IBM Corp. has found a new home for the Cloudscape database software it picked up in 2001 through its acquisition of Informix Corp. The company plans to announce Tuesday that it will give Cloudscape to the Apache Software Foundation, which will oversee Cloudscape as an open-source project.
IBM, which scheduled the announcement to take place at LinuxWorld, said this marks the first time it donated the source code of a full, commercial product. Although it stopped promoting Informix's Cloudscape to new customers after it acquired the company, IBM has used the software in its own products, most notably its Workplace line of middleware offerings.
Cloudscape's code comprises more than half a million lines, and IBM estimates the software's value at $85 million. IBM said its goal in releasing the code as open-source is to spur Java application development, creating new business opportunities for its infrastructure software products.
Cloudscape, called Derby in its latest incarnation, is a lightweight, Java-based relational database with a footprint of just 2MB. It's significantly less resource-intensive than enterprise databases like IBM's DB2. Its target use is to underpin small Web sites, point-of-sale systems and departmental-level or small-business applications.
IBM plans to release a commercial version of Cloudscape later this year, which it said it will base on the Apache code. IBM expects the code to be available at the Apache.org Web site within the next few weeks.