The Database Report – October 2009

The third quarter of 2009 is now behind us and it is time to investigate what happened in the database market over the past three months. We’ll track the usual suspects and their activities including acquisitions, product releases, patches and earnings announcements. So let’s spread some light on the activities that transpired during July, August and September of 2009.

The Continuing Saga of Oracle Acquiring SunLet’s begin our coverage this quarter with the latest news on the biggest database-related story of the year: Oracle’s impending acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Last quarter The Database Report detailed Oracle’s $7.4 billion bid to acquire Sun. In the wake of that news there has been much conjecture about Oracle’s intention regarding Sun’s hardware business. Oracle is a software business, and there is little doubt that Oracle will fold the Sun software (e.g. MySQL, Java, etc.) into its offerings. But what about the Sparc and Solaris platforms?

Well, in early September, Oracle placed an advertisement with the hopes of stanching the speculative rumors – and even more importantly – in an effort to slow down any losses being generated by the unrelenting competition being served up by IBM and Hewlett Packard as they sense a potentially weakened foe in Sun. Indeed, according to an IDC report, Sun experienced a 37%  decline in its server revenue during the second quarter this year – the largest percentage drop for any of the major server vendors. So Oracle is probably rightly worried about its looming acquisition.

Well then, what does Oracle’s ad actually say? Well, it makes some promises to Sun customers such as spending more than Sun does now on development for Sparc and Solaris. And the Oracle ad says that Oracle will improve service and support by having “more than twice as many hardware specialists than Sun does now.”

All very interesting, but not compelling, and actually quite defensive, in my opinion. First of all, will anyone be convinced that Oracle will resurrect these platforms by spending more than Sun is now? If Oracle planned to spend more than Sun did 2 years ago then maybe, but not now! How much is Sun really investing in those platforms these days? And how many Sun employees made a dash for the doors when they could? So will hiring more support specialists than exist today do all that much to convince people to stick with SPARC and Solaris?

There are still a lot of analysts “out there” who believe that Oracle will eventually sell off the Sun hardware assets after the acquisition is finalized. Oracle has disputed this in the past. In response to an interview question about possibly selling off Sun’s hardware, Larry Ellison said, “No, we are definitely not going to exit the hardware business…If a company designs both hardware and software, it can build much better systems than if they only design the software.”

And this ad seems to convey that Oracle has no immediate plans to sell off the hardware business. But, then again, nothing in the ad explicitly state that it will not! Personally, I think that Oracle will try to compete in the hardware business… at least for awhile. It remains to be seen if Oracle can succeed in that business, and it will be interesting to see if Oracle sticks with the hardware business if it experiences problems doing so.

That said, Oracle can succeed selling hardware. Remember, Oracle is dominant in the DBMS market and has significant market share in the packaged applications and ERP markets. In many cases, customers decide on applications long before they decide on a hardware platform on which to run them. You can bet that when customers ask Oracle where they should run the Oracle Database or Oracle Applications that the answer will be on Solaris.

Adding fuel to the fire, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Sun Had Another Interested Suitor Besides IBM and Oracle,” and then speculated that the other suitor was Hewlett-Packard. The Wall Street Journal cited a regulatory filing that mentions a “Party B” but does not name the party. The same report cites a bidder referred to as “Party A,” whose actions line up with the activities of IBM. After stating that the identity of “Party B” was not clear, the Wall Street Journal report goes on to quote “(o)ne person familiar with the situation” claiming that Party B was Hewlett-Packard. This, of course, caused the blogosphere to light up with speculation that Oracle might still sell the Sun hardware business to HP.

Of course, you can always choose to believe the information that Oracle puts up on its web site, such as the blurb at www.oracle.com/features/sunoraclefaster.html that seems to confirm Oracle’s intent to promote the Sun hardware; it reads as follows: “Oracle and Sun together are hard to match. Just ask IBM. Its fastest server now runs an impressive 6 million TPC-C transactions, but on October 14 at Oracle OpenWorld, we’ll reveal the benchmark numbers that prove that even IBM DB2 running on IBM’s fastest hardware can’t match the speed and performance of Oracle Database on Sun systems. Check back on October 14 as we demonstrate Oracle’s commitment to Sun hardware and Sun SPARC.”

To sum it up, Oracle’s ad does quote Larry Ellison saying “IBM, we’re looking forward to competing with you in the hardware business.” You know what they say about being careful what you ask for Larry?

