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Why Open Source DBMS are Now More Popular than Commercial Offerings

Simon Riggs4/27/2021
Open source

In the 1951 sci-fi classic film, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Klaatu lands on earth in a huge silver flying saucer, accompanied by a powerful silver robot. He comes "in peace and with good will."

Nice entrance, but he didn't achieve much, compared to the strides made over the last few years in open source and PostgreSQL.

To date, PostgreSQL has achieved a great deal—but no loud entrance, no flying saucer, no shiny robot. Open source just never had the budget, compared to proprietary relational databases.

But what PostgreSQL does have is advanced tech that does useful things for millions of database applications worldwide—enabling low-cost logistical applications for governments, charities, schools and scientific research. That’s no better evidence that we come in peace for all humankind, including all the normal banking, telecommunications, information and retail applications.


Why Postgres is Leading

Why mention this now? Did the Earth stand still? Recently? Actually, yes, it did. On Jan 13, announced that "Open source database management systems are now more popular than commercial offerings."

So, what stood still? The industry reached the inflection point on the growth curve of open source, as more than 50% of people now talk about open source, accepting it as a dominant force, the best approach, and the inevitable conclusion.

And what is responsible for this rising change? PostgreSQL. MySQL interest is in slow decline, MariaDB interest is levelling off, sqlite in gradual gain. Of the relational databases, only PostgreSQL shows a steady, consistent, significant upward motion in popularity and interest. And PostgreSQL beats all other NoSQL based approaches too.


Power to Postgres

And who is the biggest contributor to PostgreSQL over the last 10 years? EDB, together with recently acquired 2ndQuadrant, is easily the largest, most popular dedicated provider of solutions for PostgreSQL users, as well as the largest single contributor to open source PostgreSQL, by a long shot. And just for clarity, some EDB solutions are closed source, but those are optional value-adds.

No flying saucer, just open source solutions for the real world.

PostgreSQL barada nikto!

Simon built and ran 2ndQuadrant until it merged recently with EDB, helping many customers with their Postgres solutions. As a technologist he has contributed widely to PostgreSQL across 16 years and now continues his work with the PostgreSQL community, as well as being an author of five editions of ...