To Pay or Not Pay for Databases – That is the Question

Databases such as File Maker Pro, Microsoft Access, QuickBase, eUnifyDb and others are perfect for workgroups and keeping track of data in a smaller amounts. However when you need to scale up to handle heaver transactions you need databases that can handle heavier loads and this is where databases from IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and others come into play. The problem (for these vendors) is that there is a powerful, free database MySQL.
What’s happening, similar to how when Google launched Gmail it forced Yahoo & Hotmail to have more features and more capacity, the “fee” based database vendors are offering lower cost (or free) versions of their databases.
News Factor writes The hope is that people who use and like the free “express” downloads eventually will pay for the support and technical resources a large commercial vendor can offer, or even someday will upgrade to the high-powered versions of those database products. “Customers tell us that they look beyond the initial purchase cost and evaluate items such as maintenance, support, completeness of functionality, and consistent management-tool environment,” said Microsoft’s Carol Dullmeyer, senior product manager for SQL Server.
The advantage of a major vendor, said Les King, program director for DB2 Marketing Information Management Software Group at IBM, is that it has the revenue needed to build in advanced functionality, while the open-source databases can only cover the basics.
“As scalability, performance, and advanced administration requirements are realized, you will need to look to a ‘major database provider’ to satisfy the business needs,” King said.