Here's one way to get out of mowing the lawn, spend your weekend hacking some code and get some new features for your database.

That's how several DBAs spent last week. They met up in advance of the UK Ingres User Association to spend three days working on a range of new features for Ingres software.

Roger Burkhardt, Ingres' president and CEO said that the event, which had been named CodeSprint, had pulled together customers, partners and Ingres engineers. "Some of the DBAs had never worked on product development or worked in C. They had a quick, crash course and learned fast."

The development work was carried out by two teams, one working on Ingres itself and the other on OpenRoad, Ingres' open source project.

Emma McGrattan, Ingres' senior VP of engineering, said in an email that every participant had been provided with a Linux based virtual machine and a quick session on building and debugging Ingres.

Eight new features emerged from the three-day event. These include:

  • Incremental backup - the ability to take incremental backups at regular intervals rather than a complete database backup
  • Row Level Security Auditing - Previously selects, inserts, updates and deletes had to be at the table level - although updates and deletes were allowed at the row level if keyed access was used. Users have now extended auditing at the row level to include selects and inserts.
  • Pseudo random sequences - Ingres can now provide the ability to serve up values from a sequence in random order without repeating any sequence values.
  • Café Update - The underlying database behind Café, the bundle of Eclipse software, has been enhanced to optimise performance
Other areas that were inproved were Terminal Monitor Usability, the Uploading of utilities and some OpenRoad improvements, portlet resizing and date manipulation.

McGrattan said that there was still some administrative work to be done before the new features could be released to users, but she hoped that they would be available by the end of next week.

Burkhardt said that the CodeSprint had shown the participants the true value of Open Source. He said that customers no longer had to wait for a software vendor to introduce a feature that they wanted. "The ones who had never introduced a new feature will have lost that fear," he said. "It's like riding a bike, once you've done it once, you know how to do it," he added.