An open-source competitor is zeroing in on Oracle's customer base--and it's not the popular and well-known MySQL open-source database. It's a relative newcomer called EnterpriseDB Advanced Server.
Unlike other open-source offerings, EnterpriseDB Advanced Server is designed to be Oracle-compatible and run Oracle database applications unchanged, says EnterpriseDB CEO Andy Astor. At LinuxWorld recently, the company introduced a migration tool called EnterpriseDB Replication Server to move data out of Oracle and into EnterpriseDB Advanced Server. It's the capability represented by Replication Server as much as anything that has attracted an early $28 million in venture capital to the young firm.
"We don't tell Oracle users to convert from Oracle databases to us. We urge them to get some leverage with Oracle by converting just 5% of their databases to us," says Astor.
EnterpriseDB is built on a version of the PostgreSQL database, a thriving project with a broad community of developers behind it at www.postgreSQL.org. Bruce Momjian, a lead developer in the project and an architect of EnterpriseDB, says 51,788 users and developers are on the PostgreSQL mailing list, although active contributors would number more like 243. But the size of the mailing list indicates the level of interest in PostgreSQL, he said.
Replication Server can move data from an Oracle database into EnterpriseDB or back to Oracle if the user chooses. EnterpriseDB Advanced Server has no issue running Oracle applications built with PL/SQL, Oracle's proprietary version of SQL, Astor says.
EnterpriseDB Advanced Server 8.1, release 2, was also announced during LinuxWorld, and its graphical development tool, Developer Studio, can browse the contents of databases built in Oracle, EnterpriseDB, or PostgreSQL. The 8.1 release 2 also includes audit capability to assist with regulatory compliance, as well as support for Secure Sockets Layer and cryptography to allow data in the database to remain beyond the sight of a database administrator. The new release also includes Dynatune, a performance-tuning feature that can invoke user-supplied rules or usage models.
Sun Microsystems contracts with EnterpriseDB to supply technical support to its distribution of PostgreSQL, which has been integrated into Sun's Solaris 10 version of Unix.
EnterpriseDB has received $1 million in a startup funding; $7.5 million from Charles River Ventures and Valhalla Partners; and $20 million in a series B funding by Fidelity Ventures. The 100-employee firm is two years old.