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Learning from PostgreSQL

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In the CommerceAndCommunity (C&C) topic MichaelCorbett suggested that we look at other C&C examples. This topic describes the relationship between PostgreSQL and the companies around it.

PostgreSQL overview

PostgreSQL is a DBMS (database management system), a direct competitor of the more light-weight/less heavy-duty MySQL. There is no formal embodiement of the community. Coordination is mostly done by mailing lists and IRC.

New code is presented in the form of patches, that are to be reviewed by a group of contributors on the patches mailing list. Patches are reviewed according to a documented set of criteria.

In general, I have found the PostgreSQL community to be very open and welcoming to new people.

Commercial entities


EnterpriseDB is a company that provides a special version of PostgreSQL along with some tools for installation and management. It also packages the database replication system Slony. It provides commercial support (it is the official support party for solaris customers).

The company does contribute to the open source PostgreSQL and employs various key community members as well as sponsors conferences on PostgreSQL.


http://www.commandprompt.com/ positions itself as 'the PostgreSQL company'. They can count among their employees quite a list of active community members.

Command prompt provides services & support, as well as a variety of PostgreSQL related products such as the mammoth replication engine.

There's more

And there's more:

Comparison to TWiki


  • I have not seen the claiming of contributions by either company


  • Multiple companies
  • A very strong open source product that is leading in its sector

-- Contributors: KoenMartens - 15 Feb 2008


Moved a related but less relevant discussion to LearningFromPostgreSQLControversy.

-- KoenMartens - 17 Feb 2008

What i like about this example is that commerce is kept out of the community. There is hardly any mention of the commercial companies on the site, except on the download page where EnterpriseDB is humbly listed as an 'other way of getting PostgreSQL' among other alternatives. Also, there is a directory of consultancy services. But that's it afaik. I would like to see that for TWiki too. TWIKI.NET in a list with similar status such as the wikiring installers and debian packages and virtual machines. No claiming of contributions. A clean open source project without the constant distraction of competing commercial entities.

-- KoenMartens - 15 Feb 2008

PostgreSQL to my mind is exactly how the TWiki OSS project has run for the last ~10 years. I'm not convinced it is possible for anyone company to demand this to change, and I personally don't want to see TWiki fall to the point where its like RedHat - they are only now coming out of the doldrums as far as OSS linux is concerned, and even when they were considered odd, they spent allot of money on permanently employed Developers, testers, documenters etc that worked specifically for non commercial ends.

Another thing to note, is that PostgreSQL has a major amount of support and significance to SunMicrosystems - Go see the blog posts after the MySQL acquisition announcement.

-- SvenDowideit - 18 Feb 2008

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Topic revision: r13 - 2008-02-18 - SvenDowideit
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