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January 26, 2016updated 30 Aug 2016 3:19pm

Database wars, open or closed continue.. Oracle, Microsoft & IBM V PostgreSQL, MariaDB & EnterpriseDB

List: A new CEO, hundreds of patches and latest versions of databases, January has been a busy month for database vendors.

By James Nunns

At the start of the year it was revealed that Oracle had maintained its place at the top of the database software rankings, holding off competitors MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server and others such as MongoDB and PostgresSQL.

In 2014 the databases that saw the fastest growth rates were all open source, a trend that continued into 2015 as they slowly chip away at the market leader Oracle.

Creating strong competition through cheaper pricing models, the open source competitors have increased the pressure on the established players to continue to innovate.

CBR looks at three of the market leaders versus disruptors and what 2016 has brought for them so far.


1. Oracle

The high price of relational databases has become a key driver of adoption of other non-relation database offerings but Oracle Database 12c remains the market leader.

Recently the company issued a number of patches that closed security holes in database server versions,, and One of the issues that could have been exploited in the Java VM component could have seen an attacker take full control over the database server.

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The 248 patches issues by Oracle actually created a new record but despite this the company was still identified as a leader in Forrester’s Wave Q4 2015 report.

It remains the number one choice for the majority of the market.


2. Microsoft SQL Server

A close rival to Oracle in the database space, Microsoft has frequently updated SQL Server so that it can more effectively compete by giving customers what they want.

The relational database management system recently had its AlwaysOn Availability Groups improved.

The improvements include distributed transaction coordinator support, which helps to manage transactions across multiple databases and instances.

Other improvements include load balancing across readable secondary replicas, group managed service accounts, optimised log transport and synchronous replicas.


3. IBM

IBM’s DB2 is the company’s database system that is focused on delivering strong performance for mission critical support across multiple platforms.

Its strengths include integrated support for a number of NoSQL capabilities such as XML, graph stor and Java Script Object Notation, commonly referred to as JSON.

The data platform can be used for both transactional and analytical operations.

Earlier this month IBM’s executive vice president for IBM Software and Systems, Steve Mills decided to retire.
The significance of this is that Mills had been at the company since 1973 and had been a key part of the drive behind DB2.


4. MariaDB

One of the major open-source relational database companies, MariaDB has had a busy start to the year with the appointment of a new CEO, CTO and $9m funding from Intel Capital and California Technology Ventures.

Michael Widenius, who originally created MySQL and has been appointed as CTO while Michael Howard became the CEO.

Speaking to CBR, Howard said: "The wild west is happening on the security side so far but at the same time there is more rigor and necessity for analytics. In today’s world the head of sales cannot come into the boardroom and say he went to some golf game to determine what the forecast is.

"At the same time the security to process analytics endeavours has to be a necessary symbioses of sorts."

The company is planning to use the funding to improve its marketing efforts and enhance its offering with security and analytics top of the agenda.


5. PostgreSQL

The latest version of the company’s database was released with several improvements that include making it 96% faster than the previous version.

In addition, the company added a feature called UPSERT – "ON CONFLICT DO NOTHING" (or "ON CONFLICT DO UPDATE"). The key benefit of this is that it gives database developers a more effective and efficient way to insert data, while managing insert conflicts.

Looking at the big picture this development means that it has removed the last barrier for MySQL users to migrate to PostgreSQL.

Row-level security and improved security are additions that all tailor it to being better suited to being considered a database that is fit for large scale enterprises.


6. EnterpriseDB

Considered the leading Postgres database company by many, EnterpriseDB hasn’t been left behind by its PostgreSQL competitor’s release of its latest version.

EDB has quickly followed suit by making its Advanced Server version 9.5 and Enterprise Manager version 6.0 available.

Enhancements have focused around increased performance and scalability, which are key factors for a database that is looking to handle enterprise levels of data.

Vertical scaling has been improved from the previous version with the company saying that the latest will give users a 96% performance boost at 64 concurrent connections on a high-end server for read workloads.


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