PostgreSQL, Inc. Open Letter to the PostgreSQL Global Development Project

From geoff@sales.org Fri Dec 15 18:03:16 2000
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 16:48:00 -0500
From: Geoff Davidson geoff@sales.org
To: pgsql-hackers@postgresql.org, pgsql-general@postgresql.org,
Subject: [ANNOUNCE] PostgreSQL, Inc. Open Letter to the PostgreSQL
Global Development Project

In recent months there has been a great deal of speculation,
confusion and concern raised in the open source community over
the roles of commercial companies and the PostgreSQL project.
There has also been a lot of curiosity and noise around who 
and what PostgreSQL, Inc. (PgSQL) is...

As a response we have prepared a PDF document as a quick 
overview on who and what PgSQL is about, located at this URL:

The rest of this email is information provided to simply 
augment that one page summary ... 

You know most of us already.
Co-founders and steering committee members of the Global
Development Project -
Vadim Mikheev, Director: principal author of eRServer, WAL ...
Thomas Lockhart, Director: SQL, API, OO, Distributed 
computing, Analyst ...
Marc Fournier, President: 'net apps, SSL, Apache, BSD...
Our other Board Members -
Jeff MacDonald, VP Support: in Wolfville, NS and the person
usually first in line to handle support inquiries sent to
us from both our clients and the open source community.
Geoff Davidson, CEO: avid business user (sales.org Inc.), 
personal & corporate Project $upporter, Advocate since '97.

Our priority is on the best interests of PostgreSQL. Our 
business focus is on supporting and promoting PostgreSQL 
We are also developing 'Five Levels of Learning' certified
training programs and a bunch of other commercial training,
applications, and support programs. These will be offered 
through a variety of channels, and should include 
University/College credit standing within the next few months.

Open Source vs. Proprietary:
We advocate Open Source, BSD style :)
We will consider and develop short term (up to 24 month)
proprietary applications and solutions where there is a strong
business and intellectual property case to be made. *all*
proprietary developments that we are involved in *will* become
open source within two years of implementation, without

Friends, family and clients. We don't have $25million, or even
$25,000 in funded reserves. We have paid our own way and
contributed freely to the community since Marc first provided
hosting, support and other services to the Project, and we will
continue to do so. To date the principals have invested several
hundred thousand dollars in both hard cash and time, with
almost all of that work already residing in the current CVS 
tree. We are negotiating for substantial venture capital, 
and may accept this where it advances our ability to achieve
our goals for PostgreSQL.
We aren't willing to consider becoming purveyers of
vaporware products or vaporcare services. Nor are we
looking to spend $millions of other people's money on
advertising, webspeak and glitz. We understand the big
differences between real value based dot-commerce and others
who may be cashing in on some dot-con offers out there - 
PgSQL will be value and Values based in all our efforts.

Replication (initial functionality):
Sorry for the delay, it took longer to make it solid enough to
put out to the community than we had intended, which means it
also cost us more than we'd originally expected... but it
should be available within the next few days... Open Source...

Hacker Relations:
I don't really know how to do that, we're all hackers at
PgSQL and the people who make our business decisions have
worked with everyone in the community from the beginning.
[you guessed it, hackers are still in charge here... and
always will be]

Taking over the world (of Open Source DB solutions):
*IS* our vision for PostgreSQL
... but it isn't what PgSQL is about. We plan on creating
employment for tens of thousands of people supporting
PostgreSQL. A few of those will probably even be working 
directly for us. The rest will find employment with our 
clients, our partners, or on their own as independent 
consultants, software engineers and developers.
We aren't dragonslayers. Microsoft, Oracle, Informix, Sybase,
SAP, MySQL, and many others already have strongly established 
and successful implementations that help to prove the value 
and use of difffent databases. While we do intend to ensure 
that PostgreSQL apps will own the lion's share of the DBMS 
market within the next five years, it will be by growing the 
market... which means doubling or tripling the client base 
for all our competitors at the same time. They will help to
keep us honest, and will always serve as a benchmark on value
to ensure that we continue to provide better, stronger,
faster, and more cost-effective solutions, or recommend to
clients and end-users the alternative that will...

The Future:
We have several projects in development that will extend the
functions and capabilities of PostgreSQL well beyond anything
presently available in databases or eCommerce as it is known
today. Most of these will be open source from the beginning, a
few will be products that we offer to our clients and partners 
to recover our costs and support the people who work full time
(well, some of them need 5 or 6 hours of sleep, but we 
discourage that while they are in the office), and to pay for
our partner's software engineers who are committed to our 
commercial or funded development efforts, like Replication.

You can contact any of us, anytime. If you haven't heard from us
in a while it means we're working on something. If you're worried
about what that is, email us and we'll tell you as much as we
can - always the truth, and only the truth.

You can start now if you want to work for free with us on any 
of our projects.
You can send us your resume if you want us to consider hiring
you, or referring you to one of our business partners that are
hiring PostgreSQL talent.
You can join our group of partners and participate with us in
this exciting journey.

Our role:
Probably the most gratifying thing in any business is to see
people you admire, respect, or compete with adopting your
business, product or service models. Almost everyone in this
sandbox now has similar service, support and partnership
programs to the ones we've been pioneering since becoming the
first to provide commercial PostgreSQL support. I sure hope we 
got those programs right to begin with... ;)
We expect PostgreSQL to be the benchmark that DBMS apps are
compared to, and plan for PgSQL to be the benchmark that other
open source commercial companies are measured against.

Your role:
Keep us honest, challenge us to do more and do it better.
Represent the best interests of the open source communities in
everything you do and ask for.
Push the envelope, make PostgreSQL better, make the world a
little better today because you made the effort.
Start your own companies to support, promote and advance
PostgreSQL has won Linux World and Linux Journal awards, 
because of what it has become through the efforts of hundreds
of contributors in dozens of countries. It will only succeed 
if that passion, independence, and genius continues to drive 
the application forward. That means, more than ever, that 
*you* are charged with the opportunity to make this a better,
more accessible and functional ORDBMS solution for the world.

Let us know if you believe you can help us, or if you think 
we can help you.

Geoff Davidson, CFP, MBA   | President
CEO, PostgreSQL, Inc.      | sales.org Inc.
Phone: 416-410-4124 ext. 1 | 3982 Teakwood Drive
Fax:  905-897-0409        | Mississauga, ON L5C 3T5
PostgreSQL, Inc. Canadian Office:
PO Box 1648, 251 Main St, Suite 2
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, B0P 1X0
Phone: 1-902-542-0713
Fax : 1-902-542-5386

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