Sybase survives open source

Summary:Sybase CEO John Chen (left, from Sybase.Com) got to ring the bell opening trading at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, celebrating his company's 20th birthday.

Sybase CEO John Chen (left, from Sybase.Com) got to ring the bell opening trading at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, celebrating his company's 20th birthday.

He almost didn't make it. Sybase was lagging in the database business for a long time. Even at the height of the dot-com madness its stock price sat in the teens.

The first Sybase port to Linux came in 1999, but the company didn't really embrace open source until this fall, with Sybase ASE Express Edition for Linux offered at that great Linux price, free.>

s to say the sky hasn't fallen. Quite the contrary. Sybase suddenly has Sun nervous.

That's because IBM is now going to ship ASE as the standard database on its own Linux box, the p-Series. The software's free, but Sybase will still make money, because porting and maintaining databases is hard work, and hard work is a service that earns money.

Between Linux, wireless, and Asia, the stock pickers over at Zack's now figure Chen is playing a good hand.

But you be the judge.Is ASE a winner, or a joker?

Topics: Software

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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