New open source Ingres database coming Nov 18th has learned that on Tuesday November 18, Ingres will announce its new open source database platform. The announcement is the first big database focused announcement in nearly two years from Ingres.

Did you even know that Ingres was still around?

Ingres is a database technology that some might have thought was a relic of the past. Ingres has a long and storied history dating back to the 1970’s at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1994, Ingres was bought out by Computer Associates which owned the technology until 2005 when it was spun out and taken private.

During CA’s ownership, Ingres code was open sourced under a CA open license in an effort to help spur adoption. . At the time, my former colleague Clint Bolton called Ingres CA’s, “…long forgotten database software.” CA tried valiantly to get interest in Ingres at one point offering a $1 million developer program challenge.

In 2006, under the ownership of Ingres Corp, Ingres released its name sake database under the GPL which was one of their last major database release events. So the release on Tuesday November 18th will be a big deal for them.

Whether or not it’s a big deal for anyone else is questionable.

In the open source database world I hear and see MySQL and PostgreSQL all the time. PostgreSQL not coincidentally is a descendant of Ingres. Also known as Postgres which literally means Post Ingres, PostgreSQL was born in the 80s by programmers at the University of California at Berkeley. It evolved out of the first Ingres database.

Beyond open source database competition,  there is of course Oracle. While Oracle is not technically an open source vendor, they are open source friendly at this point in time. Oracle has its own supported Linux and is active in a dozen or more open source efforts.

That said, Ingres claims that they’ve got 10,000 customers though which is no small number, so maybe I’ve been missing something.

Will the new Ingres database make further inroads into the market?

Tough call, since switching databases is no easy feat and the competition is so very tough, as is the current macro-economic environment. Still, it’s interesting to see what many see as a name from the past re-invent itself and continue to evolve in the modern era.

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