having to do with their leveraging of PostgreSQL source base to build a system to run the largest database in the world. Reports of Yahoo's work can be found at InformationWeek ("Yahoo Claims Record with Petabyte Database") and ComputerWorld ("Size Matters: Yahoo Claims 2-Petabyte Database is the World's Biggest").

I wrote this while sitting in Andrew Sullivan's session on PostgreSQL project management. During Q&A, people discussed how to manage various feature proposals.

I should probably note here that a couple of weeks before the PGCon, we heard about a major US research institution looking into 64 bit PostgreSQL on Solaris for a large astronomy project.


(Note: Sun Microsystems already sells PostgreSQL support for Solaris. You can also learn more about OpenSolaris and databases for OpenSolaris, here.) 

Tuesday Apr 15, 2008

Skype and Sun

Skype and Sun have much in common—including not only their leveraging of the Internet but also their support for PostgreSQL!

They are both Gold Sponsors of PGCon 2008

It Runs Your Company

Monty's T-Shirt says it all.


Tuesday Apr 08, 2008

Open Source Databases on the Rise

Christopher Lawton of The Wall Street Journal reports on the rise of the open source databases:

The potential benefits in cost and flexibility have not been lost on customers. The market for open-source databases is expected to grow 35% to $270 million this year from $200 million in 2007, according to Gartner Inc. Among the earliest adopters are midsized companies, which don't always need the high-end features of conventional databases, says Carl Olofson, analyst with IDC, a market-research firm.

For example, Sun Microsystems Inc. provides supported offerings of MySQL, PostgreSQL and Java DB (Apache / Derby) to its customers.

If you're interested in discussion and community around open source database technologies for Solaris, see here.

Wednesday Mar 19, 2008

OSDB Events

The best way to learn about major open source databases (e.g. MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.) is to attend developer and user conferences. Sun Microsystems sponsors many of these conferences and events. (This April, you can catch Sun folks attending the MySQL conference in Santa Clara, and in May, you can catch them at PGCon in Ottawa.) Finally, if you're interested in Sun technologies and databases, you should become a member of the OpenSolaris Databases Community and start contributing.

Sunday Feb 24, 2008

Microsoft and Open Source Software

As the news of Microsoft's moves last week unfolds, strategists might find it useful to review "Dynamic Mixed Duopoly: A Model Motivated by Linux vs. Windows," by Ramon Casadesus-Masanell and Pankaj Ghemawat of Harvard Business School.

Working Knowledge carries an interview with the authors.

Monday Feb 11, 2008

"Asset Specificity" and Open-Source Software

Despite some excellent coverage of issues related to transaction cost economics of Open Source Software in The Success of Open Source (Harvard University Press, p. 193, "Business Models and Law"), Steven Weber may have misapplied Oliver Williamson's concept of "asset specificity" as an attribute of transactions .

Weber seems to be saying that Open Source Software, by virtue of its openness, will reduce asset specificity for those (including enterprises) who consume or use software, releasing them from lock-in. While the effect might be true, the reasoning diverges from the original meaning of the concept of "asset specificity," as coined by Williamson.

In The Mechanisms of Governance (Oxford University Press, pp. 59-60), Williamson states that his concept of asset specificity refers to "the degree to which an asset can be redeployed to alternative uses and by alternative users without sacrifice of productive value."

To clarify matters further, Williamson notes that there are varieties of asset specificities, e.g. (1) site specificity, (2) physical asset specificity, (3) human asset specificity ("that arises in learning by doing fashion"), (4) dedicated assets, (5) brand-name capital, and (6) temporal specificity. 

Let me elucidate the concept by giving some examples.

If I use some assets, say my Prius, to drive to the local supermarket to buy oranges, I have not used any assets specific to the transaction of buying those oranges. The transaction is a fully market-driven transaction. I could buy the oranges from a large number of groceries that do business near where I live.

Now, assume I'm an orange broker in Florida. I may station my operations site near the largest orange groves or near the largest auction market for oranges. I may buy some forensic equipment specific to orange analysis, and pay for membership dues in the orange auction market, etc. I may spend money to brand my brokerage service, calling it "Honest Oranges." Now, I've invested in assets that have a higher degree of specificity (in site, in physical nature, in brand capital, etc.) in order to carry on with the transactions I conduct as an orange broker in Florida.

Now, let's turn from oranges to software.

When it comes to software, we can have some in-dept discussion of each of the specificity types mentioned by Williamson and see if there are others. For example, the Internet, the digitalization of storage, content and distribution, has almost done away with "site specificity." You can consume software made in city A even if you live 12 time zones away in city B. On the other hand, some software must still be installed in a particular way and on particular hardware, generating a "physical asset specificity" effect.

The most important kind of specificity when it comes to software, however, is "human asset specificity."

When an enterprise uses open-source software, they still have this aspect of specificity to deal with. For open-source software, as for any software, human specificity arises in learning by doing fashion. In fact, human asset specificity governs the software transactions world much more deeply than many other product types.

Unless there is a backing from a supplier that has reduced the need for investments with high degree of "human asset specificity," the user of the open-source software will have to make such investments on its own.

This is exactly the reason why we see great consulting, services and integration businesses thrive around open-source software products.

Wednesday Jan 30, 2008

Buying PostgreSQL support got easier

Buying support for PostgreSQL on Solaris has become much easier.

Just click "Buy Now" on the PostgreSQL support page and you'll be on your way.

Friday Aug 03, 2007

Cooler than this?

MPK (Menlo Park) ... First Friday of August ... What can be cooler than taking a walk around the internal block of the Solaris building? I never knew where offices of all the people I was meeting in meetings were ... I still don't but did meet some as I walked "around the block" ... Friday ... buzzing with buzz of machines, conversation, plans and celebrations! ... What can be cooler in a hot August day?

Thursday Aug 02, 2007

Underground Notes and Voices from OSCon and Ubuntu Live

Some say Sun is as cool as OSCon (if not cooler) because, among most companies that support OSCon, only Sun can produce truly underground notes on OSCon.

David Van Couvering reviews Mike Olson's comments about his keynote at OSCon and pontificates about whether the value of Open Source could be limited to the collaboration it fosters. David aptly notes that

Open source and an open community gives you the assurance that the technology you are depending on is not going to be discontinued or put into "maintenance mode," it won't be acquired by someone who you would rather not do business with, and it won't be used as leverage against you to extract money or modify your behavior.

By way of further review, David contrasts MySQL as an Open Source project to PostgreSQL as an Open Source project.

In a separate underground note from OSCon, Barton George has posted his interview with Free Software Foundation lawyer Eben Moglen.

Barton has also produced a series of interviews with some six dignitaries during Ubuntu Live: Mark Shuttleworth. Tim Gardner, Jane Silber, Daniel Holbach, Stephen O'Grady, Jono Bacon.

Wednesday Jan 31, 2007

All The Uses

All the current uses of Apache / Derby  are truly astounding in the variety of applications. Those who have not had a chance to take a serious look are missing out. Sun Microsystems Inc. distributes Derby as Java DB, independently and with the JDK, beginning with JDK 6.



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