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Java DB or HSQLDB?

Posted by joconner on June 19, 2006 at 2:41 PM PDT

Sun Microsystems has put lots of time, money, and effort into OpenOffice, the product, the organization, and the community. So, when OpenOffice adopted HSQLDB as the embedded DB, I was happy for the popular productivity suite. Not only did the product finally have a capable, 100% Java database, it would have great support and contributions from Sun as well. HSQLDB in OpenOffice...great idea.

Sun announced (in March?) that it had adopted Apache Derby as its 100% Java db for some of its own products and other open source projects that it is heavily involved in. Sun uses the "Java DB" name for its Derby package, and puts Java DB in NetBeans and in its app server. Just recently, Sun also included Java DB in the Java SE 6 (Mustang) JDK.

I guess I'm a little confused. Sun is definitely putting resources into Java DB (Apache Derby) now. However, it also seems to be heavily involved in OpenOffice, and by association, most likely the HSQLDB product too. But can that last?

Restructuring and employee force reductions come around often at Sun, and it's no secret that Sun is going through another big round of layoffs. Will Sun have the resources to support both databases? So the questions are these:

  • Does Sun's adoption of Java DB (Derby) mean anything for HSQLDB support in OpenOffice?
  • Will OpenOffice suddenly have Derby support in the next couple months?
  • Does the Java DB news mean anything at all for OpenOffice?
  • For HSQLDB?

Hey, I dunno anything. I'm just curious. Maybe it doesn't even matter, but it seems like it would be difficult to maintain support for both.

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