In news of the more solid, less speculative variety, in mid-July Sun shareholders approved the “merger” with Oracle. The vote, held at a special meeting of directors, was by a margin of 3 to 2, or 62%, in favor of the merger. Of course, the meeting was not attended by either Scott McNealy (Sun’s Chairman of the Board) or by Jonathan Schwartz (Sun’s CEO).

Then in late August 2009, the United States Department of Justice gave its approval for the acquisition to go through –this despite the fact that the DOJ had said in June that it needed more time to examine the deal.

That leaves the European Commission, the regulatory arm of the European Union, as the final barrier to completing this transaction. And don’t hold your breath waiting for a decision, either! The European Commission announced that it will be conducting an in-depth investigation into the planned takeover, asserting that its initial probe raised the specter of threats to competition in the database market. The deadline for the European Commission to make a final decision on the deal is January 19, 2010.

A Major Announcement from Oracle and SunEven as the pending acquisition continues to be debated in Europe, Oracle and Sun were able to make a significant cooperative announcement this quarter. In mid September 2009, the two companies jointly announced what they tout as the world’s first online transaction processing (OLTP) database machine.

The Oracle/Sun database machine, Exadata V2, incorporates technology from both Oracle and Sun. The Exadata database machine is based on Sun’s Galaxy line of x64 blade servers and relies upon Sun’s FlashFire technology. The companies claim that Exadata V2 works twice as fast as earlier versions of Exadata. Interestingly, the earlier version of Exadata was based on HP hardware.

This Quarter’s Acquisition NewsAs with every quarter in the recent past, the third quarter had its share of acquisitions in the database market. In late July, Oracle announced its intent to acquire data warehousing vendor GoldenGate Software, Inc. The company described its offerings as real-time data integration solutions enabling superior IT performance and enterprise decision making.

This acquisition is a nice one for Oracle. Even though GoldenGate is not a household name, the company has been in business for fifteen years and boasts about 500 customers. GoldenGate’s technology adds solid data replication capabilities to Oracle’s growing arsenal of data management solutions.

Oracle needed to acquire this type of technology to combat IBM, which acquired Data Mirror two years ago to add to its already impressive contingent of data replication and integration solutions. The combination of GoldenGate and Oracle should create a comprehensive heterogeneous data integration platform for Oracle’s customers.

“Oracle and GoldenGate share a common vision to bring a comprehensive data integration solution to customers,” said Ali Kutay, GoldenGate Software, Inc. President & CEO. “Our partnership spans more than 10 years and now our joint vision can help companies make better decisions based on more timely, accurate information across multiple systems.”

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close later in 2009. Until the deal closes, both companies will continue to operate independently.

IBM was also active in the acquisition game this quarter, too, with the very significant announcement of its intent to acquire SPSS, Inc. This announcement, also made in late July 2009, significantly buoys IBM’s placement in the data analytics market, a market in which IBM was not a significant player until now. SPSS, Inc., which was founded 41 years ago in 1968, makes predictive analytics and data mining software for modeling customer interactions.

IBM is paying dearly for SPSS, with a purchase price of $1.2 billion. SPSS, a publicly traded company headquartered in Chicago, is a leader in the analytics space, with a reputation probably second only to SAS Institute. The deal values SPSS at $50 a share. The deal is an all cash deal and it is expected to close in the second half of this year, subject to SPSS shareholder approval and regulatory clearances.

“With this acquisition, we are extending our capabilities around a new level of analytics that not only provides clients with greater insight – but true foresight,” said Ambuj Goyal, general manager, Information Management for IBM. “Predictive analytics can help clients move beyond the ‘sense and respond’ mode, which can leave blind spots for strategic information in today’s fast paced environment – to ‘predict and act’ for improved business outcomes.”

The SPSS acquisition should allow IBM to build on its release earlier this year of its Business Analytics and Optimization massively parallel technology designed to be able to handle huge data sets. And at the same time as it announced this deal, IBM also disclosed its plans for an integrated analytics offering to be called the IBM Smart Analytics System. Add to these facts that SPSS and IBM were already partners, with SPSS’ software embedded in IBM’s Cognos business intelligence applications via an OEM agreement, and the move to acquire SPSS looks like it will be a wise and profitable move for IBM.

This acquisition could, indeed, have some interesting ramifications and it will bear watching how the competition reacts. First of all, what will happen to SAP’s existing partnership with SPSS? Yes, IBM and SAP are tight partners on the DBMS side with SAP developing its ERP applications using IBM’s DB2. This relationship has gotten tighter as Oracle snapped up many of SAP’s rivals over the past few years, to the point of SAP not really being interested in partnering with Oracle for its database software. But will IBM be keen on continuing to allow SAP to OEM the SPSS Clementine technology, which SAP has integrated with its SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Workbench. Given that IBM’s Cognos competes head to head with SAP’s BusinessObjects, I’m guessing that SAP will soon have to look elsewhere for analytics support.

