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Re:Man-hours is where the cost is.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 08, 2004 01:55 AM
The parent post gave an example of a software license fo $1,500 and then stated that it would only pay for a few days of effort.

I believe that this poster is assuming that the need is in a company in the "Western world". If the database is needed by a small community project (like for a church group or a class project in a school), then $1,500 would be prohibatively expensive, regardless of how easy it is to set up. Similarly, if the need is for a commercial entity in a "developing nation", $1,500 could well represent many month's salary of an IT professional (and would require a "hard currency" which can be difficult to come by). In either situation, the Open Source database has the transparancy required to be implemented successfully by the volunteer/student/low-wage worker.

Furthermore, the $1,500 price tag will grow rapidly when one needs to purchase a copy for every user, server, and/or project that will use the database. If, instead, an Open Source database were selected, then the knowledge gained in setting it up would apply to all subsequent installations; amortizing the labor cost accross *all* such installations could eliminate the difference in the two systems, restoring license fees as the primary diferentiator between the two solutions.

Such is the entire point of the article... one can never make blanket statements about which is the "correct" solution. One must always evaluate the product with respect to the particulars of the situation.

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