Monday, May 19, 2008

Ingres brings OpenROAD tool for rapid DB apps development to GPL

Ingres Corp. is hoping for strong community involvement with its Open ROAD rapid application development (RAD) tool by taking it to GPL v2 release.

The Redwood City, Calif., open source database management company has made the new release available on its Web site and said it expects that more users will try the product and build application prototypes. The 4GL OpenROAD provides tools to build and deploy high-performance and high-availability business applications on a variety of platforms. It supports any RDB.

Tony Baer has some thoughts on the move.

OpenROAD applications are designed to overcome a situation where an organization has decades worth of data and data applications on legacy systems and is unable to unlock these systems to leverage the information in more modern platforms, such as hand-held devices and mobile phones.

Ingres is considering an Eclipse plug in soon, and may work toward deeper Eclipse Foundation relations. The community project around OpenROAD is called Empire.

Ingres is already working with partners to provide contributions. Luminary Solutions has outsourced its ProxyGen and "THUG" productivity tools, which add Java integration and server testing capabilities. Bording A/S has developed and contributed key enhancements to the OpenROAD core runtime library, with more contributions coming down the road.

Ingres has also announced that it is stepping up its involvement in the open-source community with several initiatives to drive validation and adoption of open source. Among these are:

  • University alliances to drive open source innovation with Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada; Ilmenau University in Germany; and Warwick University in the UK.

  • Google Summer of Code, in which students will work with Ingres mentors on a number of projects including the production of Linux and Mac OSX versions of Ingres CAFÉ.
  • Ingres Janitors Project, which provides the opportunity to participate in Ingres development and is a forum for new community members to familiarize themselves with the Ingres code.
  • Open Source Boot Camp, established by Ingres and Carleton University to introduce college students and staff to the concepts and realities of open source.
We've seen lots of tools move toward sunsetting via the open source route, but OpenRoad may have lasting appeal. Developers say it's twice as fast as Java tools for database centric apps. Those apps can be n-tier, or client-server. And MySQL nor Postgres have anything quite like it, so that may drive wider community involvement in the Empire community.