Oracle Buys Berkeley DB, Sleepycat Software

    February 14, 2006

Wow, the rumors were true. Oracle is snapping up Open Source Database companies now.

First it was Innobase (see Oracle buysInnobase. MySQL between rock and hard place?) and now it’s Sleepycat Software.

The purchase of Sleepycat, which has been rumored for weeks, gives Oracle another open-source product to complement its proprietary database offerings. At an investor conference last week, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison reiterated the company’s strategy to generate revenue from a combination of open-source and proprietary software.

They produce and support the famed Berkeley DB embedded database engine and have radically improved it’s features since the version 1.x days. Nowadays you get a small, fast, transactional database engine with industrial grade reliability and replication.

It’s interesting to note that MySQL’s first transactional storage engine (BDB) was created on top of Berkeley DB. Their more popular transactional storage engine (InnoDB) is built on top of technology produced by Innobase, which Oracle bought last year.

This leads to the obvious question: What is Oracle up to? Are they trying to do to Open Source Databases what Yahoo appears to be doing to Web 2.0 companies?

There’s been speculation of a master plan at Oracle that involves buying up various bits of the Open Source infrastructure used in building applications. Is JBoss next, as some have suggested?

We’ll see.

Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

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