Ingres – an update

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Content Copyright © 2008 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

Ingres hasn’t been very visible since it was spun-off from Computer Associates two and a half years ago. However, that doesn’t mean that things haven’t been happening. Indeed, it doubled its revenues (to $52m) in 2007 and it currently has more than 10,000 users (both existing users and partners recommitting to the product and new users and partners) so it must be doing something right.

Perhaps the two most significant moves that the company has taken are the open sourcing of OpenROAD and the introduction of appliances. I will discuss each of these in turn.

OpenROAD went open source in June. This took such a long time, partly because OpenROAD included some proprietary elements for supporting non-Windows platforms (which have now been replaced) and partly because the company was not convinced that there was a market for an open source 4GL. If they’d asked me I could have told them otherwise. Anyway, in the event the company has found that open sourcing OpenROAD has been much more successful (both in terms of user and partner feedback and in terms of contributions from the user community) than it expected.

I have to say that I am really pleased to see this. I asked Computer Associates if it would open source OpenROAD when it did the same for Ingres; and I have asked the same question at every briefing I have had with Ingres since it was established as a separate company. So, yes it’s late but at least its here now.

Incidentally, OpenROAD now supports both .NET and Java, as well as facilities to support applications running on mobile devices; partners have contributed Unicode (double byte) support and integration with third party source code control products. Ingres, meanwhile, has had a significant number of contributions from the community including a web-based DBA toolkit, column-based encryption and variety of things from DATAllegro to improve performance in a data warehousing environment. Unfortunately, this last source will dry up now that DATAllegro has been acquired by Microsoft.

On the appliance side of things the core appliance (which is virtual rather than implemented on any particular hardware) is called Ingres Icebreaker and it includes Apache or Tomcat, the Ingres database, Linux and Java support with a single management console. On top of this are three specific appliances: the Icebreaker BI Appliance which also includes JasperSoft and Talend software in a single install; the BI appliance for and an appliance that combines Ingres with Alfresco’s content management software. There is also a ‘community bundle’ available in conjunction with Alfresco as well as a similar offering called Ingres CAFÉ which combines Ingres with Tomcat and Hibernate within an Eclipse environment. Finally, there is a mid-market competitor to Microsoft Analysis Services based on the Business Objects Edge Series.

All in all then there is a lot going on at Ingres and I haven’t even mentioned the Ingres Service Network or the company’s initiatives within the open source community and with standards bodies. What I also haven’t said, but which bears repeating, is that Ingres has more experience at supporting mission critical applications than all the other open source vendors put together. And the same is true of OpenROAD, which is why I am so pleased to see it become more widely available.