And both Oracle and Microsoft will also be looking to bolster their analytics capabilities. Teradata already boasts a significant presence in the analytics space, but their challenge will be gaining traction in a market that is coming to be dominated by very large players.

On a smaller scale, the business intelligence specialist vendors, such as MicroStrategy, will have to develop analytics offerings or they will likely be left in the dust by the DBMS big boys.

The bottom line here is that IBM has bought its way into being a major contender in the predictive analytics and data mining space. According to one analyst report, by adding SPSS, IBM will move from thirteenth place to second place, behind only SAS Institute. And, of course, it will be interesting to see what happens with SAS, too. SAS is privately held and well regarded in the analytics market, so they are somewhat of a wild card. They do not seem to be inclined to be purchased – and they can probably continue to thrive as an independent concern. But the IBM/SPSS combination should concern SAS if they know what is good for them because IBM will be targeting the same customer base.

The Third Quarter – By the NumbersMaking the most financial news this quarter, for all the wrong reasons, was Microsoft. In late July the company reported its fiscal fourth quarter results. Net income fell to $3.05 billion (34 cents per share), from $4.3 billion (46 cents per share) in the same period last year. Revenue came in at $13.1 billion, which is a 17% decline from the same quarter last year. The company missed Wall Street expectations, which were $14.37 billion, by more than a billion dollars.

It was hard to find good news in any of Microsoft’s financial results as most financial measure fell by double digits, including operating income and net income. But the company tried to put a positive spin on things by focusing on expenses, which it managed to reduce.

Owing to the successful development of Windows 7, the company managed to reduce R&D; expenses by about $100 million. And there are $275 million in prepaid upgrades to Windows 7 that Microsoft is deferring revenue on.

Of Microsoft’s five business units, the Windows client division experienced the largest declines. Revenue fell 28% to $3.1 billion; income declined 33.3% to $2.1 billion. From a DBMS perspective, the Server and Tools division, which includes SQL Server, experienced a rare decline, albeit a small one with operating income down by one percent.

For the complete 2009 fiscal year, Microsoft’s revenue was down only slightly at $58.4 billion or 3.2%; income declined by 17% to $14.5 billion and earnings per share dropped by 25 cents to $1.62 per share. Revenue was down in all business units except Server and Tools (which includes SQL Server), which expanded by 7.8% over the previous year.

There are a few things to note, though. The comparable quarter last year was before the recession, so that needs to be factored into the analysis. But anyway you look at it, it was a bad quarter for Microsoft.

From a database perspective, the Server and Tools business unit continues to be Microsoft’s strongest. And Microsoft is not just sitting still. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can stop the bleeding with the introduction of Windows 7 in October.

Oracle’s fiscal fourth quarter results were nothing to shout about either, but they were far from the train wreck results posted by Microsoft this quarter. Oracle beat Wall Street estimates of $6.47 billion in sales with 44 cents per share earnings by earning $2.3 billion (46 cents per share) on sales of $6.9 billion. But that is still a 5% decline in revenue over the same quarter last year.

For the fiscal year, Oracle earned $1.44 per share, an 11% increase over last year, on revenue of $23.5 billion. There was some good news for investors though, as the company issued a cash dividend of five cents per share for the second consecutive quarter. And given the state of the economy, Oracle’s results were not that bad. The biggest cause for concern was probably the decline new software licenses, which were down 13% for the quarter.

Oracle further explained the quarter’s results by claiming they were impacted by the stronger dollar as compared to foreign currencies and that without that impact its earnings per share would have been 51 cents, or a rise of 9%. Additionally, foreign currency valuation had an eleven cent impact over the course of the year that would have otherwise resulted in earnings per share of $1.55.

As I examine the results, there are some additional areas of potential concern. Database license revenue was down 10% year over year, and applications revenue was down 19%. But Oracle shares climbed in after-hours trading, after the announcement, so all in all, Oracle’s results were good enough.

Bucking the overall trend this quarter, IBM reported gains for its fiscal second quarter. Net income came in at $3.1 billion, a 12% increase over the same quarter last year. This represents $2.32 per share when analysts were expecting $2.02 per share. But total revenue for the second quarter was $23.3 billion, which was actually a 13% decrease of the same quarter last year (or 7% adjusted for currency).

