September 20, 2006

Myths about DATallegro, Ingres, open source, etc.

Sometimes, when one talks to a company about a close competitor, what one hears may not be 100% strictly accurate. Yesterday, I more than once heard claims that sounded oddly like “DATallegro has to open source whatever software it develops.” Today, DATallegro CEO Stuart Frost clarified as follows:

• DATallegro has no (little?) legal obligation to open source anything. Even the version of Ingres they use is not the GPL one.
• They do give a few enhancements back to Ingres (via open source?) rather than maintain them themselves.
• The whole MPP technology is proprietary, in every sense of “proprietary.” (For example, they use a whole different optimizer than Ingres’s. I’ve forgotten whether the Ingres optimizer is also left in place.)


One Response to “Myths about DATallegro, Ingres, open source, etc.”

  1. Stuart Frost on September 20th, 2006 11:49 pm

    Thanks Curt, I hadn’t heard that particular claim before. As you point out, we d indeed have our own proprietary software that sits outside of the Ingres codebase.

    I guess I’m a little puzzled as to why it matters all that much to a prospect. If the appliance works, performs extremely well and is available at a compelling price, what difference does it make whether the vendor contributes to open source – except perhaps that it could lower their development costs in the future.

    We feel we have a very good balance of contributing certain changes back to Ingres Corp where that makes sense. Most, if not all of these changes make it into the open source version. As a result, we get to stay in fairly close step with the open source version.

    At the same time, our proprietary MPP code is kept out of the open source domain.

    As for the Ingres optimizer, it does still exist on the individual appliance nodes, but we greatly constrain how it operates. Our own parallel optimizer is a separate layer on top of Ingres.


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