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8/11/2006
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Open Source Making Inroads Into Oracle Base: Survey

The survey, conducted by the Independent Oracle Users Group, found that most open-source usage was at the edge of enterprise applications--such as Web servers or single-function servers.

Open source software is making inroads into Oracle database installations with some 60 percent of IT installations using some form of open source software, according to a new survey of Oracle sites.

However, the survey, conducted by the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) found that most open source usage was at the edge of enterprise applications such as Web servers or single function servers.

In an e-mail Friday, Ari Kaplan, IOUG CEO and president, said MySQL was the most popular open source database supplier at Oracle installations. MySQL captured 33 percent of that open source category in the survey of 269 IOUG members. Runner-up in the category was PostgreSQL with 9 percent.

The survey found that more than one-third of the respondents indicated maintenance and support for open source software was increasingly becoming a problem.

"For tech support -- meaning the database team needs to resolve bugs in the software " IT managers still call Oracle Corporation or third-party support companies. For internal IT support (my printer broke, I forgot my password type of questions), many companies do have an internal tech support center," Kaplan said.

Support was somewhat schizoid in that a sizeable group representing 22 percent of survey respondents found open source maintenance to be more reliable than proprietary commercial solutions, because fixes and upgrades are readily available from the open source community. Still others liked help from proprietary sources.

"The largest number of respondents, in fact, (said) maintenance and support are important issues that open source does not address as effectively as commercial products," the IOUG report stated.

Small companies are most likely to adopt open source databases, the survey said. Oracle has been addressing the small business market with its Express Edition, the report said.

Not all Oracle users are trying open source software; the survey found that 14 percent of Oracle users weren't using open source software and had no plans to use it in the future. Another category called "beginners" with less than one year's open source experience comprised some 16 percent of the survey group. The largest group -- labeled "average" -- had from one to three years experience with open source and made up 45 percent of the respondents. The "advanced" group represented three or more years of open source experience. That group made up 25 percent of the respondents.

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