Big Rivals

 
 
By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-08-03 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Ingres lack of visibility is probably undeserved, some say. It supports failover clustering and ACID transactions and has data partitioning, for example—features found in large commercial databases such as DB2, Oracle and SQL Server. From that standpoint, it is much closer to competing with the big commercial databases than is MySQL, which lacks stored procedures and triggers, for example. IBM is giving the Apache foundation its Cloudscape Java database in the biggest-ever release of commercial code to open source. Click here to read more.
And, on one hand, what enterprises have liked about MySQL is that theres a company standing behind the open-source database. But with CA standing behind the Ingres open-source database, those same enterprises will have a much larger company to rely on.
Stephen OGrady, an analyst with RedMonk, in Bath, Maine, said the cash reward is a "nice model," but he doesnt think it will unseat traditional software development. "Even cash prizes dont work if developers dont think the platform is worth it," he said. Still, the move has at least one precedent. Six Apart Ltd., the company behind the Movable Type Weblog publishing platform, in May announced a contest for developers to showcase and sell Movable Type plug-ins while competing for $20,000 in prizes, including a first prize of a $7,000 Apple Computer Inc. or Dell Inc. desktop system. Click here to read about RDBMS market growth in 2003.
What do the big database companies think of the move? Oracle did not return a phone call by the time this story went to press. Tom Rizzo, director of product management for SQL Server at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., said he is mystified by CAs move. "To be frank, [even Sybase Inc.] has more market share than Ingres in the database market, so … I dont know what CAs strategy is in pushing Ingres. "Frankly, [CA is] a good partner for SQL Server. They have Irwin, a database modeling tool that works with SQL Server. Its kind of interesting. Its a big company, so maybe one division is pushing Ingres and another is pushing SQL Server." And Rizzo said that even if the $1 million contest reaps migration tools, the ROI (return on investment) for a migration from SQL Server still wouldnt make sense. "Its interesting in that theyre paying for migration tools, but I cant see a customer wanting to migrate from a very functional database and business intelligence platform like SQL Server to a lower-quality, non-customer-deployed, non-benchmarked database like Ingres," he said. "I dont see the ROI for the customer. Even if theres such a tool, how customers could justify that migration? Getting data over to the database is one thing. Its what applications run on it, how you manage it, what extra services like business intelligence and data mining are supported—those are all key considerations any customer makes in a migration. "What does Ingres provide for any of those things? Id argue that SQL Server is above Ingres in all those capabilities, and Oracle and DB2 and all the other products." To read Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas analysis of the status of the Linux war between Oracle and IBM, click here. For its part, IBM declined to respond. But an industry source close to the company was dismissive of the move. "IBM already has free development tools to move developers to DB2 from those other vendors—and there are many third-party providers who do the same—all based on user demand. Why does CA have to offer someone $1 million to do that?" she said. "[This move is CAs] version of American Database Idol." Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at http://database.eweek.com for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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