There are some interesting statistics in the survey from Matt Aslett of the 451 Group (451 Group survey highlights user concerns over Oracle’s proposed ownership of MySQL).
One of the stats that stands out in the write up is:
“PostgreSQL usage is also expected to grow, from 27.1% of all users today to 30.5% in 2011″
This statistic in particular prompted a flurry of calls from partners and customers over the past few days excited about the relative penetration of Postgres indicated in this survey.
For those who follow Postgres carefully, this is not big news. The community has been thriving for a long time. In fact, the community version of PostgreSQL has long been generating millions of annual downloads (from PostgreSQL.org) and that doesn’t count how many other MILLIONS of user receive Postgres via its inclusion in every major Linux distributions like RHEL, SLES, Fedora and Open SuSE.
Regarding the projected growth of Postgres, I think the Oracle acquisition of MySQL is a small reason for it. We have a unique view on this through our work with the community and our customers (we get a front row seat), and here are some important drivers why Postgres is on the rise independent of MySQL’s uncertain future:
- Technical improvements in recent releases. Developers, architects and DBAs are getting more out of Postgres now. It was only in 2005 that Postgres began supporting the win32 port, a major step forward for developers who work in a Windows environment. This was a major door opener for Postgres. In fact, some of the most important features for broad-based adoption are much more recent than most are aware, given the 20-year history of Postgres.
- Enterprise architects and corporate developers writing more complex server-centric (Java) applications with increasing need to specify lower cost, open technologies. This class of application and developer is different than the recent trend to getting quick apps done with lightweight scripting languages (PHP, Perl, Python) where MySQL has always been strong. Java applications are different and still the dominant force in server-centric enterprise application development. They also require a higher order database like Postgres. The de-facto standard here has long been Oracle, but cost pressures are changing this quickly. Postgres is enjoying a strong and growing relevance to Java developers. The 2009 Eclipse Developer Survey points this out with even more clarity.
- Newer versions of Postgres are just “hitting the shelves” in production in notable deployments. Given 2-year development cycles for some key projects, the more recent technical and feature enhancements in Postgres are just starting to emerge from notable users. One of our customers, Sony Online Entertainment is a great example of this. After two-years in development, one of SOE’s newest MMORPGs, (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) Free Realms, just went live and it is powered entirely by Postgres (in this case it is EnterpriseDB Postgres Plus Advanced Server). This is a heavy-duty, graphic-intensive application handling over 5 million registered users and built around “micro-transactions.”
The fact that 27.1% of the 451 Group’s surveyed database users currently use Postgres looks bigger than expected highlights how under-represented basic Postgres facts and figures are in the press and media. This is actually a testament to the independence of the Postgres community, which appropriately is more focused on technology than PR.
It is worth repeating that the growth of Postgres isn’t tied to the uncertainty of MySQL. The open source database market isn’t a single unified market. The two leading open source databases, Postgres and MySQL, are very different types of databases addressing different workloads and needs. The growth of Postgres signals increasing acceptance of an open source RDBMS in the enterprise for applications that were typically built to run on products like Oracle, DB2, Sybase – a segment of the database market MySQL was never designed to support.The Growing Popularity of PostgreSQL