EnterpriseDB adds HP-UX support

The Oracle-compatible database vendor hopes to lure upset HP customers with the move

Version 9.0 of EnterpriseDB's Oracle-compatible database is now available, with new support for Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX operating system, the company announced Thursday.

Oracle recently said it would stop developing new versions of its database and other software for Intel's Itanium chips, which HP uses in server systems along with HP-UX. The decision sparked a controversy that ultimately led HP to file a lawsuit against Oracle, saying the move was in violation of agreements between the companies and was meant to force customers onto Oracle's hardware.

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EnterpriseDB is hoping to capitalize on any unrest in the HP installed base, and says it is already talking to some HP-UX customers.

Both current and new users will look to take advantage of the many other new features in the release, which include a new parallel data loader that provides up to 800 percent faster performance over past versions of the database.

A new code profiler might make life easier for developers. "If they've created stored procedures that used to run for a minute, and now it takes 10, it's no longer guesswork to troubleshoot that kind of thing," said Robin Schumacher, director of product strategy.

EnterpriseDB's commercial products, Postgres Plus Standard Server and Postgres Plus Advanced Server, are based on the open-source PostgreSQL database, bundling in advanced features to the core code. The vendor also sells support subscriptions for PostgreSQL.

The 9.0 release also includes a "long laundry list" of community-developed enhancements, including streaming replication and an "upgrade in place" feature, Schumacher said. It used to be rather painful to upgrade a large database, since the data needed to be dumped out and then reloaded after the upgrade, he said. "As the name implies, you don't have to do that anymore," he said.

EnterpriseDB has long touted its ability to run Oracle workloads. Updates to the compatibility layer include support for applications written in Oracle's Pro*C language.

It doesn't promise flawless compatibility with Oracle. "We basically try to bite off the very large chunks. We don't really aim ourselves at the esoteric PL/SQL functions," Schumacher said. EnterpriseDB offers Oracle "migration assessments" that help database customers determine how difficult it will be to move their workloads.

EnterpriseDB is about to hit the 1,000-customer mark, said Karen Tegan Padir, vice president of products and marketing. Many of them have migrated from Oracle, she said.

The vendor is also taking aim at Microsoft SQL Server shops. Its xDB Replication Server can now pull in data from SQL Server.

Postgres Plus Standard Server subscriptions start at $2,495 per year. Subscriptions for Advanced Server, which offers the Oracle compatibility feature, begin at $3,995 per year.

Despite the release's new features, EnterpriseDB faces some challenges in winning new business, according to one observer.

"There are plenty of reasons to stick with PostgreSQL, but in most use cases it's hard to justify being a new adopter," said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research. "PostgreSQL's remaining superiorities to MySQL usually don't matter that much."

In addition, "Oracle emulation is a nice feature but it's had negligible impact on the overall Oracle market," he added. "There's no real reason to migrate from Oracle to PostgreSQL except price, and often Oracle will cut you a deal to forestall a migration."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.

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