PostgreSQL – Taking on Oracle

“Last week, Salesforce.com ran a job listing calling for a number of engineers with experience in PostGreSQL — an open source alternative to databases like those sold by Oracle. Speculation is already swirling that Salesforce is looking for PostGresSQL engineers so that it can ditch Oracle once and for all, and it’s easy to see why. The listing — sent to the PostGresSQL jobs mailing list and reported by The New York Times — says that Salesforce is looking to hire five PostGreSQL database engineers this year and between 40 and 50 engineers next year for a “huge project.” The engineers are wanted to “design and implement major pieces of the salesforce.com core database infrastructure.””

see Can Salesforce Kick Its Oracle Habit and Go Open Source? | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com.

There is speculation this move by SalesForce is a prelude to quitting Oracle database. If so it could be the beginning of the end of yet another monopoly in IT. Oracle and databases have been synonymous in big business for years but enough have switched to PostgreSQL to prove it works. Would SalesForce be enough to tip the scales?

Oracle can do a strategic withdrawal from monopoly by gradually reducing prices. They certainly could go a long way and remain profitable. They have monopoly pricing only because many businesses consider a discount offsets the cost of migrating to PostgreSQL. It would not take much more than switching to FLOSS web apps and PostrgreSQL for the Oracle monopoly to sag. SalesForce could be the example.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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One Response to PostgreSQL – Taking on Oracle

  1. Tiberius James Hooker says:

    Oracle does not have a monopoly in the enterprise DBMS market, what they have is a commanding lead (66% of the market, as I recall) similar to Apache in the HTTPd market. DB2 and MS SQL have strong positions behind them.

    That being said, Postgres is awesome, I swear by by it, and it’s my first choice for projects where Oracle isn’t required or is to deployed on x86, I highly recommend it to anyone, especially EnterpriseDB’s professional offering with all the Oracle-compatability doodads (we use EDB Postgres installations as slaves to replicate our Oracle databases to, and our sprocs won’t break with this package).

    The learning curve is relatively steep, but eventually you’ll begin to wonder how you ever got along with MySQL. The maturity and robustness of the ACID, MVCC and SPROC implementations, amongst others, is in the same tier as Oracle, MS and IBM offerings. Not to mention it lacks the limitations to vertical scalability that MySQL has.

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