Ingres is looking to make life easier for developers with a couple of announcements. It has teamed up with enterprise content management company Alfresco to produce an integrated software bundle allowing users to have a simple way to implement ECM and a database at the same time. Ingres has also announced a bundle that will enable developers to create Java applications using the Eclipse Foundation's open source development framework.

"There's nothing fundamentally new here," said Deb Woods, Ingres' vice president of product marketing. "But what we have done is made it easier for developers to use existing components: it just takes three clicks," she said. "What we're offering is an end-to-end total solution for ECM developers: they don't have to use a proprietary database, they can use an open-source database that has full enterprise characteristics."

She admitted that there were other open-source options available for Alfresco developers but said that Ingres offered a range of features for enterprises, including point-in-time restart, backwards compatibility and the availability of 24/7 support.

Emma McGrattan, senior vice president of engineering at Ingres endorsed that approach. "What has been happening is that developers start work on an open-source database and move over to Oracle; now they can start on Ingres and end on Ingres."

Woods said that last year the company had identified three key areas that it wanted to grow: business intelligence, application development and content management. The company added BI to its Icebreaker product last year and the Alfresco and Eclipse deals are the next strands.

The company's Eclipse bundle, Ingres Café (Consolidated Application Foundation for Eclipse) has been developed as an open source community contributed project led by Samrat Dhillon, a graduate student at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

Ingres Cafe bundles the Eclipse IDE, Ingres DBMS, Apache Tomcat, Hibernate and JSF libraries into a single package. Ingres Cafe includes a version of the Eclipse Framework and will include the Ingres Eclipse DTP (Data Tools Platform) plug-in which was designed with developer productivity in mind, incorporating rich functionality of the tool while maintaining a consistent way of working.

McGrattan, who's also a board member of Eclipse, said that Cafe would help reduce labour costs, with no acquisition costs up front. "It will be particularly appealing to systems integrators," she said.