Ingres sails from Computer Associates

I’ve just started playing with Ingres recently (last 12 months). It’s a powerful DBMS that was released under an Open Source license last year. From what I gather about the history of the database it has been kind of a “hot potato” being passed from university to company to company to company, etc.

Feature for feature Ingres appears to be the most advanced Open Source database available. However, since it has been released under the CATOSL it has not resembled a community driven OSS project. There is still no public access to the source code repository, and as far as I know, there has not been source contributions from anyone outside of CA. The CATOSL is a “funny” OSI approved license that I think also hinders the uptake of Ingres.

However, all that could change, starting today.

A venture capital firm has purchased “Ingres” from CA and launched a company focusing entirely on the Open Source database. This company has an opportunity to capitalize on a starting point most OSS projects could only dream of (starting with a product that is deployed with mission critical applications at more than 5000 customer sites). That’s just where they start though… their future must include turning Ingres into a full scale Open Source project and community. This means public discussion forums, public source code control, welcome third party contributors, peer to peer information sharing, user based support, etc. I think Ingres (company and project) would also be VERY well served to trade the off color CATOSL license for a commercial friendly OSI approved license.

Welcome Ingres, Inc. to the marketplace! It’s an interesting one with Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM all providing “free” versions of their DB now and passionate communities in the MySQL and PostGres projects.

As a die hard Oracle consultant I need much more information to draw conclusions about Ingres… I’ve been in touch with CA and Ingres, Inc. I hope to provide more information and a more detailed evaluation as time permits. Stay tuned for more!

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