If a Martian came down to earth and wanted to know what all the fuss on open source was about, this last week would have given it (Martians of course having no gender) some thought.

First, there was the news that as a precursor to the Ingres UK Users' Conference, an assorted collection of Ingres users and partners teamed up with company engineers to develop their own database features.

Almost on cue, that was closely followed by Oracle announcing that it was going to jack up its prices, notwithstanding these straitened economic times. That annoucement was not long after a similar one from SAP , which said that it was raising its support prices.

You can see the thinking here: Oracle knows that its users, will baulk at ripping out its products, reinstalling new software and completely redesigning its infrastructure but how will this thinking persist?

But I wonder how long this will last: the IngresSprint event mentioned above showed that open source database development is no longer the preserve of whizzkids and über-geeks and with the latest figures from IDC showing that Ingres grew at 200 percent last year, it seems that a lot of other people are having the same idea.