The cost of writing database specific applications (Open or Closed Source) adversely affects application developers/vendors and end user alike. This article in Network Computing (regarding Oracle and PeopleSoft's DB2's user base) provides great insight intothe time-tested problem of writing or acquiring databasedriven applications thatare database specific.

DB2 users of PeopleSoft and IBM (the DB2 developer and vendor) suspect that Oracle will obviously try to use its ownership of PeopleSoft to covertly coerceDB2 usersinto becoming Oracle DBMS users. This strategy would take the form ofnew features and fixes discriminationas somewhatechoed in these excerpts:

"..In the crescendo surrounding the Oracle-PeopleSoft merger, one question has been repeatedly drowned out: What happens to users of PeopleSoft's DB2 database? Oracle chief Larry Ellison has repeatedly assured DB2 users--and IBM--that Oracle will continue to support DB2 and PeopleSoft's interfaces to IBM's WebSphere platform. But IBM isn't taking any chances, announcing an initiative to alter DB2 to work with products from Oracle rival SAP."

"..IBM has good reason to be concerned. Oracle vies with SAP as the leading vendor for enterprise applications, but it's under pressure to show concrete benefits from the merger by combining assets and pumping up revenue. One obvious tactic will be to use the PeopleSoft applications to steer enterprise customers toward the Oracle database by optimizing performance and features toward the Oracle back end."

If PeopleSoft's application core was ODBC based, the vulnerability to this predictable competitive tactic would at the very least be significantly alleviated. DB2 end-users and IBM the product vendor would have a much strongerbasis for countering Oracle by taking themto task about their claimed inability to implement new application functionality enhancements against DB2 etc. especially as this wouldhave morphed intoa generic database issue as opposed to a DB2 specific issue --by virtue of the application and data access layer seperation provided by ODBC's architecture.