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Sun support of PostgreSQL seen as boon to open databases

The CEO of open source database vendor EnterpriseDB explains why Sun's decision to support PostgreSQL is good news for open source users.

When Sun Microsystems announced plans to integrate PostgreSQL into its Solaris operating system and offer support to customers running the software, it became a fair question to ask whether or not the news would affect open source vendors who have based their own products on the popular database.

To Andy Astor, the CEO and founder of Edison, N.J.-based EnterpriseDB, seller of an open source database management system which is based on PostgreSQL, the answer to that question was clear.

"A natural question to ask is whether EnterpriseDB now competes with Sun, at least to provide databases on the Solaris platform. The answer is no," Astor said.

Astor's response arrived on the heels of a press conference held by John Loiacono, Sun's executive vice president of software in Boston, who announced that Sun will seek to integrate PostgreSQL database capabilities with Sun's Solaris operating system.

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Loiacono said Sun engineers will also participate in the PostgreSQL open source project to tune the database for Solaris and beef up its high-end capabilities.

Astor explained that with EnterpriseDB, the product is substantially different from native PostgreSQL, and that his company will continue to target Oracle as its main competition.

"Our customers have chosen EnterpriseDB because those differences, including compatibility with Oracle applications and better performance, are important to them. In that way, EnterpriseDB's business model is different from the many other commercial open source companies that simply provide support for open source software," Astor said.

Astor said Sun's selection of PostgreSQL will likely mean that many more of EnterpriseDB's potential customers and other interested parties will be more familiar with PostgreSQL in the future.

"Sun's selection of PostgreSQL to complement its high-end, enterprise-class operating system, rather than MySQL or another open source database, also highlights PostgreSQL's superiority over other offerings in terms of reliability, scalability and suitability for enterprise use," Astor said. "Again, because our product is built on PostgreSQL, we're pleased with that result."

The server and software company said Thursday that it will integrate PostgreSQL into its Solaris operating system, and will begin offering support services to business customers running the software.

The PostgreSQL news arrives only a week after Oracle announced that it would endorse the Solaris 10 operating system as its preferred development platform.

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