John Lam wrote:

> 3) SQL Express - if you want a free database there's nothing out there
> that comes even close to this (although you'll have to pony up for a
> Win2K3 Web Server Edition license so the overall package still costs
> you money so it will play a bit of havoc with scale-out economics).

I beg to differ: Firebird ( http://firebird.sourceforge.net ) is the 
King of Open Source, free databases.

A decade ago Firebird (then named Interbase) it was sold as a commercial 
database, being used for quite demanding tasks, both on Windows and Unix.

Firebird is fast, extremely stable, with lots of features not available 
even on commercial databases.

QZZ