A consultant did a project for us and chose MySQL.  We thought it was
cool that MySQL was free.

Turns out, MySQL costs over $500 (USD) if you are a commercial
organization like us!  Even worse, we have to formally transfer
licenses to customers and any further transfers must include
involvement of the MySQL organization.

Since we are a reputable organization, we diligently track the license
numbers- I make my mfg group log them, print them and include them in
the BOM of systems we ship.  Occassionally, I audit them to make sure
we are staying legal.  I spent many hours studying the MySQL license
agreements, I found ambiguitites and questions and called their rep
several times.  As usual, licenses punish the honest people.  What a

The cost for us to do that work and tracking is hard to measure but is
certainly not free.

This prompted me to look around and find another open source database
that did not go over to the dark side and turn greedy.  Since Postgres
has true foreign key integrity enforcement and truly has a reputation
for being hardened and robust, it got our attention.

We are pretty close to choosing PostgreSQL 8.x.  Since we know and use
only Windows, there's still some learning curve and pain we are going

Fortunately, there is a simple installer for windows.  The PGAdmin tool
that comes with PG looks decent and a company named EMS makes a decent
looking tool for about $195.

Trouble is, we are not DB admins.  We're programmers who love and know
java, JDBC and a few other languages.

So, our problem in installing is we don't know a cluster or SSL from a
hole in the ground.  Things get confusing about contexts- are we
talking about a user of the system or the database?  Yikes, do I need
to write down the 30+ character autogenerated password?  

We just want to use JDBC, code SQL queries and essentially not care
what database is under us.  We would love to find a good tool that runs
as an Eclipse plug-in that lets us define our database, generate a
script file to create it and perhaps also help us concoct queries.

Our experience is that the many UNIX-ish thing about postgres are there
and we don't know UNIX.  This makes you realize how much you take for
granted about the OS you do know.  Of course, we'll learn, but postgres
people, if you're listening: good job, now take us a little farther and
we will be your most ardent supporters.


Bill Ewing
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