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Oracle refreshes Berkeley DB

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Seven months after purchasing Sleepycat Software, Oracle has updated the newest member of its embedded database family.

Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5, released today, adds multi-version concurrency control, enables upgrades without the downtime, and provides a replication framework for users to quickly build highly available systems.

According to Oracle, the new features will reduce the complexity of database architectures and help developers quickly build and deploy applications that need fast and reliable storage, without the need for further human administration.

Oracle closed its Sleepycat acquisition in February in a move that left some scratching their heads over the company's open source database plans. Oracle purchased the InnoDB storage engine in October 2005 which led observers to conclude an Oracle open source stack was coming.

That stack appeared stillborn, though, once JBoss slipped through Oracle's fingers and went to Red Hat earlier this year.

Oracle is now positioning Sleepycat as part of a "comprehensive embeddable product line" that includes the TimesTen In-Memory Database, Oracle Database Lite 10g, Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Application Server 10g for ISVs and OEMs.

The embedded database market is expected to be worth $3.2bn by 2009, up from $2bn last year according to IDC. With 200m plus deployments, Berkeley DB is the industry's most widely used embedded database and Oracle is now expected to try and milk good-old-fashioned services revenue associated with the database. Oracle today cited Forrester Research forecasts of $1bn revenues a year revenues by the end of 2008 to be generated by open source database services and licensing. ®

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