April 2, 2009

Ingres update

I talked with Ingres today. Much of the call was fluff — open-source rah-rah, plus some numbers showing purported success, but so finely parsed as to be pretty meaningless. (To Ingres’ credit, they did offer to let me talk w/ their CFO, even if they offered no promises as to whether he’d offer any more substantive information.) Highlights included:


6 Responses to “Ingres update”

  1. Seth Grimes on April 3rd, 2009 12:14 am

    It’s likely that any organization that wants to replace Oracle with an open-source DBMS would be better served going with PostgreSQL, which seems much closer to Oracle compatibility than Ingres is. I agree that EnterpriseDB and its Postgres distributions would cover most enterprise support needs.

    I also have in my August 19, 2008 Ingres-conversation notes from TDWI-San Diego: “claim 5-6 western-area DWs in recent months.” It would be good to have confirmation from Ingres on the accuracy of that statement. Lastly, in my notes I see that the Ingres rep & I discussed Ingres’s lack of bit-mapped indexes or rollups (a SQL-99 feature), both of which are helpful in conventional data warehousing. (Some DW systems that have appeared in recent years of course don’t rely on indexes.)

  2. Curt Monash on April 3rd, 2009 1:30 am


    Actually, EnterpriseDB’s Postgres Plus is the one with particularly good Oracle compatibility.

    Although if you’re using any datatype extensibility at all, any version of PostgreSQL is better than MySQL or Ingres.

  3. Mark Callaghan on April 3rd, 2009 9:15 am

    Does Ingres expect to migrate MySQL deployments because they have better BLOB support?

  4. Bill Maimone on April 3rd, 2009 1:09 pm

    No, Mark, that’s a small example illustrating the difference between simulating support in a client driver versus full support in a server. Another would be scrolling cursors. You can do the feature wholly in the driver by pulling the full result set to the client, or you can support scrolling on the server which can reduce client-server activity. Curt asked for a list of everything wrong with MySQL, which I didn’t pursue. Actually I think MySQL has done a phenomenal job in particular with web content. And acknowledged to Curt, if there were no MySQL than probably there would be no reborn Ingres. MySQL made possible the category of open source database, and for that we all are appreciative.

    On compatibility with Oracle, EDB certainly is better, considering it’s work on supporting PL/SQL. After quite some thought, I decided that for now the prospect of trying to do plug-compatible conversion of applications written in PL/SQL is not an attractive business. If it’s written to PL/SQL, than it has only ever run on Oracle and there are likely to be a long list of Oracle-isms. Conversion probably is a long project, and the longer the project the higher the chance of failure. There are so many applications written to run on more than one database. With always limited resource those applications are a better business for now. And believe me, I know lots about PL/SQL, having run the group for a half-dozen years. It was quite a challenge to keep one version of PL/SQL fully compatible with the next.

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  6. Richard on April 29th, 2009 6:35 am

    We use Ingres and Oracle at our shop.

    There were, at one time, plans to migrate away from Ingres, but the Open Source version and cheaper TCO has brought Ingres back in favour.

    Oracle on the other hand has done itself no favours with its latest price hikes and we are looking very closely at migrating away to a cheaper solution.

    The good news from our perspective is that we have always been shy of using lock-in features like PL/SQL, choosing to use Java instead. Performance isn’t as good, but hardware is realtively cheap these days and we have managed to keep out of Oracle’s Jail!

    So where do we migrate to? That’s a very good question that hasn’t been resolved yet. My money’s on Ingres as we have a lot of expertise in the product and it can easily handle 90-95% of what our Oracle databases do at a fraction of the cost.

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