Open source database company comes north

One of the leading open source relational database companies has opened an office in Canada to find more ISVs and system integrators for its product.

Iselin, N.J.,-based EnterpriseDB, whose Advanced Server suite is an enhanced version of the open source PostgresSQL database, said it has hired former Red Hat Linux Canada sales manager Paul Sidwell to run its Toronto office.

“The Postgres community in Canada has always been strong,” Helen Donnelly, EnterpriseDB’s senior vice-president of marketing, said in explaining the move north.

Many organizations welcome open source applications, she said, especially in database-intensive verticals such as telecommunications, finance and new media.

This country is also a breeding ground for innovative startups and software companies that often look to saving money by using open source tools, she said.

“Canada is a logical place for us to go to market.”

Founded in 2004, with sales starting in January 2006, the company offers two partner levels: basic partners have their applications certified to run on EnterpriseDB Database Server, while premium partners have access to application performance tuning and added support.

Partners can also resell EnterpriseDB-supplied round-the-clock support for PostgresSQL.

That’s one of the attractions for Refractions Research, a Victoria, B.C. developer specializing in open source-based spatial applications – one of its products already ships with Advanced Server as an extension – , which is considering becoming an EnterpriseDB partner.

Refractions president Paul Ramsey explained he’s already in the middle of talking to one client about a support package.

“They’re rolling out a big spatial PostgresSQL installation, so they’re looking for a unified support offering. We’ve been talking to them about using EnterpriseDB as the Postgres support side, and us as the spatial support.

“They (EnterpriseDB) are a good fit because they give us access to core PostgresSQL expertise on a 24-7 basis that we can’t provide.”

Although it has a direct sales staff, Donnelly believes partners could account for close to half of EnterpriseDB’s Canadian revenue by the end of the year.

Sidwell, who said his goal is to make EnterpriseDB as well known here as an alternative to Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database and IBM’s DB2, will start with a team of two – a presales engineer based in Toronto, and an inside sales rep at the company’s New Jersey headquarters.

While EnterpriseDB is interested in ISVs looking to create open source-based packaged applications needing a robust database, Sidwell believes he’ll get more traction teaming with system integrators because they are more focused on selling in Canada.

If integrators successfully recommend customers use Advanced Server to save money on a project, he said, “they look like a trusted advisor.” And, he added, maybe the customer will spend the money saved on purchasing something from the partner.

If a partner can save the customer money “then you win far more often than you lose,” he said.

Advanced Server 8.1 includes a replication server and a developer studio. But EnterpriseDB says its claim to fame is that the suite is compatible for applications written for Oracle.

As a result, said Donnelly, an Oracle app can run on Advanced Server “virtually unchanged, and at a fraction of the cost” of having to buy an Oracle database licence.

As with all open source products, Advanced Server is sold through a support subscription.

A basic subscription of $1,500 per CPU entitles the user to e-mail support limited to local business hours.

Premium subscribers are eligible to 24-7 telephone and e-mail support, plus an indemnification guarantee to continue using the software if EnterpriseDB is sold to another company.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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