|Subject:||How can we expand PostgreSQL ecosystem?|
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As I said in the previous greeting mail, I'd like to discuss how to expand PostgreSQL ecosystem. Here, ecosystem means "interoperability" -- the software products and cloud services which use/support PostgreSQL. If pgsql-advocacy or somewhere else is better for this topic, just tell me so.
Thanks to the long and hard efforts by the community, PostgreSQL has been evolving to be a really great software comparable to existing strong commercial products. Open source databases are gaining more popularity to influence the database market.
Open source threatens to eat the database market
"Though the proprietary RDBMS market grew at a sluggish 5.4 percent in 2014, the open source database market grew 31 percent to hit $562 million."
"As Gartner highlights in a recent research report, open source databases now consume 25 percent of relational database usage."
Perhaps related to this is that the revenues of Oracle, IBM and Microsoft have been declining (but I read in an article that SQL Server is gaining more revenue).
On the other hand, there is a gulf between the two top popular databases -- Oracle and MySQL -- and PostgreSQL. They are nearly five times more popular than PostgreSQL.
Yes, I understand this ranking doesn't necessarily reflect the actual use, but I also don't think the ranking is far from the real popularity. In fact, some surveys show that MySQL has been in more widespread use even here in Japan than PostgreSQL since around 2010 (IIRC).
What should we do to boost the popularity of PostgreSQL? One challenge is to increase the number of software which supports PostgreSQL. To take advantage of the trend of shift from commercial products to open source, PostgreSQL needs to interoperate with many software that are used together with the commercial databases.
The easily understandable target is Oracle, because it is anticipated that more users of Oracle will seek another database to avoid the expensive Oracle Standard Edition 2 and increasing maintenance costs. In addition, PostgreSQL has affinity for Oracle.
However, there is a problem. The number of software is very small that the users can know to interoperate with PostgreSQL. That is, when the users want to migrate from commercial databases to PostgreSQL, they can't get information on whether they can continue to use their assets with PostgreSQL. Many applications might be interoperable through standard interfaces like JDBC/ODBC, but the case is unknown. For example:
* Only 24 open source projects are listed as interoperable.
Open Source Projects Using PostgreSQL
* Even EnterpriseDB has only 12 certified application vendors.
* PostgreSQL Enterprise Consortium lists only about30 related products (Japanese only).
* MySQL touts more than 2,000 ISV/OEM/VARs.
Besides, in practice, we probably should increase the number of software interoperable with PostgreSQL. e.g. one customer asked us whether Arcserve can be used to back up PostgreSQL databases, but unfortunately we had to answer no. They are using Arcserve to back up Oracle databases and other resources. "Then, you can use NetVault instead" is not the best answer; they just want to replace the database.
Last month, I attended the steering committee of PostgreSQL Enterprise Consortium (PGECons) for the first time and proposed starting the following activity. PGECons is a Japanese non-profit organization to promote PostgreSQL for enterprise use. The members include NTT, SRA OSS (Tatsuo Ishii runs), NEC, Hitachi, HP, Fujitsu, etc. We concluded that we need to consult the PostgreSQL community on how to proceed the activity and work in cooperation with the community.
* Attract and ask product/service vendors to support/use PostgreSQL.
Provide technical assistance to those vendors as an organization so that they can support PostgreSQL smoothly.
If the vendors aren't proactive, we verify the interoperability with their software by executing it.
* Make a directory of software/services that can be used with PostgreSQL on the community web site (wiki.postgresql.org or www.postgresql.org).
Software/services vendors and PostgreSQL developers/users can edit this directory.
This list not only has the names of software and its vendors, but also other information such as the level of interoperability (certified by the vendor, or verified by the community/users) and remarks about configuration, tuning, and whatever useful for users.
PostgreSQL Enterprise Consortium (PGECons)
CONSULTATION AND DISCUSSION
I'd like to discuss and hear opinions on how can we expand the ecosystem of PostgreSQL. Example points are:
* How/Where can we get the knowledge of expanding the software ecosystem? Is there any OSS project that we can learn from?
How can we attract software vendors to support PostgreSQL? What words are convincing to appeal the increasing potential of PostgreSQL as a good replacement for commercial databases?
* How can we gain momentum for the activity?
Can we involve globally influential companies like Dell, HPE, and Red Hat?
* Do we need some kind of assistance from a foundation or establish a foundation?
There should be many, many software to address, so the ecosystem activity has to be long-lasting. Plus, money and expertise is necessary.
Would we benefit if we join the Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects?
Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects
* Which software/services in what category should we address preferentially?
What software would many users desire to be interoperable when migrating from commercial databases?
What is the effective way to absorb user requests for this? Is it enough to make a questionnaire like the following? What is the popular questionnaire site which can catch many users (SurveyMonkey?)
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