Monday, January 21, 2008

Postgres is not for sale

Rather than try to summarize Greg Sabino Mullane's excellent blog post from yesterday, I am going to give you a link to the original post and copy the post right here.  Greg really nails it on the head.  He provides his commentary on the MySQL deal itself further down in the post, which I did not copy.  Check it out.

In light of the recent MySQL sellout, I'd like to once again answer the question that pops up occasionally: "Who will purchase Postgres?" Sure, it brings a smile to those of us immersed in the open source world, but it bears a serious answer: Postgres cannot be bought. While from a distance, MySQL and PostgreSQL look the same ("open-source databases"), they are very different beasts, both in technical and non-technical ways. In a nutshell, the difference can be expressed as:

MySQL is an open-source PRODUCT.

Postgres is an open-source PROJECT.

Only two letters of difference between 'product' and 'project', but a very important distinction. MySQL is run by a for-profit corporation (MySQL AB), which owns the code, employs practically all the developers, dictates what direction the software goes in, and has the right to change (indeed, has changed) the licensing terms for use of the software (and documentation).

By contrast, Postgres is not owned by any one company, is controlled by the community, has no licensing issues, and has its main developers spread across a wide spectrum of companies, both public and private. Can a software product succeed using such a system? Well, the other letters in the original LAMP (Linux, Apache, and Perl) have similar models, and they seem to be doing just fine. Like Postgres, there is no way to "buy" any of those projects either.

Of course, EnterpriseDB is a company.  And, we have an excellent database built on the Postgres foundation.  And, I may get in trouble for this, but I am willing to entertain all offers for EnterpriseDB starting at $5 billion US.

As noted at the bottom of the blog:  The comments expressed by me in this blog are my own and may not represent the opinions of EnterpriseDB.

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