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Re: (wtf) Top 20 Open Source Software Projects inthe Enterprise

From: Greg Smith <gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: (wtf) Top 20 Open Source Software Projects inthe Enterprise
Date: 2007-07-24 18:42:28
Message-ID: Pine.GSO.4.64.0707241338410.16243@westnet.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007, Jim Nasby wrote:

> Perhaps some of the independent PostgreSQL consultants want to become 
> experts in some of these packages so that they can offer support.

There are a fair number CRM packages out there, and MySQL is the preferred 
database on some percentage of them.  Similarly, there are a large number 
of CMS systems out there where it's the preferred storage backend.

Here's how the chicken/egg problem here works if you're an independant 
consultant.  The potential customer base for any individual [CRM|CMS] 
package is pretty small because both these markets are so fragmented.  If 
one picks a package and becomes an expert at that, you can expect that 
most potential clients will be running MySQL.  Therefore you're stuck 
becoming somewhat expert at using it.

The value added by knowing how to use PostgreSQL instead only really kicks 
in when MySQL just isn't good enough to work at all, which in this context 
usually comes from it not scaling up enough.  So the only time you pick up 
new customers who appreciate the PostgreSQL experience (rather than 
viewing it as something you're distracted by) are from bigger companies 
straining against the limits of the software, and those sort of companies 
try not to get backed into a corner like that in the first place, or even 
use open-source for this type of app.

I'd consider it an unwise career decision for someone who's already 
billing for PostgreSQL time to focus too hard on any one of these 
packages.  There's just not enough synergy between the two skill sets. 
MediaWiki sticks out as the only package popular enough and often 
associated with larger sites that I'm really motivated to pick up specific 
expertise with it.

I have a side project fixing up PostNuke with proper PostgreSQL support, 
but even that wasn't cost-justifiable for me to work on until after the 
core developers decided it was important for them to support multiple 
database backends.  Once they'd embraced the full abstraction of ADODB, 
the ability to support a PostgreSQL port came naturally from that work. 
As more projects move to database abstraction layers like that one it 
becomes easier to substitute PostgreSQL in situations where MySQL reigns 
right now.  But you can't forget that such redesigns aren't specifically 
helping PG, they give every database engine a market opportunity; the next 
step in PostNuke's roadmap is full MS-SQL support...

--
* Greg Smith gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com http://www.gregsmith.com Baltimore, MD

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Subject: Re: (wtf) Top 20 Open Source Software Projects in the Enterprise
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