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Database spin-out Ingres is getting a little enterprise support from netCustomer in its unfolding strategy of challenging Oracle in the database market.

Customers using the Ingres open source database will receive enterprise application and database support from netCustomer, in a deal promising to "dramatically" lower the support costs for PeopleSoft and JD Edwards users.

Additionally, netCustomer said it would help customers move from "expensive proprietary databases" to Ingres 2006. Oracle was not mentioned directly, but netCustomer did go on to say Ingres is estimated to come in at half the cost of Oracle.

The expanded relationship between tiny Ingres and netCustomer, which forged a business providing third-party support to PeopleSoft and Oracle users, is clearly being offered as a way for customers to lower their IT costs by easing Oracle out of the equation.

The senior management and marketing ranks of Ingres - spun out from CA last year - are groaning under the weight of former Oracle heavy hitters and experts. These include chief executive Terry Garnett, chief financial officer Tom Berquist, chief technology officer Dave Dargo and chief communications officer Jim Finn.

Part of Ingres's strategy against Oracle has been to claim lower cost of ownership combined with enterprise-class features. Ingress is now targeting not just users of the Oracle database but also users of applications that Oracle took ownership of during the last year. A slowly emerging theme among business application providers is to use open source databases as their underlying platform to help lower costs. Hence SAP is working (separately) to certify MySQL with its software and Ingres is hoping to hook the interests of PeopleSoft and JD Edwards users.

For its part netCustomer claims to reduce customers' annual support costs by up to 50 per cent. Berquist said in a statement: "With its data centre track record, the now open-source Ingres will appeal to customers who are looking to uniformly lower their costs without sacrificing the reliability and performance they expect from their database platform."®

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