Assignment Overview

The case for this module considers the emerging and important trend toward what is called “open source software.” The Background Information contains some general references regarding this movement; its effect is being felt in many different areas of information technology, both operating and applications. The area of database management has long been dominated by large-scale applications from companies like SAP and Oracle. Under these conditions, you either buy the entire suite, which commits you to a single approach and offers you in return a single interface, or you buy nothing.The open-source movement has been a breath of fresh air in many areas of computer systems development, not just databases. The idea is fairly simple if somewhat counterintuitive: give away your product to make money. The odd part is, it works, at least part of the time. What it amounts to is that by making the core source code of major applications common knowledge, you encourage people to build on that, and the more applications and specific tools people build on it, the more you have the opportunity to create a critical mass of users and uses. Netscape pioneered the approach, although they subsequently lost the initiative, and it is clear that in the area of operating systems, Linux has at least managed to put a scare into Microsoft Windows.In this module, we look at the issue of open source applications in database management. There’s no question that it is somewhat more complicated and more organizationally difficult to put together an effective database management system using open-source components than is to simply write a large check to Oracle, Microsoft, or SAP. Yet enough companies are moving this direction that it warrants attention. At the very least, anyone with a degree in information technology management would be expected to have a reasonable acquaintance with the idea of open-source software and so it will pay you to give some attention to this phenomenon.

Here are some takes on the question of open-source software:

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Berkeley.edu. (n.d.). Selecting your database platform. http://dba-services.berkeley.edu/services/selecting_a_platform.

Prince, B. (2008). Open-source databases MySQL, PostgreSQL, adoption rising. Retrieved from http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Database/Open-Source-Database-Adoption-Upswing-Continues/

Gasperson, T. (2007) Five compelling reasons to use MySQL. CIO Magazine. http://www.cio.com/article/113110/Five_Compelling_Reasons_to_Use_MySQL

Toderash, B. (2007) Eight sound reasons not to use MySQL. CIO Magazine. http://www.cio.com/article/113111/Eight_Sound_Reasons_Not_to_Use_MySQL

Asay, M. (2007). Why choose proprietary software over open source? Survey says!. CNet News, Retrieved from http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-9789275-16.html

Case Assignment

When you’ve had a chance to read these articles, anything from the Background that seems helpful to you, or anything else you may have come across, please write a short (3- to 5-page) paper discussing the question:

Why open-source software will (or will not) soon dominate the field of database management tools

Your paper should be between three and five pages. Take a definite stand on the issues, and develop your supporting argument carefully. Using material from the background information and any other sources you can find to support specific points in your argument is highly recommended; try to avoid making assertions for which you can find no support other than your own opinion.

Your paper is to be structured as a point/counterpoint argument, in the following manner:

·         Begin this paper by stating your position on this question clearly and concisely

·         Citing appropriate sources, present the reasons why you take this position. Be sure to make the most effective case you can.

·         Then present the best evidence you can, again citing appropriate sources, against your position — that is, establish what counterarguments can be made to your original position.

·         Finally, review your original position in light of the counterarguments, showing how they are inadequate to rebut your original statement.

By the end of your paper, you should be able to unequivocally re-affirm your original position.

Assignment Expectations

Length: Follow the number of pages required in the assignment excluding cover page and references. Each page should have about 300 words.

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