Batteries Not Included

Am looking into databases that can be easily distributed with our company product. Fuss free, worry free, blah. The current product relies on Oracle/MySQL setup. It stores many states/configs etc stuff. But the question is, why does an app server require a database? Applications requires database, that’s understandable.. but the app server? Install is not enough? I need a something else (db) installed and configured before this thing runs??

So, I embark on a (personal?) journey to pick the lightest, appropriate solution to act as the app server’s internal datastore - separate from the datastore that the application developers will be using. The aim is to magically remove dependency of a database (perception) but still continue to operate as-per-normal.

First I found Cloudscape and IBM’s big-fan-fare release of Derby.. then HSQLDB starts propping up from under the carpet (eh, its inside my JBoss directory.. didn’t know that).. then I’m greatly humbled and eternally grateful for this article, "Talk on Open Source Databases". Anyone shopping for a DB should look through the slides.