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Pervasive exits open-source PostgreSQL business

Pervasive Software decides to curtail its initiative to offer commercial support for the open-source database.

Pervasive Software has decided to exit the business of providing support for the PostgreSQL open-source database, one of the first failures in the current rush to open-source business models.

Last January, the company, which makes data integration tools, launched a new product line based on PostgreSQL, a freely available open-source database used by businesses.

The idea was to break into the mainstream database business by undercutting the prices of entrenched corporate database providers--Oracle, IBM and Microsoft--with a product that provides many commonly used features.

In a letter to the PostgreSQL community of developers, Pervasive Software President John Farr said last week that the company "underestimated the high level of quality support and expertise already available within the PostgreSQL community."

He added that the company will continue to make data management products for PostgreSQL and will donate documentation and other intellectual property to the PostgreSQL community.

Open-source business models are becoming widely adopted by start-ups and venture capital investors. Many products, including databases and business intelligence tools, now have open-source alternatives.

Typically, businesses provide support services on a subscription basis for freely downloadable products. Many companies have taken the tack of selling a license for a high-end, closed-source version with more advanced features while having a low-end, open-source edition of their product.