New open source databases: Cloudscape (Apache Derby) and Ingres

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Recently, IBM announced the open-sourcing of their Cloudscape database. a lightweight, Java-based relational database with a footprint of just 2MB. It’s significantly less resource-intensive than enterprise databases like IBM’s DB2. Its target use is to underpin small Web sites, point-of-sale systems and departmental-level or small-business applications.

As was read in this article IBM Open-Sources Cloudscape Database, Cloudscape is handed over to the Apache Software Foundation. Apache is renaming the 2-MB database “Derby” and will make the software available as a free, open-source product. See Derby at Apache. Derby is not yet available for download – it should be somewhere in September 2004, but the source are available (and from them you can build Derby).

On July 19th 2004, this article – Comeback: CA Goes Open Source With Ingres Database – described Computer Associates’ move to hand over Ingres to the open source community. Remarkably, one of the key officials at CA behind this move is Mark Barrenechea, senior VP of product development for CA, who has a long history as (S)VP at Oracle.

Ingres is already available for download, see Ingres Home at CA. The release enables the open source community to review and submit modifications to the Ingres r3 code line for possible inclusion in the general availability version, scheduled for September 30, 2004. An interesting article on the subject Ingres open source database on the rise notes: CA is releasing the Ingres code under its CA Trusted Open Source License. Under the license, CA retains ownership of the code and could take the code back in the future. ngres’ maturity gives it an advantage over MySQL and other open source DBMSes. Unicode data support, table partitioning, parallel query, online table reorganization, triggers, bi-directional replication, automatic space management and program language precompilers are key features in Ingres that are not commonly found in other open source databases.

This article – CA, IBM Open-Source Moves Not Equal – goes into the differences in the moves by IBM and Ingres. In short: “IBM is giving up Cloudscape because it wants to encourage more development of Java-based applications. CA, on the other hand, is hoping to harness the power of thousands of open-source developers to breathe new life into its moribund database technology.” The article does not expect to much from Ingres in the open source domain, given CA’s reluctance to really release control: “SAP’s experience with SAPDB already has shown us that the open-source community can’t be pushed or bribed into embracing a technology it doesn’t need.”

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About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director for Fusion Middleware. Consultant, trainer and instructor on diverse areas including Oracle Database (SQL & PLSQL), Service Oriented Architecture, BPM, ADF, Java in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook. Frequent presenter on conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Devoxx and OBUG. Presenter for Oracle University Celebrity specials.

2 Comments

  1. Zeger Hendrikse on

    In the “Eclipse Tips” of the first of September, this news can be found too, as well as a plug-in for Eclipse:

    IBM CLOUDSCAPE PLUG-IN
    Cloudscape is a 2 MB, all-Java embeddable full-functioning relational
    database. It was developed by Cloudscape, Inc., and was initially
    available in 1997. Informix Software, Inc., acquired Cloudscape in
    1999 and IBM got a hold of Cloudscape in 2001 when it purchased all
    of Informix’s database products (for a mere billion dollars). IBM has
    been bundling Cloudscape with many of its middleware products.
    And here’s the big news — this past August, IBM handed over
    Cloudscape to the Apache Software Foundation under the name of Derby:
    http://jakarta.apache.org/site/news/elsewhere-2004-2ndHalf.html#20040803.1
    The Derby project is in what Apache calls the incubator state. (See
    http://incubator.apache.org/derby/ for more information.) As yet, you
    can’t download Derby, but what you can do is download IBM Cloudscape
    Version 10.0 Beta from IBM at
    http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0408cline/index.html .
    Note that Cloudscape requires JRE 1.4.1 or higher.
    The Cloudscape download is a binary installation utility that is about 85 MB in size. The install places a JRE, JavaDoc, demos, a set
    of tools, and, of course, the actual Cloudscape JAR files.
    But the title of this Tip is IBM Cloudscape Plug-in, so let’s get on
    with the real point. The Cloudscape Version 1.0.1 Beta plug-in can be
    had at
    http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0408cline2/index.html?ca=dnp-333 .
    This past week, I downloaded and installed both the Cloudscape
    product and the Eclipse plug-in. The plug-in download page was a
    little confusing because it’s called IBM DB2 plug-ins for Eclipse
    Version 1.0.1 Beta. But the plug-in has full support for Cloudscape.
    I found Cloudscape to be a neat product, but I was unimpressed with
    the Eclipse plug-in. I much prefer SQL Explorer, to which I was
    easily able to create a Cloudscape connection.
    IBM has a number of excellent articles on how to use Cloudscape:
    A Compendium of Cloudscape Frequently Asked Questions http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0408bradbury/index.html?ca=dnp-333
    Integrating Cloudscape and Tomcat http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0408bader/index.html?ca=dnp-332
    IBM Cloudscape Version 10.0: A Technical Overview http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0408anderson/index.html?ca=dnp-332
    What IBM appears to be doing is supporting a low-cost (free and soon
    to be open-source with Derby) relational database while providing
    utilities to migrate from that entry RDB to their commercial DB2
    product, which is essentially the same thing the company is doing
    with the open-source Eclipse and its commercial WSAD products. I say
    “Hurray” to IBM for this because we end up with great open-source and
    commercial products.