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Welcome to the Club, EnterpriseDB

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For reasons involving more of a personal need to slow down traveling than anything else, I opted not to go to LinuxWorld Expo this year.

What clinched it for me, I think, were the five days spent in Portland a couple of weeks ago for Ubuntu Live and OSCON. Good shows, to be sure, but I think that personally and professionally, I have seen enough of the free and open source community for a while, and they--most assuredly--have seen enough of me.

Not that one can ever really escape the effects of an event as large as LinuxWorld. Even remotely, there is plenty of news to gather. The magic of the Internet and the phone allows me to be practically there, though without all the good restaurants.

Such was the case when I had a briefing today from Derek Rodner, the Director of product marketing over at NJ-based EnterpriseDB. Derek reminded me of the last time we spoke, over the dinner table at The Flytrap in San Francisco during the last Open Source Business Conference in May, when I told him exactly why Linux Today shied away from covering EnterpriseDB news.

Because, I remember telling him then, EnterpriseDB didn't have an open source product, and my readers were a bit fed up with covering companies that claimed open source status that weren't.

See? I pay attention.

Keep in mind, this wasn't a hostile conversation, but I felt a little forthrightness was necessary. This was closer to the time when Nat Torkington opened a can of editorial whup-ass on those companies that dared to abuse the term of open source, and many PR reps and marketing folk were scrambling to make sure the press were assured that their products were really open source. Really, truly.

To Derek's credit, he did not try to whitewash their flagship product's status as being open source. But, he did maintain that they still considered EnterpriseDB an open source company, because their product was based on PostgreSQL and the company and its individual employees did a heck a lot of contributory work on Postgres. More food and wine was consumed, and I believe the discussion ended in a draw, with me conceding EnterpriseDB's work, but still not giving them open source props.

Flash-forward to today, when Derek sticks in the knife right at the start of the interview by informing me that a bunch of the EnterpriseDB went to the Flytrap again last night--seriously, this is good food, people--which was very likely my karmic punishment for being stubborn last May.

Despite Derek's blunder in mentioning a good restaurant that I am current 2,209 miles away from, I can still pass along the news that EnterpriseDB has finally earned the right to be called an open source company, no matter's who's asking.

That's because they announced this morning the release of a pre-bundled PostgreSQL distribution, completely with graphical installer, called EnterpriseDB Postgres. (Okay, so not so catchy in the name department.) Still, it seems a worthy product. I have never had the pleasure of installing a PostgreSQL instance, but my DB friends tell me it can be a bit of pain, since the pieces and parts to put it altogether are scattered all over the Net. This package puts all of those pieces together in one place, so anyone interested in running a pure PostgreSQL server can just get the installer (available for 32- and 64-bit Linux as well as Windows).

It's not just the new installer, either. The company has set up a new web site with various code and community resources. Derek also mentioned something that I think is a buried nugget in the press release: the porting of the graphical pgAdmin tools to the Linux platform (which had only been available on Windows).

I asked Derek about the choices EntepriseDB made to put this "distro" together. One of the advantages of the current PostgreSQL installation method is the ability to put together exactly what you need. For those customers, he replied, they could still put PostgreSQL together the old-fashioned way. This package set was geared for the enterprise developer who wanted something to load up in about 10 minutes.

Nor does this product supersede their flagship EnterpriseDB product, the Postgres-based proprietary database. Customers who need Oracle compatibility and the other tools that come with that database can opt for that.

But, since the original licensing has been maintained for all of the components in EnterpriseDB Postgres, the company has officially joined the ranks of open source.

Now I find myself suddenly hungry. Perhaps a long, long drive down I-80...

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