Sleepycat acquisition

February 15, 2006

Early morning at work, the mail at the top caused a jerk reaction. “Oracle acquires Sleepycat” read the subject from Mike Olson’s mail. I need not reiterate what a great piece of software we have from the great folks at Sleepycat. Interacting with them has always been pleasure. A mere developer cannot have much to comment on the functioning of giant companies, but can only hope that nothing changes at the interface level.

One can only speculate on whether the acquisition will be good or bad for the software community in general. Only time will tell, or the next ten years as Mike Olson puts it!

I’m reminded of a tiny incident involving Berkeley DB. We were evaluating data storage and data management requirements of a customer. BDB met all the functional and performance requirements. We suggested we use BDB. The manager on the other side seemed doubtful; he had never heard of BDB. We explained what BDB was and how it fitted well in our system. The manager looked convinced on the technical front, but he wanted to know more about the company- How big is the company? How many developers? How many support engineers? Where are their offices? Where is the development centre? Since he didn’t have much to do with core IT field, the answers unsettled him a bit. This may sound preposterous, but we actually had to produce a small document explaining “what Sleepycat represents as a company”! I’m sure, no one would ever have to do it again.

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