Revenues from the Systems and Technology segment, which is IBM’s hardware business, totaled $3.9 billion for the quarter, down 26% (or 22%, adjusting for currency). Revenues from System z mainframe server products decreased 39% compared with the second quarter last year; and total delivery of System z computing power, which is measured in MIPS (millions of instructions per second), decreased 20%.

Thing looked better for IBM’s software business this quarter, though. IBM reported that it expects full year 2009 pre-tax income for its software segment to grow at a double-digit rate, reaching approximately $8 billion. But revenues from the software segment were $5.2 billion, a decrease of 7%  (or flat, adjusting for currency) compared with the second quarter of 2008. Revenues from IBM’s middleware products, which include several brands including Information Management (where DB2 and Informix revenue is counted), were $3.0 billion, a decrease of 2% (or an increase of 5%, adjusting for currency) versus the same quarter last year.

IBM also increased its full year earning forecast to at least $9.70 per share, from $9.20 per share, a target that IBM set in January.

Also bucking the trend a bit this quarter was smaller DBMS vendor, Sybase, Inc., as it posted an increase in its second quarter profits of 26% in late July 2009. With better than expected results for the first half under its belt, Sybase increased its full year projections, raising its earnings target by 3 cents from $2.23 to $2.27 a share. It also raised its revenue estimate from $1.1 billion instead now ranging from $1.11 billion to $1.12 billion.

For the second quarter, Sybase earned $37.6 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with $29.8 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago. All was not exactly rosy though, as revenue fell 2% to $278 million. Expectations were lower though, at $273.2 million, so the 2% fall was actually good news. But there was good news for database license revenue, as Sybase reported that it rose 23% for the quarter.

Sybase also forecast third quarter earnings ranging from 55 cents to 57 cents a share, on revenue of $275 million to $280 million.

The Lawsuits Just Keep on a Comin’Regular readers of The Database Report will recall the ongoing lawsuit between Oracle and SAP that centers on the claim that TomorrowNow, once a subsidiary of SAP, knowingly misappropriated Oracle’s intellectual property. As the lawsuit progresses, and Oracle’s lawyers sifts their way through the discovery evidence, the claims grow more interesting.

In late July, Oracle filed an amended complaint that claims SAP knowingly chose to allow TomorrowNow (TN) to continue allegedly illegal operations. Oracle claims that documents uncovered during the discovery phase have “revealed that [SAP] knew from the start that SAP TN’s business depended on this extensive illegal scheme…One of the key members of SAP’s due diligence team–a former PeopleSoft employee–reported directly to board member [Shai] Agassi: “I am not sure how TomorrowNow gets access to Peoplesoft software, but its [sic] very likely that TomorrowNow is using the software outside the contractual use rights granted to them.”

Proving that all is fair in love, war, and legal proceedings, Oracle chose to file the amended complaint the day before SAP reported its second quarter earnings. Surely this fact displeased SAP; you have to assume that SAP would rather not deal with lawsuit-related questions during an earnings call with analysts, right?

As the discovery phase moves forward more claims are likely to be found and this lawsuit is not anywhere near a conclusion – despite the fact that SAP filed an unsuccessful motion for summary judgment in August and basically refused to respond to Oracle’s revised claims (SAP basically said that it would respond to the amended complaint in Court).

On July 21, 2009, Oracle launched another lawsuit, this time against Qtrax, a customer that bounced a check. Not nearly as juicy to follow, but interesting nonetheless, Qtrax is a P2P provider. It announced an ad-supported music download service in January, before it secured deals with any of the major music labels. The company was forced to slow down its launch, and then later singed deals with the major providers, legitimizing its offerings.

But now Qtrax is in trouble again. Oracle filed a $2 million copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit against Qtrax, essentially for bouncing a $1.8 million check for Oracle database software. The lawsuit alleges that repeated attempts to collect the money that Qtrax owes have failed.

I’m no lawyer, but if Oracle has a singed contract and Qtrax used Oracle’s database software without paying, I don’t see how Qtrax can prevail here. I guess we’ll wait and see.

There is one final bit of legal news to talk about, this time involving IBM and Microsoft. No, they are not suing one another. Both are fighting Teilhard Technologies in a data integration patent infringement case.

