Microsoft drops open-source birthday gift with FAST
As birthdays go, it's not a bad present. Microsoft's decision to sacrifice FAST's Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) development on Linux and Unix for Windows potentially gives open-source search providers like Lucid Imagination a free pass.
In announcing the news Monday, FAST chief technology officer Bjørn Olstad was clearly cognizant of the implications of the move. Olstad tried to preempt the potential customer hemorrhage with a standard commitment to interoperability with Linux and Unix and vague references to some "hosted solutions."
"Many of our customers run FAST ESP on Linux and Unix today, and we recognize that our future focus on Windows means change," Olstad wrote. Microsoft is giving you until 2018 to stick with the existing versions of ESP - the date when extended support ends.
Olstad is right to be concerned. Customers interested in open-source search are moving to Apache Software Foundation's (ASF's) Lucene and Solr, and Lucid has spend the first year of its life charging people to provide support along with consulting to get the move right.
On Tuesday. Lucid's chief executive Eric Gries claimed 80 per cent of the FAST's customer base ran on Linux or Unix, and Microsoft's decision will simply mean those who'd been previously unsure, concerned about the future under Microsoft, or interested in using an open-source architecture like Lucene or Solr will now move elsewhere.
"This news is the final nail in the coffin," Gries said of FAST. "I'm puzzled by the thinking at Microsoft. But for us it definitely helps. Customers who were on the fence thinking about staying with FAST and Linux and moving to Solr - their decision is very clear."
Lucid counts those who've moved to Lucid or Solr in the last year as Fortune 500s that don't want be tied to a single company's roadmap or paying expensive licensing fees. Microsoft's plan with FAST is to integrate the search capabilities into Office and SharePoint 2010. Since January 2009, Lucid has picked up Ford, Nike, Sears, and Macy's.
Lucid's average annual subscription charge is $30,000, which gives customers pre-integration and support for these ASF-based projects. It targets those who like open-source but don't want to get their hands dirty and that want the comfort of having somebody to call or help build their system. Lucid's services include updates and sweeps of customers' installations to look for bottlenecks and check the accuracy of the data.
There are other alternatives to those who don't want to become dependent on Window, Office, or SharePoint or be locked into a single vendor such as Microsoft or even rival Oracle that offers its Secure Enterprise Search. These options include Google's Search Appliance and also Sphinx.
Next page: Closed Google
SQL Server anyone?
The #3 horse in the Unix database market .
Bought up and rendered down at the Redmond knackers yard. serverd up as Microsoft SQL Server for Windows.
Was it up to V7 before it could do record level locking? That's quite an important ability for people who run large databases (especially if some of those files have small records, when a cluster lock blocks reading a *large* number of them).
Navision was also more cross platform and had a wide user base in Euope (good internationalsiation faciliites as IIRC it was Danish). Wonder if any of that's left.
It's all Greek to me (though some would say Latin ... when in Rome and all that mixing of metaphors)
In other words... wtf is this article about, anyway (and no, I didn't click any links... rule 1 of acronyms: first time you mention it, you say what it bloody stands for!)
I'm no M$ fanboy but IIRC SQL Server 6.5 was basically a Sybase fork and was therefore sh*te.
SQL Server 7 was a first proper rewrite by some clever clogs at M$ and it was like a breath of fresh air.
It's about the only decent software to come out of Microsoft that was any good in my humble opinion.