After a couple of conversations in recent weeks on databases, they have been playing on my mind. (Maybe I have cabin fever from being inside during the cold weather!)
At this time, it’s clear from the questions we get, from the support calls we receive and just watching the industry in general, that the database trends are changing. I think that looking at the Uniface 9.6 product availability matrix (PAM) for Uniface 9.6 starts to show what we are seeing. The databases that we provided support for the pagination/web hitlist support. Oracle, Microsoft, MySQL and Solid are the databases that I’d estimate cover 80% of deployed Uniface applications nowadays. This doesn’t mean that the remaining databases aren’t important, but I think almost all new deployments are on these four technologies.
But what’s been interesting is that the question of new databases has come up. Now I have to say that when I’m asked a ‘will Uniface support?’ kind of product management question, I always ask ‘why?’… Why is it needed? What’s the reason this is important to you? And so forth.
The first question was about no-sql databases, and if we had considered supporting them. After further questioning it seems that this was more to do with a ‘it’s trendy, so I want to use it,’ but I have to say I was, and still am very curious to see if there are good reasons to take a look at no-sql, as my initial thought was that it’s not the type of data source typically used with a Uniface application (mission critical, large volumes of data and so forth).
The other database was much more intriguing… PostgreSQL, and one of the customers doing the asking is actually one of our largest enterprise customers, who are seriously considering moving from their current database to PostgreSQL, an open source database. And the entire reason is to cut costs from expensive database licenses. PostgreSQL is quite an interesting database, it’s well supported, very functional and it does have its own open source licensing model which is very liberal when compared to alternatives.
No decisions made, but it’s certainly got my attention. If things develop, it will be a case of ‘watch this space’…!
And Brett, if you read this, don’t be alarmed, we’re going to put the pagination into the db2 driver this year!