Basically, the facts are these: Teilhard Technologies (owners of JuxtaComm), have a patent on ETL (extract, transform, load) technology that describes standard ETL functionality. And Teilhard “believes” that almost every vendor in the market infringes it. So far, they have sued a dozen different software companies and most of them (including SAP and Informatica) have settled – except for Microsoft (accused of infringing with its DTS and SSIS) and IBM (accused of infringing with its DataStage offering).

Both Microsoft and IBM claim to have built their ETL offerings before the patent was filed. IBM’s claim appears to be more solid than Microsoft’s though. Teilhard’s patent is back dated to June 1997. Evidently, Microsoft released Beta 1 of SQL Server on June 25, 1997, Beta 2 on December 16, 1997, Beta 3 on June 22, 1998, and finally released to market on November 16, 1998. But it would seem that Microsoft did not have any ETL capability until it offered a wizard in Beta 2 on December 16, 1997. It was not until Beta 3, and the functioning version of DTS Designer that it had a complete offering.

But IBM’s claim that DataStage was designed and built before June 1997 seems to be easier to prove.

There are a lot of other defenses being bandied about but I won’t bore you by going over them all. This case bears watching to though.

And again, I am no lawyer, but I despise these “obvious” patent trolls. You know the idea, try to patent something obvious (like one click purchasing) and then sue the pants off of everyone. If there is any justice in the world both IBM and Microsoft will prevail. If I were a betting man though, I’d wager that Microsoft could lose.

And the Prices Keep on a Goin’ UpIn mid July, Oracle announced significant price increases on several of its database products. The price increases impact a database configuration management pack and processor licenses for Oracle’s diagnostic and tuning packs, both of which were raised by 40%.

Analysts have speculated that Oracle may be playing a game – raising list prices but giving significant discounts, thereby allowing corporate procurement managers to claim that they are negotiating good deals for their company.

But raising prices in the midst of a recession is an interesting tactic, isn’t it? I guess Microsoft thought so – when Oracle was getting the bad publicity associated with price hikes, Microsoft reminded its customers that it did not raise prices for SQL Server 2008.

Of course, Microsoft kind of did it on the sly by posting the following message on its Data Platform Insider blog: “Microsoft has not raised prices on SQL Server 2008 – not on the core database, not on options.” You have to wonder though, if denigrating the competition will have any beneficial impact on the company’s bottom line?

Oracle 11g Release 2In early September, Oracle issued Release 2 of its 11g database software. Evidently the database software underwent more than 15 million hours of testing over nine months before it was made generally available.

Oracle Database 11g R2 boasts more than 200 new features and Oracle is hoping that it will drive customers to upgrade to 11g. It is estimated that only 10 to 15% of Oracle’s installed base has upgraded to 11g.

Of the new features in 11g R2, RAC One Node may be a compelling feature. It enables plug and play grid capability by RAC enabling a database on a single machine in the grid; if it fails, the database is automatically restarted elsewhere on the grid.

Oracle’s Automated Storage Management feature is upgraded in 11g R2, too. Intelligent data placement capabilities allow rarely used data to be placed on the inner rings of a disk, and more frequently used data gets stored on the outer rings, thereby improving performance.

Another new 11g R2 capability is Server Pooling. This features enables DBAs to assign different nodes to different types of workloads based on shop requirements.

Other improvements include advanced data partitioning capabilities for easier management of large data sets and new “advisors” to simplify administration (including a compression advisor and a high availability advisor). Of course, these are just a few of the new features – we cannot examine each of the 200 plus features in an article of this nature.

What about pricing? Well, the exact pricing will depend on the exact features you require. For example, an Enterprise Edition database license for 11g R2 has a list price of $47,500 per processor. Of course, RAC One Node, like RAC, is optional and will add to the final price.

In terms of operating system support, at first 11g R2 will support Linux, and “all major UNIX platforms.” That should include at least AIX, HP-UX, and Sun Solaris. Windows support will follow, but Oracle has no declared, specific timeframe for Windows support.

SQL Server AzureIn mid to late August, Microsoft released the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of its SQL Azure Database (which is sort of a cloud-based version of SQL Server) and Microsoft SQL Server StreamInsight, which enables querying from streaming data in near-real time in scenarios such as Web analytics.

A CTP is not a general release version of the code. Basically, a CTP is a point in time release of a product that allows customers to get a sneak peak of Microsoft software before it is made generally available.

The SQL Azure Database CTP supports Transact-SQL, as well as common APIs such as ODBC and ADO.NET (among others). Microsoft has also made a CTP available for the SQL Server Driver for PHP 1.1, which offers support for SQL Azure and new capabilities for building PHP applications.

