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Will Open Source be sunk by its own success?

In addition to the well-known databases such as Oracle, MySQL or MS SQL, Open Source databases are developing at lightning speed. In fact, they’re developing so quickly that more and more companies will be using open source databases such as PostgreSQL or MongoDB in their IT infrastructure, and an increasing number of IT brokerage and recruitment agencies will start working with open source professionals. On one hand, that is a nice compliment for the Open Source Community, but on the other, there is also a danger: market forces threaten to undermine the principle of Open Source.

Edco Wallet

Co-Founder & eigenaar
Edco Wallet - Co-Founder & eigenaar

Everyone is an “owner”

The special feature of an Open Source database, such as PostgreSQL, is that there is not one owner or developer. The principle of Open Source is that it is owned by the Community. You may use the technology for free, but in return you will be called upon to return everything that you develop via Github, for example. This is known as “contributing” in the Open Source Community. It is also common for a share of income or non-chargeable hours to be invested in the development and Community. In this way, a natural process of growth is created and projects like PostgreSQL, remain a relevant Open Source database in the longer term.

Market forces

The Open sources principle is beautiful andmodern, but at the same time this also conflicts with the principle of market forces. Companies do not pay their people to work “for free” for others. As a result, it is becoming increasingly common for parties to work with Open Source and Open Source professionals, then further develop in-house, keeping these innovations to themselves. Often this is because they are not even aware of the “return principle”.

Consequence for Open Source

You can imagine that in the longer term this will have a negative effect on the speed of development and therefore the relevance of Open Source. As development is supported by fewer shoulders, there is a danger of a vicious circle in which new users will find it less obvious to share their additions and thus contribute to the further development of open source software. Ultimately, this is to the detriment of all users.

Sharing is caring

You don’t have to wait long for PostgreSQL. On Thursday, March 14 there was a meet-up in the Adyen building in Amsterdam. In june there will be the next PostgreSQL Usergroup NL meetup. You can read more about this here. And if you want to know more about the use of PostgreSQL, you can of course always contact us.