Oracle database code will not become open source

While Oracle Corp. is committed to the open source movement and its standards, database code will remain proprietary because there will be difficulties in providing services if customers make alterations to the source code.

This is the view of the chairman and chief executive officer of Oracle, Larry Ellison, stated at the recent Oracle OpenWorld held in Beijing recently.

Laurence Liew, manager, SCS Linux Competency Centre, Singapore Computer Systems agreed. Liew said that Ellison’s concern is a legitimate business concern as open source software gets lots of changes, patches and bug fixes done frequently. For a vendor to support its product, they will have to work on a known state.

Meanwhile, Ellison gave the example of Oracle’s participation in the open source movement with its contribution of clustering technology and file system implemented in Red Hat Linux in its recent announcement of Unbreakable Linux.

Unbreakable Linux is an initiative by Oracle, Red Hat and Dell to provide enterprise class database servers on Linux. According to Rene Bonvanie, vice president, Oracle9i and OTN marketing, “unbreakable” refers to the database that will not go down even if the server fails or if the site fails. It also refers to the security standard involved whereby Oracle9i has 15 international security certifications worldwide.

Another open source supporter is IBM.

“Supporting Linux clusters is a new concept for Oracle, but not for IBM,” said Jim Koerner, vice president for Data Management, Asia Pacific, IBM. “IBM’s support for the open source movement is widely known.”

According to Koerner, customers do not want to be locked in by proprietary standards, as such, open standards is preferred.

Meanwhile, at the conference, Derek Williams, executive vice president, Asia Pacific division, Oracle, said that over 75 percent of Oracle’s revenues in the region are derived through its Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) in the Asia Pacific region.

With the launch of the OPN in Chinese, Oracle hopes that it will be an incentive for more potential partners to join the Oracle community which the company sees as a growth market.

Oracle also announced a new reseller offering designed specifically for medium-sized businesses in Asia Pacific region. The packaged offering will be available through the OPN as a pre-installed system and can be implemented either in-house or as an outsourced service.

This new offering will help partners to integrate processes such as purchasing, selling and shipping, inventory management, cash management, budgeting and financial reporting, said Williams.

Another announcement made was the support for Sun Microsystems Unix operating system, Solaris 9 operating environment. According to Oracle, the compatibility will allow applications built on Oracle’s clustering technology to run without modification in the new operating environment. Oracle9i Real Application Clusters allows customers to scale their applications in a cluster that acts as a single database. The feature uses the resource management facility of Sun Cluster 3.0 5/02, to enhance server utilization of the cluster environment.

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