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Oracle buys Sleepycat Software

Heard via Jeremy, Oracle has purchase Sleepycat Software, the makers of the Berkley Database:

Wow, the rumors were true. Oracle is snapping up Open Source Database companies now. First it was Innobase (see Oracle buys Innobase. MySQL between rock and hard place?) and now it's Sleepycat Software.

The purchase of Sleepycat, which has been rumored for weeks, gives Oracle another open-source product to complement its proprietary database offerings. At an investor conference last week, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison reiterated the company's strategy to generate revenue from a combination of open-source and proprietary software.

They produce and support the famed Berkeley DB embedded database engine and have radically improved it's features since the version 1.x days. Nowadays you get a small, fast, transactional database engine with industrial grade reliability and replication.

It's interesting to note that MySQL's first transactional storage engine (BDB) was created on top of Berkeley DB. Their more popular transactional storage engine (InnoDB) is built on top of technology produced by Innobase, which Oracle bought last year.

This leads to the obvious question: What is Oracle up to? Are they trying to do to Open Source Databases what Yahoo appears to be doing to Web 2.0 companies?

There's been speculation of a master plan at Oracle that involves buying up various bits of the Open Source infrastructure used in building applications. Is JBoss next, as some have suggested?

We'll see.

Oracle is betting that they can make more money from the embedded database if you read their press statement:

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., 14-FEB-2006 Oracle today announced that it has added Berkeley DB to its embedded database product line which includes Oracle Lite for mobile devices and Oracle TimesTen for high performance in-memory database applications.

"Sleepycat's products enhance Oracle's market-leading database product family by offering enterprise-class support to customers who need to embed a fast, reliable database at a lower cost," said Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president, Oracle Database Server Technologies.

"We're very excited to join the world's largest enterprise software company and the industry's leading database company," said Mike Olson, CEO of Sleepycat Software. "Sleepycat's products, customer base and proven business model, combined with Oracle's tremendous expertise, complementary technology and resources, will allow us to better serve the needs of our customers and the open source community."

According to Carl Olofson of IDC's research, "The embedded database market was projected last year to be just over $2 billion in 2005 and forecasted to grow to over $3.2 billion by the year 2009. This market is very diverse, and the technologies tend to be quite specialized. Sleepycat's Berkeley DB complements Oracle TimesTen and Oracle Lite, allowing Oracle to address a broad range of segments within the embedded DBMS market."

Sleepycat Software's Berkeley DB is the most widely used open source database in the world with deployments estimated at more than 200 million. Berkeley DB is distributed under a dual license model, i.e. available under a public license and also available under a commercial license. Well-known open source projects such as the Linux and BSD UNIX operating systems, Apache web server, OpenLDAP directory, OpenOffice productivity software, and many others embed Berkeley DB technology.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Now we can wait and see if the Zend rumour is also true as apparenlty either Andi Gutmans is a Oracle employee or Oracle have also aquired Zend.


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