CA, IBM Databases Join Open-Source Parade

IBM and CA are handing over parts of their Ingres r3 and Cloudscape relational database technologies to the open-source developer community.

IBM and Computer Associates International Inc. are handing over parts of their respective relational database technologies to the open-source developer community. As a result, customers will get a better insight into how to clear integration hurdles when connecting the DBMSes to third-party software.

At LinuxWorld in San Francisco last week, CA made available its Ingres r3 database under the CA Trusted Open Source License. The move lets the open-source community offer modifications to the Ingres r3 code line for possible inclusion in the commercial version slated for release at the end of next month, said officials in Islandia, N.Y.

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At the same event, IBM announced it was contributing a version of its Java-based Cloudscape relational database, code-named Derby, to The Apache Software Foundation to ignite Java software development. Deris a lightweight, embeddable database that features a 2MB footprint and requires little administrator support, said officials in Armonk, N.Y.

IBM donated the half-million-plus lines of Dercode under Apaches corporate contributor license grant, meaning that the Forest Hill, Md., foundation will manage and make technical decisions around the code. However, IBM said it plans to release a commercial version of Cloudscape to customers and business partners later this year featuring packaged open-source updates. In addition, IBM is working on integrating Cloudscape with its flagship DB2 Universal Database, said sources.

Acquired as part of IBMs $1 billion Informix Corp. purchase in 2001, Cloudscape supports SQL and can be accessed by the Java, Perl and PHP languages. The product is embedded into more than 70 IBM software offerings, including WebSphere, Lotus Softwares portal and Tivoli products.

Kelvin Burton, who uses Cloudscape as well as open-source databases from MySQL AB and PostgreSQL Global Development Group, said IBMs move should help knock down compatibility hurdles he routinely encounters when using Cloudscape.

"If theres such a thing as competition in the open-source world, thats another choice people will have," said Burton, chief technology officer of Mercy Ships, in Garden Valley, Texas. "Because [Derby] is inherently Java and can run embedded in an application, it does offer some things that neither PostgreSQL or MySQL can do. ... Im sure thats got a lot do to with why IBM did it."

Open-source developers will benefit by receiving a high-quality Java component for the embedded database and by being in line for a smooth upgrade path to DB2 if they choose to port their applications, said Ted Schadler, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.

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