A blog for the enterprise open source community
What did Oracle ever do for open source? Part one.Matthew Aslett, November 14, 2007 @ 3:37 pm ET
Here at OpenWorld Oracle hosted a round table on its open source strategy earlier today. Here’s what happened as it happened, including Oracle’s engagement with open source communities and contributions to Linux and open source middleware.
NB All comments are paraphrased unless direct quote marks are used.
Ken Jacobs, VP of product strategy, server technologies division.
Omar Tazi, chief open source evangelist
Mike Olson, VP embedded technology, former Sleepycat CEO
Ed Screven, chief corporate architect
(Moderating) Monica Kumar, senior director product marketing, Linux and open source
Wim Coekaerts, VP of Linux engineering, corporate architecture
MK: How does Oracle view open source?
ES: Oracle consumes open source technology. It doesn’t look at it as something that’s good or bad or contradictory to its business model, it’s something that’s just different.
MO: As CEO of an open source vendor his goal was to deliver revenue and make everyone happy. That hasn’t changed. Oracle doesn’t do open source because it does political or spiritual good. Oracle does open source because it’s good for our customers and drives revenue.
Oracle’s involvement with projects is pragmatic. If Oracle thinks it will benefit customers and help drive revenue it will participate. Oracle’s involvement in open source is aimed at improving experience of Oracle technology for our customers.
MK: How does Oracle engage with the community?
WC: Oracle’s involvement with Linux started a long time ago, unofficially at first. Then it started helping Linux do better for the Oracle product stack, and tried to make Linux more stable so that customers could take it into production, but “anything we do for Oracle by default is good for everybody else.”
An advantage of working for a big company is that thousands of machines in data centre gives it a good test bed. There are 4,000 CPUs running Oracle 24/7, all running Linux.
Oracle also has many customers running Oracle on Linux in production, and if there’s a problem, whether it’s the database or the operating system everybody always calls Oracle first. Diagnostics; Linus for a long time did not care. It’s nice that he changed that opinion, but people at home (individual developers) are not interested in making diagnostics better, it’s not a cool project, but when you work at a company like Oracle it is very important.
Oracle, like Red Hat, like Novell, has Linux developers. There are a lot of developers at Oracle who don’t work on Oracle at all, they just work on Linux.
MK: What has Oracle done to contribute to Linux?
WC: Fixed tones of bugs. File systems. BTRFS in development. OCFS 2 in the mainline kernel… “We’re trying to do the right think in the way we work with these communities and we’re doing the same thing with the Xen community, because all the people we have in house are open source developers.”
MK: How does Oracle fit in the open source middleware space?
OT: Started just supporting tools like Struts and Spring now started contributing to open source projects and even leading open source projects. Oracle is leading a bunch of Eclipse projects and involved in Eclipse because it believes in productivity of choice. “We chose to work with them in making Eclipse a better environment for customers to develop upon.” Java Server Faces, Oracle leads that project. 1.0 released in June. Also released reference implementation, design time for EJB Persistence APIs – co lead with Sun. Project Dali tools project for that. BPEL project. Lead with IBM BPEL 2.0 support in Eclipse.
Another major one is the open source of TopLink object relational mapping tool. Now called EclipseLink – whole product now downloadable from Eclipse. Another area is donations to Apache. Last year Trinidad donation to Apache, now part of MyFaces project. Useful for doing JSF web-based apps.
After that did something much bigger – Rich Client Framework, will be donating very soon to the Apache MyFaces project. “We don’ just participate in open source out of desperation.” These components are the foundation of the UI that the apps team uses.
Look out for more stuff in the SOA space at the telecoms space.
JSR 301 Java Server Faces Portlet bridge. “Those are just highlights We are getting less credit than we should be getting in the open source middleware tools space.”
Coming up in part two. Berkeley DB, Oracle VM, InnoDB, and what Oracle really thinks of MySQL.
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