Prevailing Standards and Open Source Initiatives
Oracle participates in several associa- tions focused on grid technology,
including the Open Grid Forum (OGF),
which represents more than 400 organizations. Don Deutsch, vice president for
standards, strategy, and architecture at
Oracle, believes that Oracle’s participation in the OGF—as with other standards bodies such as the W3C, OASIS,
SNIA, and DMTF—is critical to its strategy to build products on a foundation of
Oracle is also a major contributor to
key open source initiatives, including
O Eclipse. Oracle is a major part of
the Eclipse Foundation, contribut-
ing developers and leadership to
three Eclipse projects: Dali JPA Tools,
JavaServer Faces, and BPEL.
O InnoDB. Created by Oracle subsid-
iary Innobase OY, InnoDB is the lead-
ing transactional storage engine for the
popular MySQL open source database.
O Linux. Oracle’s contributions to
Linux enhance and extend enterprise-
class capabilities, and Oracle Unbreak-
able Linux delivers enterprise-quality
support for Linux at a lower cost.
O Open source tooling projects.
Oracle contributes to several open
source tooling projects, including
Project Trinidad, Eclipse, and Spring.
O Oracle Berkeley DB. A family of
open source, embeddable databases,
Oracle Berkeley DB allows developers
to incorporate within their applications
an industrial-grade, fast, scalable, trans-
actional database engine. It is the most
widely used open source database, with
more than 200 million deployments.
O PHP. Oracle is committed to
enabling open source scripting lan-
guage PHP for the enterprise with
Zend Core for Oracle.
O Xen. Oracle contributes to feature
development of Xen mainline soft-
ware, is a member of the Xen Advisory
Board, and hosted Xen Summit 2009.
Oracle realized the value of promoting standards in
the 1970s while working to establish open standards for
Structured Query Language (SQL), the foundation of Oracle
Database. “We’ve been in the forefront of developing open
standards,” says Deutsch. “Oracle’s core database has always
been based on SQL, and our entire middle tier is built on Java.
We’ve been involved with the Java development process since
its inception. It’s extremely important technology for us.”
Many other standards underpin the Oracle product
family, particularly related to service-oriented architecture
(SOA) and service component architecture (SCA). SOA
includes a set of broadly accepted standards for constructing modular software using service-oriented principles. SCA
provides a framework for creating composite applications
using a variety of technologies, languages, frameworks,
transports, and protocols.
At the same time, Oracle remains committed to open source
software, as reflected in the significant resources it devotes to
developing, testing, optimizing, and supporting open source
technologies. The open source Linux operating system is a great
example. Oracle’s long-standing commitment to Linux started
Open Source Versus Open Standards
Open source: A set of licensing terms and conditions
surrounding the use of certain software products. Typi-
cally there is no cost to license open source software,
and the vendor provides both the object code and the
source code to the customer.
Open standards: A set of technology specifications,
including CGI, HTML, HTTP, and Java, that are publicly
available and developed, approved, and maintained
through collaboration and consensus.
when Oracle released the industry’s first commercial database
on Linux in 1998, and that leadership continues today. “We run
much of our installed base on Linux, and we regularly deploy
our products into open source environments,” says Deutsch.
Oracle’s acquisition of numerous companies over the last 30
years proves that adhering to standards reduces development
costs, minimizes integration risks, and accelerates project lifecycles. “When Oracle evaluates an acquisition with the intention of acquiring a third-party product, we avoid proprietary
technologies due to the high cost of integration,” Deutsch says.
Clearly, acquiring a software product or application platform based on open standards reduces the cost of deploying,
integrating, and enhancing that software over time, and investing in an architecture that allows applications from multiple
vendors to interoperate leads to big savings down the road.
“We cannot stress enough the importance of using open standards,” Deutsch notes. “Our preference is to allow open source
software and conventional software to coexist. We support and
contribute to open source, we incorporate it into our products
where it makes sense, and we use it in our business.”
“It’s an incredibly diverse technology environment out there,”
Deutsch adds, “but open standards help ensure that all the components will fit together.” <>
DAVID BAUM ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance business writer.
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