"SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - January 3, 2000 - Inprise Corporation (Nasdaq: INPR)
today announced that it plans to jump to the forefront of the Linux database
market by open-sourcing InterBase 6, the new version of its cross-platform SQL
database. Inprise plans to release InterBase in open-source form for multiple
platforms, including Linux, Windows NT, and Solaris, make the database available
at no charge, and spin the InterBase division off into a separate company.
"Inprise will be taking a leadership role in the Open-Source movement by releasing
InterBase 6 under an open-source license. We are taking this bold step because
we believe every Linux distribution needs InterBase," said Dale Fuller, interim
CEO and president of Inprise Corporation. "By open-sourcing InterBase, we will
be unleashing a world-class database for companies worldwide to develop and
deploy business-critical, mobile computing, and Internet-based applications
for multiple platforms, including Linux, Solaris, and Windows NT. This is an
amazing opportunity for Inprise, its customers and the Open-Source community."
"Inprise open-sourcing InterBase is a step forward for software users," said
Eric S. Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative. "As open-source releases
of operating systems and critical middleware become the norm, Inprise's release
will undoubtedly raise the quality bar and customers will reap huge benefits
in reliability, security, and total cost of ownership."
source code for InterBase 6 is scheduled to be published during the first part
of the year 2000. The company also announced it plans to continue to sell and
support InterBase 5.6 through normal distribution channels. Inprise plans to
announce further details of its rollout plans for the InterBase open-source
project on its Web site."
As customers increasingly recognize the importance of the open-source movement,
especially in light of the success of the Linux operating system and the spectacular
IPO's of VA Linux and Red Hat, this move by Inprise/Borland is likely to have
a strong market impact. Investors have already shown their approval for the
move, with shares of Inprise closing up 26% to 13 15/16. Other small database
vendors such as Progress Software (whose version 8.3b database has been ported
to Red Hat Linux 6.0) will likely have to consider the move to open-source.
Customers considering database purchases should investigate the importance of
the open-source movement to their environment. There may be compelling reasons
why database customization is desirable. Even if there is no need in the short
term, circumstances may change later in the development cycle. Customers using
InterBase include Boeing, MCI, NASA, and the U.S. Army, so support for the product
is sure to continue.