Oracle acquired Innobase on 10 October for an undisclosed sum, and has given few details about its plans for the technology.
The vendor is most likely to use it as a starting point for a small-footprint open source database, Gartner predicted.
While such an offering would do little to compete with Oracle's existing database, it could increase the pressure on Oracle competitors such as Microsoft with its SQL Server Express and Sybase with its ASE Express.
"This would give Oracle an entry-level relational database management system [DBMS] that would compete in this space with the further advantage of not exposing Oracle's DBMS source code to the open source community," Feinberg wrote in a recently published analysis.
Another possible scenario, although one which Gartner deems less likely, is that the acquisition is the first step towards Oracle's acquiring MySQL, which is the leading open source database.
Oracle could also use the acquisition merely to obstruct the open source database movement by taking the InnoDB technology off the market. But Feinberg said that this last scenario is highly unlikely.
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