You needed to understand two acronyms In the Microsoft vs Open Source debate until recently:
- SQL Server
But the world has moved on and Microsoft like all software vendors recognises the value of open source and so there is now lots of in between choices giving rise to some new acronyms (although these do all rely on Windows as SQL Server won’t run on anything else):
What this means is that SQL Server can work with PHP and sites can be hosted on Apache. Of course if you really hate using SQL Server even when it’s free (SQL Server Express) then you can still have the technically non-open source Sun MySQL and use:
Is this Microsoft being nice, avoiding further battles anti-trust battles on either side of the atlantic, or another attempt at world domination of the IT industry? My view is that everybody likes to have a choice (so why is there only one monopolies commission then?), and this is particularly true of programming languages. PHP is very appealing, and has wide spread support so it would be foolish to ignore it.
The great thing about open source IMO is the collaboration and code sharing that goes on. I would argue that there is loads of this in the SQL Community. You only have to trawl the net for SQL blogs and forums to see the rich variety of people involved. Of course these people don’t write the actual product, but then that’s a very small group of developers compared to the people who use it. What the SQL Server community does is develop best practice and write miles of scripts and then share their experience off and on-line.