Relational Databases for MacOS X

Luis Correia

Does anyone knows of efforts to port industry standard RDBMS to MacOS X, like IBM's DB2, Informix, Sybase et. al.? How hard are you willing to try to get at least one of them to join MacOS X?
I recon that Oracle is a little bit expensive, so DB2 is my favourite, being free for individuals and programmers.
It is embarassing to have Cocoa and WebObjects and having to resort to a Linux or NT box to have a database server that clients can really talk to. I know of some solutions, good ones, but are somewhat proprietary.


Luis Correia


I found source for DB2, Interbase, mSQL, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. I don't know much about databases. I'm assuming that RDBMS means a little more than client/server? I noticed a couple on the page. Go check out

Are these things that need to be ported? I can start tonight.

Anyone point me at the current packaging system for Darwin? I can just hand out tarballs of compiled binaries, but is that what everyone wants?

Luis Correia

In the link you supplied I found the following to be interesting:

Adaptive Server Enterprise (formerly Sybase SQL Server)
GNU SQL Server
Informix SE
MySQL (with patches #0026 and #0029)

I think work should start with DB2, MySQL, Informix SE and Adaptive Server Enterprise.

RDBMS, meaning Relational Database Management System means a DB Management System that complies with the Relational model. ObjStore insn't one because it implements an Object model. Of course they have to implement some sort of client server architecture. Some of them may include utilities and development tools. DB2 doesn't include development tools, but you can access DB2 databases from applications built with WebObjects, Omnis Studio, RealBASIC, etc.

IBM uses DB2 as the database engine for all their applications and operating systems. It's a very powerful comercial product, with a free license for individuals (single user), schools and developers (development only, no deployment.) For unlimited multi-user and web deployment prices are much lower (around $1,000) compared with Oracle, Informix and Sybase. It's a true cross-platform standard and can spearhead real database work in MacOS X.

Note: Because Apple uses Oracle databases, the database servers they use are NT boxes or Sun servers running Solaris. MacOS X is used for the applications servers, running software created with WebObjects.


First of all I don't know what the porting entails but if you have the source can't you (most of the time) compile it on your system and it should work (as long as there is not a lot of platform specific code)?

Second of all there is a beta of MySQL for Mac OS X Server here.

I'm actually not sure what packaging system Mac OS X uses but check out this page they are trying to get a unified packaging system for BSD, which I believe Mac OS X is jumping on the bandwagon here. Not for sure.

Third, would it entail major overhaul to get a program ported that runs under X-Windows? (without the use of Tenon XTools since I'm guessing they are going to charge for that)



Porting involves the process of downloading the source code and compiling it on the target platform. Correcting any problems that occur and then reproducing it so the 'common' user can do it. As far as I can tell. Most openbsd ports come source. You just grab a copy of the ports tree, which is just makefiles really. Then if you want an app, you go into that directory and do a 'make install' and it goes and fetches the correct files, takes care of dependencies etc...

Yes I saw the beta of MySQL on versiontracker, got a copy of Tony Hawk 2 for the playstation and vegged out for a couple of days.

I've been to, and he still hasn't updated that page. The idea of consolidating the ports trees for all BSD distro's is nice, but many of the BSDers just prefer to do it themselves, so I think the guy needs some help. This doesn't mean that Apple is going to use their packaging system at all though.

Yes, major, unless someone discovers that Aqua is X in disguise or something. The libraries used to render the widget have to be ported over so they can render under Aqua instead.


I recommend OpenBase ( it's been available for OS X Server and early versions of OS X (DP 4). It hooks in very well with Web Objects and REALBasic. I believe that there is a promotion that lets you get a developer license for free these days. It's very fast and there are production versions out there for Solaris and NT too. It also includes graphical interfaces to maintain and set up databases, as well as a RAD environment (RAD Studio).

Andrew Hill


You may wish to check out Virtuoso.

It's an SQL92 Relational Database in it's own right, and can also act as a 'Virtual Database'.

This means that you can install it on Mac OS X, and link in tables from multiple back end databases transparently. This gives Mac users access to multiple heterogenous databases across multiple environments transparently.

Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

Best regards,
Andrew Hill
Openlink Software