Friday, July 09, 2004

Fujitsu Bankrolling PostgreSQL Development

As a native version of PostgreSQL isn't yet freely available for Windows, I haven't been paying much attention to ongoing developments with that rather impressive open-source RDBMS. As such, it struck me as a big surprise to learn that Japan's Fujitsu Corporation has decided to back further work on the project, and it looks to be a long-term commitment too.

Fujitsu this week announced an expanded collaboration with Microsoft on servers for mainframe computing, but the Japanese hardware giant is also investing in open source, paving the way for a handful of new PostgreSQL functions that will benefit all of the open source database's users.

The Japanese company, folding Windows as well as Linux and other open source into its mix of strategy, will support the BSD-based PostgreSQL database with code contributions and underwriting development that will be a part of version 7.5 of the database, PostgreSQL core team member Josh Berkus said. It is expected to be available before the end of the year.

Berkus said Fujitsu, which brought in $45 billion last year, is the largest company to contribute directly to PostreSQL to date, adding that the PostgreSQL community expects its relationship with Fujitsu to continue for "at least the next few years."

Fujitsu beats feature freeze

While Berkus referred to a July 1 freeze on features for the next version of the database, he reported three new features in PosgreSQL -- Tablespaces, Nested Transactions, and Java support -- that are being underwritten by Fujitsu in partnership with Tokyo-based SRA will be included in version 7.5.

"Much of this new functionality will be present in the forthcoming release of PostgreSQL, which is shaping up as the most significant new release of the software since version 7.0 almost four years ago," Berkus said, referring to full point-in-time recovery and two-phase commit, data integrity and scalability improvements, native Windows edition, and solutions for high availability, clustering, and replication currently being developed for different user requirements.
The support for two-phase commits, nested transactions and the like are very cool, but from an adoption POV, by far the most significant aspect of this announcement is the bit about a native Windows edition. If the PostgreSQL developers can deliver on this promise (a big if, seeing as they made the same promise for version 7.3), it will likely lead to an explosion in PostgreSQL usage and visibility. MySQL is fast, but that's about all one can say for it; PostgreSQL is a real RDBMS.


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