CA Divests Open Source Ingres

Developers have a new patron for their open source database project.
Posted November 7, 2005

Jim Wagner

Computer Associates is divesting its open source enterprise database, Ingres, to venture buyout specialists Garnett & Helfrich Capital, officials announced Monday.

Ingres Corp. will take over management of the open source project and sell services and support on top of the software, a la JBoss. While CA retains its ties to the software with a board of directors chair, Garnett & Helfrich will be the majority shareholder of the company.

The database competes against commercial enterprise database giants like Oracle and IBM's DB2, as well as the popular open source product, MySQL.

Garnett & Helfrich created Ingres Corp. to act as the corporate home for the open source project, selling premium services and support for the open source database. Development will continue under the open source model, though officials are going to change the license in the coming months.

Garnett & Helfrich has a stake in a number of ventures, focusing on mid-sized technology spinouts. Earlier this year, the fund took a controlling stake in thin-client vendor Wyse Technology.

Currently, Ingres is distributed under the CA Trusted Open Source License (CA-TOSL), which is an Open Source Initiative-approved (OSI) license. Ingres Corp. executives, however, want to make Ingres more accessible to ISVs (define) and potential business customers, and plan to re-license the software.

Dave Dargo, Ingres CTO and senior vice president of strategy, said CA has done a good job attracting attention to Ingres in the open source community with its license but the newly formed company wants to get the software out to more people.

Ingres will remain an open source project, Dargo said, though officials are still determining which one is best for the project. They will not invent a new license, he said, but concentrate on the licenses already found in the open source community.

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