IBM Acquires Stake In Open-Source Database Vendor

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The announcement was made Tuesday at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco where EnterpriseDB also unveiled a new line of database products based on the PostgreSQL open-source database. The Edison, N.J.-based company also said it is making its GridSQL business intelligence and data warehousing software available under an open-source license.

IBM was among the companies that collectively invested $10 million in third-round financing in EnterpriseDB, bringing the company's total funding to $37.5 million. Charles River Ventures, Fidelity Ventures and Valhalla Partners, which participated in earlier financing rounds, joined in the third round.

An IBM spokesman said IBM had no immediate plans for working with the EnterpriseDB database and described the investment as part of IBM's broader support for open-source technologies such as Linux, the Eclipse development system and the Apache Web server. In January EnterpriseDB debuted a Linux version of EnterpriseDB Advanced Server database that runs on IBM System z mainframes and an AIX version that supports IBM System p servers.

"I think it's fair to say we'll be talking about other ways we can leverage our relationship with each other," said EnterpriseDB CEO Andy Astor. Although the company did not specifically disclose the amount of IBM's investment, Astor indicated that the four third-round participants contributed equally.

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Sun completed its $1 billion acquisition of MySQL AB Feb. 26, immediately making the database company's popular open-source products available through Sun's vast direct sales force and distribution channel partners. MySQL makes its core database technology available for free under the GPL license and makes money by selling support, training and other services.

In 2006 Oracle acquired Sleepycat Software and its Sleepycat DB Berkeley open-source database for an undisclosed sum, one year after it bought Innobase, the Finnish maker of the open-source InnoDB database that's at the core of MySQL.

The forte of the EnterpriseDB database is that it can run applications developed for the Oracle database without modification at lower cost. EnterpriseDB makes its core database available for free under the BSD open-source license that Astor maintained puts fewer restrictions on the software's use than the GPL license.

Founded in 2004, EnterpriseDB generates revenue by selling software subscriptions that include support and indemnification, professional services and training, and proprietary extensions to the database such as management, monitoring and dynamic tuning tools. Last summer the company launched a channel partner program to recruit resellers, systems integrators, OEMs and ISVs to the open-source database.

EnterpriseDB, at the Open Source Business Conference, announced Postgres Plus, a new bundle of the company's open-source software, and the commercially licensed Postgres Plus Advanced Server 8.3. The latter offers improvements in Oracle compatibility with such new features as bulk collect and bulk binding functions, explicit transaction control and multi-threaded Oracle replication. Pricing for that product begins at $995 per socket per year.