There has been a lot of noise about this recent announcement – Sun have decided, apparently of their own accord without any buy-in from the JCP committee for Java the 6.0 JSR, that they will bundle the Apache Derby database engine in the 6.0 SDK.
This seems like an odd decision, as many have been commenting, and has recieved a lot of negative press so far. As far as I can tell this is only an addition to the SDK and will not be bundled in the JRE. This is good so it won’t be included in an already large download for the JRE, but it means that if a developer chooses to use Derby ‘because it’s there’ they can’t rely on it being available on their target platform. So what benefit has this added? If it is only targetted at developers, I am sure (I sincerely hope) that if a developer is capable of downloading and installing the SDK or their favorite IDE that they are more than capable of downloading any one of a number of freely available open source databases?