Cloudscape goes Open Source

By on August 3, 2004

IBM is planning to announce that they’ll be donating the Java-based Cloudscape database to the Apache foundation, to be released as open source.

Most business applications require some database functions like storing and looking up price or customer information, whether in a Web page or a laptop program. Cloudscape is intended for use as a simple database that resides inside a software application instead of as a full-fledged database program that runs on its own in corporate data centers as Oracle, I.B.M.’s DB/2, and Microsoft’s SQL or MySQL do.

Placing software into the open source realm does not guarantee that it will succeed in attracting programmers to maintain and improve the code. Still, Java experts say that there is a need for a basic Java database and that the Cloudscape code could prove to be popular. “It is a nice, out-of-the-box database,” said Greg Stein, chairman of the Apache Foundation.

If you’ve played with Sun’s J2EE reference implementation, you’ve probably dinked around with Cloudscape for a bit. It’s a handy little SQL database built right in to the app. Having a built-in SQL DB allows for some handy methods of data storage fo rsmall apps, and obviates the need for a set of database installation instructions.