Open Database Goes to Beta

EnterpriseDB Corp. came out of stealth mode last week and is planning a challenge for the title of best enterprise-class database company.

EnterpriseDB Corp. came out of stealth mode last week and is planning a challenge for the title of best enterprise-class database company.

The Edison, N.J., startup announced the availability of the beta version of its flagship product, EDB (EnterpriseDB) 2005. EDB is based on the open-source PostgreSQL database and supports high-volume applications and update-intensive environments, said company CEO Andy Astor. Astor, who co-founded EnterpriseDB three months ago, previously was in charge of standards and Web services efforts at WebMethods Inc., of Fairfax, Va.

EDBs public beta period is now in effect, with general availability expected around July, Astor said. At that time, the company will offer a subscription model with various support tiers. However, during the public-beta period, commercial-grade technical support will be provided free of charge.

"Enterprises are faced with a tough choice: paying exorbitant prices for proprietary software, while open-source alternatives have been generally underpowered and not ready for the enterprise," Astor said. "Were taking PostgreSQL, the most advanced open-source database on the planet, and along the way making it compatible with [Oracle Corp.s] Oracle and [Microsoft Corp.s] SQL Server."

Meanwhile, although acknowledging that the competing MySQL open-source database is a capable system, Astor said, "It is known in the industry as a very fast database for lightweight applications. But the need in the industry we are trying to fill is for an enterprise-class database. MySQL is not it."

EDB includes EDB Database Server, a relational DBMS engine; EDB Studio, a graphical console for developers and database administrators; and EDB Connectors, which provide access to EDB from JDBC (Java Database Connectivity), ODBC, .Net, ESQL (embedded SQL)/C++, PHP, Perl and Python.

Phillip Merrick, who is an investor in EnterpriseDB and former CEO of WebMethods, decided to invest in EDB because, he said, "I think theres a very large hole in the open-source market. If you look at the choices for an enterprise-class database, there really wasnt one."

Merrick, who is also an EnterpriseDB board member, said he bought into the company based on the technology, the opportunity and because "Andy is a very, very capable manager."

Another EnterpriseDB investor and board member is Gary Long, a former consultant with Gartner Inc., of Stamford, Conn. "I voted with my wallet," Long said. "If you think of the open-source stack people are building now, there is Linux and Apache, but the enterprise database slot is up for grabs."

Long dismissed the so-called LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/ Python/Perl) stack. "MySQL is there, but its not enterprise-ready," he said. "We hope to change LAMP to LEAP—Linux, EDB, Apache and PHP."