We should also note that Microsoft, at its TechEd 2009 conference, announced that SQL Server 2008 R2 will be the next “major” release of SQL Server. Previously code-named Kilimanjaro, many had expected it to be called SQL Server 2010.

We will report on these offerings in more detail when Microsoft releases them for general availability.

Other New DBMS ReleasesThis quarter also saw some additional new DBMS announcements.

EnterpriseDB, the enterprise open source database company, announced the general availability of the latest version of Postgres Plus Advanced Server, which is based on the PostgreSQL open source database. New features in the latest version included improved Oracle compatibility, a new “Infinite Cache” feature that delivers massive scalability, and “Asynchronous Pre-Fetch,” a high-performance query capability that is well-suited for data warehouse queries.

And in related news, the PostgreSQL project released version 8.4 of the PostgreSQL DBMS. It boasts 293 new features, including parallel database restore for improving data recovery times (supposedly by up to eight times); new query optimization support including recursive queries, semi-joins and anti-joins; per-column permissions for more granular data access control; and per-database collation support for multi-lingual environments. PostgreSQL 8.4 can be downloaded from www.postgresql.org.

And in September, Oracle also announced the availability of an enhanced version of its open source Berkeley DB Embeddable Databases. New releases of both Oracle Berkeley DB and Oracle Berkeley DB XML, were released. The new Oracle Berkeley DB 4.8 and Oracle Berkeley DB XML 2.5 releases provide significant performance enhancements, allowing faster processing with less expensive hardware. New APIs simplify application, new features deliver increased flexibility for application scalability, and other improvements include foreign key support, C++ standard template library integration, and enhanced locking and latching capabilities (among other new features).

The final new DBMS announcement of the quarter also comes from Oracle. The company announced the availability of Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database 11g and Oracle In-Memory Database Cache 11g, the database caching option for Oracle Database 11g. The Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database is a stand-alone in-memory relational database with full persistence and recoverability. The new release includes enhancements in three key areas: an in-memory Database Cache Grid, features to minimize application changes, and new features for high availability.

And In Other NewsIt was a rather busy quarter and there were several other interesting announcements that are worth noting:

In an unexpected move that irked some, Oracle announced that it is suspending development of existing Virtual Iton products and will suspend delivery of order to new customers; this only a little more than a month after acquiring Virtual Iron. Oracle intends to fully integrate Virtual Iron technology with Oracle VM, Oracle’s server virtualization and management product.

Oracle also announced the availability of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, with improved functionality and new capabilities in the Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle WebLogic Suite, and Oracle WebCenter Suite. And Oracle announced expanded capabilities for Oracle Identity Manager to help enterprises significantly improve compliance and reduce potential for fraud.

Oracle extended the configuration management capabilities of Oracle Enterprise Manager, with new features that focus on managing application configurations. New capabilities were added to simplify configuration management, improve service levels and better enforce compliance for applications.

Oracle also announced Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler, a standalone data modeling tool for database design that integrates with its Oracle SQL Developer tool for designing and building applications.

Although it may seem that way, Oracle wasn’t the only company in the news this quarter. Microsoft made waves by releasing 20,000 lines of Linux code into the open source world. Microsoft made the announcement at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention. The code, which includes three Linux device drivers, has been submitted to the Linux kernel community for inclusion in the Linux tree, under the GPLv2 license. This is newsworthy since Microsoft is not known (to say the least) for its embrace of open source.

And the Alliance@IBM is keeping up the fight by continuing to report on layoffs at IBM. (The Alliance@IBM is a Communications Workers of America local that does not have sufficient membership to achieve official recognition as a bargaining unit.) In August the Alliance indicated that it counted 184 employees laid off in the most recent round of layoffs, but it believed the actual number laid off was larger. IBM itself never comments on job cuts. Earlier in the year the Alliance estimated that as many as 16,000 employees could be eliminated in 2009 and it stands by that estimate. We’ll have to wait for IBM’s annual report (due out next winter) for verification.

And In the End…And so ends this quarter’s edition of the Database Report. It was an active quarter in the middle of a very active year for the database industry. Be sure to come back to TDAN in December as we examine the final quarter of 2009.

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About Craig Mullins

Craig S. Mullins is a data management strategist and principal consultant for Mullins Consulting, Inc. He has three decades of experience in the field of database management, including working with DB2 for z/OS since Version 1. Craig is also an IBM Information Champion and is the author of two books: DB2 Developer’s Guide and Database Administration:The Complete Guide to Practices and Procedures. You can contact Craig via his website.

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