Until some time ago, open source code was considered unreliable by many. It was often felt that the code used in open source software had been developed by someone who worked part-time and not by a professional programmer. It was believed that the software could be a bit lacking in terms of features and facilities offered and in terms of security. But those days are long gone. Open source software has been around for a long time – MySQL first appeared in 1995.
According to StatisticalIn the ranking of the world’s most popular database management systems in June 2021, Oracle, a proprietary system, was highest, followed closely by MySQL. Microsoft SQL Server (still owner), PostgresSQL and MongoDB respectively occupied the third, fourth and fifth places. This shows how the acceptance of open source software has grown over the years to be on par with proprietary software today.
Perona ranked most popular open source databases in 2020 in the following order:
- PostgreSQL (45%)
- Redis (40%)
- MariaDB (39%)
- Elastic search (39%)
- MongoDB (38%)
- Kafka (15%)
A Ray of trust Examining open source databases revealed that the top three customer satisfaction ratings were PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MariaDB. Again, these two surveys show the popularity of open source databases.
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What Makes Open Source Database Popular
The defining characteristic of open source data base is that users receive the source code of the program as well as the database. Obviously, with proprietary databases, users never see the source code. And, since users have access to the source code, they can make any changes to it that they believe will improve database performance. They can run the software at any time and on any software they choose. There is absolutely no lock of any kind. In addition, the license to use the software is traditionally free.
So how do the companies that supply the open source software earn money? Most of the companies that use the software don’t have a lot of expertise in-house, which means they probably aren’t improving the code themselves. Typically, they buy support from the provider. The alternative is to employ staff with extensive knowledge of open source software who can exploit its features and add new ones as needed.
One of the main reasons that open source software is so popular is that as new business models emerge, there is more likely to be open source software available to exploit these new business opportunities than a product. owner available.
Additionally, open source databases are probably as mature as the proprietary versions, which means all the facilities and features most people need are already part of the product. Additionally, users can customize their open source database, which makes them very flexible to use.
And, of course, there is a massive user community – certainly for the most popular open source products. This means that there are often YouTube training videos available, as well as a wide range of documentation. In addition, there are often forums where people can ask questions and experts can answer them.
For open source database users, the fact that the product is free is a big plus. This removes the costs associated with proprietary databases and removes the need, from time to time, to negotiate when the supplier increases their prices. Compared to that, there is the cost of employing experienced staff or purchasing vendor support, but this makes the expense more predictable for many sites.
The first open source databases used SQL and were simple key-value databases, for example MySQL and PostgreSQL. Illustrating the flexibility of open source, we now have databases that store document information (e.g. MongoDB and Couchbase) and wide column databases (e.g. Cassandra and HBase), which can be used to analyze large data sets. Internet of things (IoT) devices produce large amounts of data, just like social media. It requires a way to be analyzed and open source databases can be used to do this, unlike traditional databases.
Sometimes people talk about NoSQL databases. These are less structured and more flexible than SQL databases and do not use tabular relationships. This is the document information and large column database types mentioned above.
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Cloud providers vs open source database providers
It’s no surprise that if organizations want to use open source databases, they’ll want to use them in the cloud as well, and companies like Amazon are succeeding. Amazon Web Services (AWS) claim that “AWS Database Services make it easy to manage open source database workloads in the cloud with performance, scalability, and availability.” They offer MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Redis, among others.
The Microsoft Azure cloud supports PostgreSQL, MySQL, and others. And Google, DigitalOcean, Rackspace, and other public cloud providers support a range of open source databases. And it all sounds good to users.
Many of these public cloud providers offer to install and maintain open source databases, which can be quite difficult work, but they can automate. While this seems very useful for users, it caused some irritation to open source database vendors as it was one of the ways they had previously increased users’ income from their products. MongDB and Elastic are particularly upset.
In their response, Elastic uses a more restrictive set of licenses. MongoDB has already switched to a more restrictive license, the Server Side Public License (SSPL). This applies restrictions to cloud providers who are not its partners. The standard license is a General Public License (GPL).
Amazon’s response to Elastic’s comments is that it will fork Elastic’s code. Forking is a fairly common term and means that a company or person will take the latest version of an open source product and use it. They will then be responsible for any update of their version of the code. For Amazon, this will be the version they sell to people using their public cloud. Another example is MariaDB, which was originally a fork of MySQL, and the two products remain very similar.
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Open Source by Suppliers
The Oracle company, which supplies the Oracle database, also supplies the open source database, MySQL! MySQL was born in Sweden in 1995 and was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008. Oracle acquired Sun in 2010 and obtained MySQL as part of the agreement. He continued to develop the product and version 8.0 of MySQL Server was announced in 2018. MySQL is by far the most popular open source database in use today. It is used by leading social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Other proprietary database providers do not offer an open source alternative.
At the end of the line
Open source databases have become increasingly popular since the arrival of MySQL in the 1990s. They offer organizations a range of choices – far more than proprietary database vendors – that can meet specific business needs. ‘a database with which any organization is confronted. Not all open source databases use SQL, and that can often be a big advantage. Additionally, as new business opportunities arise, open source databases are generally quick to provide a way to exploit that opportunity.
Their entry into the mainstream has seen a dramatic increase in their use over time. The availability of open source databases in public cloud environments will see their use increase even further in the future.
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