Open Database Startup Taps PostgreSQL

EnterpriseDB announces the beta version of its flagship product, EnterpriseDB 2005, which is based on PostgreSQL and supports high-volume applications.

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EnterpriseDB Corp. Monday came out of stealth mode to challenge for the title of best enterprise-class database company.

The Edison, N.J., company also announced the availability of the beta version of its flagship product, EnterpriseDB 2005. EnterpriseDB 2005 is based on the open-source PostgreSQL database and supports high-volume applications and update-intensive situations, said Andy Astor, chief executive of the company. Astor, who joined the company three months ago, previously ran the standards and Web services efforts at webMethods Inc.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read about Version 8.0 of PostgreSQL.

The EDB public beta period begins immediately, with general availability expected this summer—around July, Astor said. When the product becomes generally available, EnterpriseDB will then offer a subscription model with various tiers of support, Astor said. 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 and SQL Server," Astor said.

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."

/zimages/1/28571.gifMySQL 5.0 stars at a recent users conference. Click here to read more.

Astor said PostgreSQL has long included such enterprise-class features as triggers and stored functions, and ensures data integrity and delivers scalability and performance for OLTP (online transaction processing).

The EDB product includes EDB Database Server, the RDBMS engine; EDB Studio, a graphical console for developers and database analysts; and EDB Connectors, which provide access to EDB from JDBC, ODBC, .Net, ESQL/C++, PHP, Perl and Python.

Phillip Merrick, an investor in EnterpriseDB and former CEO of webMethods, said he decided to invest in EDB because "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 also is 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."

"I voted with my wallet," said Gary Long, another EnterpriseDB investor and board member, and a former consultant with Gartner Inc. "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—or Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (Perl, Python)—stack.

"MySQL is there, but its not enterprise-ready," he said. "We hope to change LAMP to LEAP—Linux, EDB, Apache and PHP," he said. /zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.