EnterpriseDB has released a major upgrade to its PostgreSQL-based, open-source database, incorporating the recently released PostgreSQL 8.1.2 as well as new Oracle compatibility features and a integrated debugger.

EnterpriseDB pitches itself as an enterprise-class relational database management system based on twenty years of open-source development, compatible with Oracle, and costing a fraction of the price of a commercial system. It's based on the BSD-licensed database PostgreSQL, widely considered the most advanced open-source DBMS around, with the addition of commercial features such as Oracle compatibility and enterprise-level support.

Linux distributors and MySQL have already found success with the business model EnterpriseDB is using, but the company argues MySQL isn't really an enterprise-class product.

EnterpriseDB Advanced Server 8.1, released on Tuesday at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco, follows an initial release last summer and a follow-up in November. It includes Oracle-style packages, Oracle-style sequences and other Oracle compatibility features such as cursor FOR loops, column alias options and REM support. These features are intended to allow companies to migrate advanced Oracle applications to EnterpriseDB without much change.

The integrated debugger means users don't have to separately purchase tools to develop and debug stored procedures and functions, according to EnterpriseDB. It can be used to analyse stored procedures, funcitons and triggers in applications written for EnterpriseDB, Oracle and PostgreSQL.

The update includes a new DBA management server with database monitoring, profiling, reporting, security and querying. A new dynamic tuning feature makes tuning easier, the company said.

The application can be downloaded free from EnterpriseDB's Web site. It's free to use for development and production use for one CPU with certain restrictions on RAM and the size of the database. For higher-end usage the company charges annual fees starting at about $1,000, depending on the level of support and services required.