Ingres Open-Sources RAD Tool

Responding to requests from partners, Ingres has open-sourced its OpenRoad product.

Ingres has bowed to the wishes of its partners by providing an open-source version of its OpenRoad rapid application development platform as a free download, company officials said.

OpenRoad is used by developers to build and deploy high-performance and high-availability business applications on a variety of platforms. With this move, the company is open-sourcing the 4GL source for the OpenRoad Integrated Development Environment component.

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Officials at Ingres are hoping to foster strong community involvement with the product. Along those lines, the database vendor has created a number of community tools, including LXR for source-code viewing, a bug tool for tracking and entering bugs, and a community wiki for sharing information and to gather ideas on new projects.

Deb Woods, vice president of product management at Ingres, said a number of customers have made and are pledging to make contributions to OpenRoad.

"We have a very strong contingent base of customers and users that are out there using that product today that write applications or embed it in their own tools that they take out to market," she said. "Working with them over the last couple of years, we're starting to get a lot of interest there."

Ingres Needs New Partners and Customers

Though Ingres' database has a long history, it still lags behind open-source competitors MySQL and PostgreSQL in terms of enterprise adoption. Still, the company has stated its revenues grew 100 percent between 2006 and 2007, surpassing $50 million.

Donald Feinberg, an analyst with Gartner, said Ingres needs to find more third-party vendors to adopt its database management system and develop a strategy to win over new customers.

"They are getting a few partnerships but mostly in the OS [open-source] space," he explained. "Unfortunately, the market perception is that they are old with much baggage," he said. "I understand the comment but disagree that they should not be a valid choice because they are older and mature."

Among the partners contributing to OpenRoad is Luminary Solutions, which has open-sourced its ProxyGen and THUG productivity tools and added Java integration and OpenRoad Server testing capabilities to the base product. In addition, Bording A/D, a Danish supplier of ERP [enterprise resource planning] applications and consulting services, has developed key enhancements to OpenRoad's core run-time libraries and announced plans to contribute two of its tools, IDL2OR and VASE, to enhance OpenRoad development. The products enable developers to generate, inspect and test the interfaces between OpenRoad Server and OpenRoad eClient, based on an IDL (Interface Description Language) specification.

The open-source version of Ingres OpenRoad is now available through the Ingres community Web site.