IBM Open-Sources Cloudscape Database

At its Rational Software Development User conference in Dallas, IBM executives announced plans to open-source some key commercial products.
Last month at its Rational Software Development user conference in Dallas, IBM executives foretold of plans in the works to open-source a couple of its key commercial products. Then they closed the lid on the discussion without naming names.

This week, word is out on one of the products. Cloudscape, a Java-based embedded relational database picked up in Big Blue's acquisition of the Informix database company three years ago, will be donated to the open-source Apache Software Foundation, IBM officials said.

Apache is renaming the 2-MB database "Derby" and will make the software available as a free, open-source product for developers, ISVs and other users. Paul Rivot, director of data management software at IBM, says the motivation to open-source Cloudscape is to give more Java developers access to the database so they can innovate and embed it inside their applications.

"This is the only fully functional relational database that is Java-based, and we think it fits a key need in the marketplace," says Rivot, who rattled off a list of target applications, such as point-of-sale systems, small Web sites and data repositories.

For customers who desire support and maintenance for Cloudscape, IBM will continue to support the database as a commercial product today, Rivot said. The database is also embedded in numerous IBM software products from WebSphere Application Server to the Lotus Workplace Client.

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