Database vendor bolsters open source-based offering

Less than three months after making the initial version of its open source-based database software generally available, EnterpriseDB has introduced Release 2.

The software, which is built on the PostgreSQL open source database, boasts features that enable it to run applications that might otherwise run on Oracle databases. The company positions itself as offering a more robust set of features than would be found in bare bones PostgreSQL, but at up to 10 times less cost than an Oracle database.

New in Release 2 is support for the latest edition of PostgresSQL. Enterprise DB CEO and President Andy Astor says the company has pledged to incorporate PostgresSQL updates whenever it upgrades its software, and he notes that a new version of PostgresSQL actually is expected in the next few weeks.

Also new is a 30 percent performance boost thanks largely to a bulk data loading technique, better packaging for use by independent software vendors and integration with JasperReports, an open source reporting technology. Astor says his 70-person company has also improved the ability of its software to support migration from Oracle databases, such as through support of Oracle-like cursors.

The software is free to download for development and is free for production use for one CPU with up to 1GB of RAM and 4GB of data. After that, it costs US$1,000 to US$5,000 a year per CPU depending on the level of support and services required.

To date, there have been more than 40,000 downloads of the company's software, half by large companies, Astor says. EnterpriseDB is targeting large enterprises and processing-intense applications, whereas other popular open database software such as MySQL tends to be aimed at lighter weight apps, he says.

The company swears it has some big name customers, though declines to name them. Asked whether database admins have proven to be tough to win over to open source, Astor says: "Not really. These aren't a staid bunch of folks."

Meanwhile, Astor says Oracle isn't ignoring its new competitors, teasing customers with inexpensive entry-level offerings. The difference, Astor says, is that Oracle pricing rises sharply after that, whereas EnterpriseDB prices its software in a more consistent, linear manner.

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