Ingres Targets Database Rivals with New Release

Ingres is targeting its rivals with the addition of features meant to ease migration to its open-source database. With the enhancements in Ingres Database 9.3, the company hopes to win users from MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database and others.

Ingres is taking a direct shot at MySQL users in its pitch for the latest version of the company's flagship open-source database.

With Ingres Database 9.3, the company has built in technology to make it easier for businesses to migrate off of MySQL, as well as from databases from Oracle, Microsoft and Sybase. To accomplish this, Ingres added features commonly used in applications written for other databases, including improved accessibility of table procedures from within the query and support for positional parameter notations.

Ingres made no bones about the main target of these features being Sun Microsystems' MySQL, whose fate is still being decided as the European Commission investigates the proposed Oracle/Sun merger. Though one of MySQL's main target markets has been Web 2.0, Deb Woods, vice president of product marketing at Ingres, believes many companies have struggled with implementing MySQL in transactional systems. This, she said, is where Ingres sees an opportunity.

"MySQL isn't built to handle the mission-critical workloads for which Ingres is much better suited," she said. "For example, as the applications have grown in MySQL, customer and business partners often see issues with scalability, security and performance. Customers are now seeing a set of nonstandard SQL features that MySQL has implemented and have made migrations difficult in the past.

"Ingres Database 9.3 has implemented aliases to help port these features over to Ingres, which helps users get to a more standard compliant offering," she said. "Ingres also ensures backward compatibility, which is a key strength for application developers and ensures that once they utilize a feature they don't have to worry about it being deprecated in a future release."

Beyond features meant to ease migration, Ingres has added a number of other capabilities. The database now supports pluggable authentication modules (PAMs), enabling it to support more authentication mechanisms than previous versions.

In addition, Ingres Database 9.3 adds the ability to automatically start multiple Data Access Servers to enhance scalability in environments where large numbers of .NET and JDBC applications are connecting to Ingres. Setting up JDBC driver properties has been simplified with the addition of the Ingres JDBC Driver Properties Generator, which runs automatically during installation, the company said.

"Business-critical features such as online backup, point in time restore, support for roles, role separation and robust application development features for large objects, regular expression pattern matching and auto incrementing columns are key for customers that are deploying business-critical applications," Woods said. "Customers are looking for cost-effective solutions that they can get with open source, while ensuring the robustness of a feature set typically found in proprietary solutions. Ingres Database 9.3 gives them both value and the cost savings they need while ensuring support for their business-critical workloads."