Business Benefits

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2004-08-05 Print this article Print

IBM will benefit from the Cloudscape donation to the Apache Software Foundation by helping to support and expand the Java database community, said Janet Perna, general manager of IBM Data Management Solutions, in Armonk, N.Y.

The donation of more than 500,000 lines of Cloudscape code "would fill a gap in the applications development area for an embedded database," which is something the Java community has needed for a long time, Perna said.

This in turn will likely provide business opportunities for WebSphere and DB2 because the Cloudscape code is compatible with DB2, she said. This would allow Java developers to link Cloudscape applications to DB2 whenever they need to access an enterprise-scale relational database, Perna noted.

Cloudscape, donated to Apache under its current product name, "Derby," is particularly valuable to developers who need to build registries or directories into their applications, Perna said.

Click here to read about IBMs decision to release the Cloudscape database to the open-source community.

Cloudscape also will help provide new incentives for Java enterprise applications development, said Ken Coar, an IBM senior software engineer and an Apache Software Foundation vice president.

"Java is not considered to be the choice in terms of performance" in the database area," Coar said. "Cloudscape will give the lie to that image" because it is a "very efficient and lightweight environment" that is built as a set of Java classes.

It has all of the features expected in an enterprise database, including support for the SQL 92 standard with support for transaction triggers and two-phase commit functionality, which are essential for reliable transaction processing, Coar said. Cloudscape essentially provides "high-end data processing brought to the low end," he said.

With Cloudscape, Apache and the open-source community received these blessings: the biggest chunk of code released so far; the first relational, embeddable Java open-source database; and reason for a lot of open-source developers to be very happy.

"Are we excited? Yes," said Greg Stein, chairman of the Apache Software Foundation. "[Cloudscape] makes it very easy to deploy certain types of applications in the low- to midrange type of database, which is not satisfied by anything else in the open-source community today. "By donating that code to Apache, a lot of people needing that functionality can now get it, and under the Apache license, which is a very nice license to work with, any user—[be they] hobbyist or commercial entity—can use it."

Stein said the open-source community has lacked a fully featured Java database and instead has relied on connections to MySQL, IBM DB2 or Oracle Corp. databases.

"Whats interesting in this one is its embeddable into your Java application," said Stein, in Palo Alto, Calif. "You dont have to connect to a separate server."

Next Page: Streamlining Java application deployment.

John Pallatto John Pallatto is's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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