Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Commercial Ware, Open Source, or In-House

When developing a database, you basically have a choice of [1] commercial applications (such as Oracle), [2] stuff from the Open Source community (more power!), and [3] writing something from scratch.

The problem with [1] is that it's expensive and takes forever to learn how to use. In fact, for most applications, you need to be certified. On other problem is that you are limited to what the database offers. With [2] the problems are similar, though there is more flexibility and the quality of the product tends to be better. But you do find yourself drawn into the development community. I would not recommend getting involved when working on a commercial project with deadlines and so on, unless the client is supportive of the culture. [3] is insane, like tooling bolts and nuts to make a car, instead of leasing it from Hertz.

Being the radical nutcase that I am, I opted for [3]. We can add the exact functionalities that we need. We can design the architecture exactly how we want it. And we do not have to spend a lot of time asking people how stuff works, because every single line of code was written in-house. So far, we're neither ahead nor behind, but exactly on schedule - this despite three day-long brownouts (power outages). Right now I'm pretty happy.

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