[svlug] Guess who has a Linux port of its SQL database?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Mar 7 17:17:35 PST 2016

Haha.  This news item (Microsoft SQL Server to become available as a
Linux port) will be amusing to all Linux old-timers.  The reason:

All through the Nineties, customers kept approaching _all_ of the big
SQL database companies (Informix, Oracle, Sybase, many more)[1] and having
this conversation:

Us:  When are you releasing a Linux version of your database?
Them:  We have no plans for a Linux version.
Us:  Why on earth not?
Them:  We've extensively studied the market, and determined that there 
  is absolutely no market demand whatsoever for a Linux version.
Us:  Rumour has it that you already have a Linux port.
Them:  We do not have a Linux port.  There are probably significant 
  obstacles to porting, but we've put no development effort into that
  at all, and, besides, there might be legal and stability complications
  on such a non-enterprise, non-commercial OS.  We therefore recommend 
  that Unix users continue to deploy on one of our supported platforms 
  such as HP/UX and Solaris.

This charade continued, with poker-faced corporate people staunchly
denying that there has been any exploration whatsoever of functionality
on Linux... until July 22, 1998, when Informix (which is now IBM
Informix) broke ranks and said they would be releasing a full Informix
Dynamic Server development kit with full libraries.

Suddenly, in a panic at having been left behind, Oracle hastily put
together an announcement a few days later that, of course, they would
release a Linux kit of Oracle8 and Oracle Applications Real Soon Now.  
InterBase followed, Ingres II, DB2, and on and on.  

The 'we have no Linux version' charade collapsed _so_ quickly (about 2-3
months) that it made clear that every single one of these firms had been
maintaining an active Linux port for years, and been lying through their

 From 1998 to 2016, for eighteen years, every single SQL database company
has shipped a Linux version, except for the one, solitary holdout.

[1] Exception:  One proprietary SQL database, ADABAS D, had been
officially ported to Linux in 1996 by Software AG, and shipped tailored
for Caldera Network Desktop.  ADABAS D wasn't usually considered a major
RDBMS offering.

----- Forwarded message from Ed Rogers <ed at rogersecommerce.com> -----

Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2016 23:27:13 +0000
From: Ed Rogers <ed at rogersecommerce.com>
To: talk at nblug.org
Subject: [NBLUG/talk] Linux meets the monster

I don't know the history behind this, but here it is:


talk mailing list
talk at nblug.org

----- End forwarded message -----

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