There are some big changes going on in the once staid world of databases. Take for example, Microsoft’s recent decision to offer SQL Server for free (with caveats) in what appears to be a blatant attempt to win over Oracle customers. Microsoft is also porting its enterprise database to Linux. Then there is the rise of NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, Apache Cassandra and Couchbase, and the Hadoop big data storage platform and ecosystem, almost all elements of which are open-source. Older open-source SQL databases are finding new audiences too, including MySQL (and its recent fork MariaDB), and PostgreSQL, which dates back to 1997.
Behind all this activity lies a number of factors. One is the growing acceptance of open-source as a valid alternative to proprietary software – a trail that was blazed by Linux. This is happening both in enterprises and in government, where initiatives aimed at cutting costs frequently recommend taking the open road, giving open-source databases more of a look in.