Ingres once tried to fight Oracle for the top spot in the database market. It failed and the code ended up with Computer Associates, the place where software used to go to die. But now even CA doesn't want Ingres anymore.
How do you say that in a way that shrouds the truth? CA chief executive John Swainson gives it a try:
“This partnership with Garnett & Helfrich represents a step toward rationalizing CA's solutions portfolio and provides Ingres with the dedicated resources and focus to ensure its future success. It also provides CA with favorable economics and we believe it will assure continued support for CA's current customers and position Ingres for leadership in the business open source database market.”
You should read:
Ingres isn't core business for CA. Instead of killing the project altogether, we sold the application to Garnett & Helfrich in exchange for some stock. This is actually cheaper for us than continuing supporting the application, which we kind-of have to do to prevent pissing off the few remaining users. Otherwise people will again start reminding us of the horrible ways in which we have treated users in the past.
“During the past year, CA has been looking closely at its solutions portfolio and deciding how to best focus investment dollars on growth areas. Part of that program has been aimed at internal development, part on making key acquisitions and the last part on finding ways to unlock the value of solutions areas that, while not strategic to CA's core business, have significant potential in the marketplace. Our partnership with Garnett & Helfrich will bring the focus and investment required to unlock the value of the Ingres solution.”
Swainson means to say:
We are really trying to change. We no longer want to be the vacuum cleaner of the software industry that makes a living out of acquiring end of life products while squeezing their users for every penny they have. We made a big bet by open sourcing Ingres in 2004. It didn't work. But killing the product now would be a huge blow to our image.
And Garnett & Helfrich Capital's Terry Garnett? He too has turned on the PR BS filter.
"Open source software is being widely embraced by enterprise IT organizations seeking to optimize their flexibility, time-to-innovation and return on technology investments. By moving the Ingres product to an independent company, we can more effectively capitalize on this market momentum by attracting top industry talent, accelerating the evolution of our technology and expanding our strategic partnerships.”
With the filter turned off:
We keep hearing that open source is going to be huge. I mean, even IBM is talking about it. We have to be in this space because it's hot hot hot. Nobody makes money from open source applications, you say? They said the same about the internet back in 1997! I smell a hype when I'm stepping into one!
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