Oracle has bought open source database vendor Sleepycat Software, strengthening its hand in the rooted database market. The purchase extends Oracle’s embedded database product line, which also includes Oracle Lite for mobile devices and last year’s buy TimesTen for high-performance in-memory database applications.
Sleepycat’s Berkeley DB is embedded in several open source products, including the Linux and BSD Unix OSes, Apache Web server, OpenLDAP directory, and OpenOffice.
The attainment would thereby let customers have access to a fast, open source database at a low cost and with “enterprise-class support,” Oracle claimed.
Since long Oracle has been rumoured to be negotiating to buy open source vendors, including JBoss, Sleepycat, and Zend Technologies.
The moves by software vendors to snap up open source companies are seen partly as a way to draw developers in the hope that those developers will upgrade to paid-for products for wide application deployments.
David Mitchell, a practice leader at Analyst Company Ovum said that Sleepycat could also turn into a revenue generator for Oracle in terms of subscription contracts and support services. According to Mitchell 35 percent of revenue produced in the embedded database market are from open source products, compared with about 5 percent in the traditional database market.
Mitchell added, “I’d rate the traditional part of the market as very mature and with low growth rates, while embedded is doing well. So if Oracle wants to drive on the back of that growth, Sleepycat’s a good company to own.”