[OSGeo-Discuss] Enterprise OSDB for OSGIS

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Mon Dec 11 07:26:19 PST 2006

chenrg at lreis.ac.cn wrote:
> Dear all,
> There are many comparisons about OSDBs, such as:
> http://www.geocities.com/mailsoftware42/db/
> http://www.fabalabs.org/research/papers/FabalabsResearchPaper-OSDBMS-Eval.pdf
> http://www.virtuas.com/files/osl-osrdb-01.pdf
> http://www.osdbmigration.org:8080/osdb/osdb-features
> I'm not sure which will be the most promising enterprise OSDB for OSGIS.
> (1) PostGIS is an excellent one, but its performance depends on PostgreSQL;
> (2) MySQL Spatial Extension (MyGIS) faces the same problem.
> Another solution is to build a Spatial Data Engine (like ArcSDE) for 
> FireBird or MaxDB or Ingres. 
> Checked the source codes of several OSDB:
> It seems that Ingres is more powerful and has more enterprise functions. 
> Further more, it has internal support for spatial extension. 
> Is it a reasonable solution to choose it to build enterprise OSGIS? Any 
> advice and suggestions?

Prof. Chen,

I reviewed the helpful document you referenced at:


And from this it did not seem clear that Ingres was substantially more
powerful than PostgreSQL.  In that matrix it seems that PostgreSQL
compared fairly well on the various enterprise features listed.  I'm
afraid I did not have time to review all the other documents.

You mention that PostGIS is excellent, but that its performance
depends on PostgreSQL.  Is that a problem?  It has been my (limited)
experience that a well tuned postgres performs well compared to other
enterprise class commercial databases, though it sometimes performs
less well than very performance focused databases like MySQL.

MySQL is a promising player in the geospatial osdb space, and I was
pleased to see their addition of limited OGC simple features support.
But, in my opinion, MySQL is a stretch to refer to as "enterprise
class" in the terms the document above lists.  Also, it's spatial
support is quite limited by comparison to PostGIS.

I am not really familiar with the other databases listed.

My main point though is that usefulness and success in the open source
community is in significant part about the healthiness of the ecosystem
around a project.  That is, the number of users and contributors and the
number of people knowledgeable about the product.  Also, the helpfulness
of on line resources such as mailing lists, irc channels, and web sites.

On that basis it seems to me that the only spatial open source database
with any significant mind-share and community is PostgreSQL+PostGIS.  I
am speaking from the spatial point of view of course.  I'm sure all the
databases have substantial users bases.  In the case of MySQL it also
has a substantial number of users in the geospatial space, though few
of those users are actually using the spatial extensions to mysql
(in my experience).

So, if I were wanting to build out an enterprise class open source
spatial database system for an enterprise, I think I would start
by looking at PostgreSQL + PostGIS and only look further if I found
substantial inadequacies for my needs.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, http://osgeo.org

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