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EnterpriseDB raises cash and its open-source profile

EnterpriseDB has had a somewhat iffy relationship with open source. Today, that changed.

Good things come in threes, as EnterpriseDB confirmed today. The company today announced that it has raised a $10 million Series C round,including backing from IBM. With $37.5 million in funding to date, EnterpriseDB isn't hurting for cash.

This, however, has not been EnterpriseDB's primary problem. It's not cash that it has lacked, but open-source cachet. Its story of "Oracle performance and interoperability at a fraction of the cost" is a winner, but it was muted by its lack of a compelling open-source story.

That just changed.

Today EnterpriseDB announced that it is open sourcing its GridSQL business intelligence and data warehousing engine under the GNU General Public License Version 2. Previously proprietary, this move demonstrates a stronger commitment to open source.

Additionally, the company has reintroduced its software under the Postgres Plus brand. This isn't a big change, but it does highlight just how big of a role open source plays in EnterpriseDB's plans:

Postgres Plus is an open source distribution of the PostgreSQL database and includes significant performance benefits and important ease-of-use capabilities for developers and DBAs. Bundled into a one-click, cross-platform installer, Postgres Plus is targeted at developers of next-generation applications and sets a new standard for commercial distributions of open source databases.

Postgres Plus Advanced Server is a commercially licensed product that adds advanced capabilities to Postgres Plus, including robust Oracle compatibility, dynamic performance tuning, and sophisticated management and monitoring. The company also announced the availability of free tools, tutorials, and Web-based services for developers.

In other words, EnterpriseDB deploys the same hybrid model as Zimbra, SugarCRM, Funambol, and others. While I'm not a big fan of hybrid models, the reality is that it's an accepted, successful model within commercial open source. If it means that EnterpriseDB and these others also contribute ever growing mountains of open-source code, which it does, then I can accept that.

This is a good day for EnterpriseDB. PostgreSQL, with EnterpriseDB firmly behind it, now has a chance to make some noise. And with IBM backing EnterpriseDB (and, by extension, PostgreSQL), things look set to become very, very interesting in the open-source database market.