February 4, 2005 4:00 AM PST
Sun floats open-source database idea
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products. In fact, Sleepycat's product already is embedded within some Sun server software.
CA's Ingres has several features to recommend it, though.
For one thing, even though MySQL is the most widely used open-source database, Ingres is the most technologically mature, said Forrester analyst Noel Yuhanna. And CA could use a partner to help advance Ingres.
One license to rule them all?
Legal complications of open-source software could help align Sun and CA. Sun has begun releasing its Solaris as open-source software, choosing the Community Development and Distribution License, or CDDL, to govern the software.
Having multiple licenses means more headaches for programmers, lawyers and customers, and it raises barriers for swapping source code from one project to another. But Sun and CA are working to unify licenses, said Sam Greenblatt, a senior vice president and senior technical adviser to CA.
"We are absolutely working on it with Sun lawyers. My lawyer working on it has informed me that we've made great progress," Greenblatt said.
Having a database released under the CDDL license would be handy for Sun--especially if it chooses to release its Java Enterprise System as open-source software, as Sun hinted last week it might.
Some of CA's partnership work with Sun comes via an Ingres-based product called MDB that is used to capture a wide variety of corporate information--everything from lists of which data files a given employee is permitted to use to a list of when a server's memory was last upgraded. That product dovetails nicely with Sun's N1 technology to make a large collection of server, storage and network equipment into a fluid, powerful computing foundation, Gaughan said.
"As part of our ongoing relationship, we are evaluating where it would make sense for our applications to be sold jointly or positioned jointly," Gaughan said.
Partnerships or not, entering the database market isn't easy. And Sun will have learning to do.
"They never have done databases ever before," Yuhanna said. "It's certainly going to be a challenge for Sun to go into this area."
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