Oracle+FOSS is the Real Deal

Following the keynote below saw an interesting panel this AM on the topic of Oracle + FOSS (free and open source) software - Ken Jacobs (who directly manages the InnoDB team), Chris Jones from the scripting/PHP team, Mike Olson (former Sleepycat CEO), and Omar Tazi (Oracle Fusion Middleware OSS evangelist), moderated by Monica Kumar (Linux/OSS product marketing).

This panel offered a fairly thorough rundown of Oracle's FOSS efforts (which are deep as well as broad at this point), with these highlights:

  • Ken Jacobs explained that Oracle's open source strategy is not to have a strategy; in his view, open source technology is not inherently secure, innovative, or affordable (inherently "better", that is). Rather, it should be used only when it makes sense, not as a matter of "religion".

  • Omar Tazi explained how this approach is supported by Oracle Fusion Middleware's Hot Pluggable architecture and the development org's strong support for Eclipse and Apache projects, but not at the expense of JDeveloper (the dev teams are mutually insulated and separate). Again, use OSS where it makes sense to in the middle layer - Fusion Middleware is certified against some of the major offerings (Spring, Hibernate, Apache, etc)

  • Mike Olson pointed out that one of the underappreciated assets of Sleepycat is its "sustainable" dual licensing model, and suggested that his model (along with Sleepycat's 200 million customer deployments) was a major reason for his company's acquisition  by Oracle.

  • Chris Jones alluded to increased database integration with PHP in 11g (no further details).
If I had to summarize Oracle efforts, I would do so thus: Oracle intends to create a "trusted" environment in which customers can deploy FOSS and proprietary technologies in tandem and interchangeably, at no additional risk to them.

I also want to refer you to the new-and-improved oss.oracle.com. Historically this site as served as the hosting point for the open source projects managed by the Oracle Linux team. But in the last few weeks, I've worked with Wim Coekaerts et al (thanks, Joel Becker!) to make that site more of a "one stop shop" for information about all of Oracle's FOSS offerings. It's a great resource!

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