NEW DELHI, INDIA : If a DBA were to select a database management system about a decade ago, he had very few vendors to choose from. There was Oracle, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server. But before Sybase or even SQL Server came into existence as an industry scale relational database management systems, there was Ingres that had established itself as an RDBMS. Ingres can be rightly termed as the 'granddaddy' of all the relational databases as it has been a well-known name in the database business for long, and now it is available as open source. Ingres is a high performance and highly scalable database systems, which also has features for higher availability, backup capability and higher level of security that matches the best of any other open source database product.
In this article we'll look at how Ingres has progressed from a funded research project to an enterprise-class database system, and also a hands-on experience with this database system and its mgmt functionalities.
| Applies to: Database developers & DBAs
USP: Open source enterprise class RDBMS
Primary Link: ww.ingres.com/products/ ingres-database.php
Ingres history and benefits
"INteractive Graphics and REtrieval System," Ingres was a research project at University of California, Berkeley, started in early 1970s for a relational database research. The Ingres source code was available at a modest fee and several companies use the Ingres source code to build products. The core Ingres code not only forms the base of Ingres Database, but also forms the foundation of several other industry-leading RDBMS systems as well, like PostgreSql. Two scientists, Michael Stonebraker and Eugene Wong, who worked on this relational database research project, founded a company named Relational Technology Inc in 1980 to market Ingres products. The company converted the Ingres code to incorporate various front-end tools for creating and manipulating the databases. They also started introducing application development tools and distributed database concepts with Ingres. This was the time when Ingres leaded Oracle in the industry database system. Ingres had been one of the first database systems to introduce advanced features like triggers and stored procedures. While Oracle was concentrated toward SQL compatibility, Ingres stuck to the Quel support from the Ingres research project. This could be attributed as a drawback for the decline in Ingres market as customers favored Oracle over Ingres. Though Oracle was backed by better marketing, Ingres lacked that and as a result it wasn't well known in the industry. Then in 1994 the company was taken over by Computer Associates who offered Ingres under various brands like OpenIngres and Ingres II. The first open source database of Ingres product-line was released in 2004 and Ingres Corporation was formed as company by Computer Associates that would take care of the support services for the open source products. Ingres Corporation released Ingres 2006 under GNU General Public License in 2006.
|Ingres Visual Manager indicates which components have been started (marked green) and also displays the log of activities
Being open source, it is the only database system that is regarded as an enterprise class database solution having features of better management and performance. Ingres maintains the data integrity by method of transactional journaling and thus offers better data recovery and backup facilities. Scalability is always an attribute that organizations look for while opting for a database solution, Ingres provides higher scalability option as it supports multiple levels of sub-partitions to tables, so as to give user flexibility in designing tables to match their usage criterion. Ingres supports various operating platforms so it can be deployed in most of the development and production environments. Ingres supports development with many different programming languages like Java, C++, PHP, .NET, Ruby, Python etc. to develop applications that can leverage Ingres as a database. The installation of the Ingres solution is also a quick and easy process compared to that of other leading RDBMS solutions. And with tools for administering and application development, one can pretty much get all the features from this open source database solution which highly priced solutions like Oracle and MS SqlServer have to offer.
|On clicking 'Add Object', a database under a server can be added. Create Database window also has option of creating distributed database
With this month's PCQ Professional DVD we bring you Ingres II 2006, which can be used to install Ingres database system on a Windows platform. As we mentioned that installing Ingres is a simple process, you just have to extract the content of the zipped file to a directory and execute/run the setup.exe file. With this the .NET Data Provider for Ingres as well as the documentation files for Ingres gets installed along with the Ingres Database and administering tools. Once the installation process gets completed, the Ingres Visual Manager and the Ingres system-tray icon appear on the screen. Using the system tray icon the Ingres Visual Manager can also be started later on. The Visual Manager shows the various components of the instance are started or not. The Ingres database process can be started by right-clicking on the Ingres Installation root node and then selecting the Start option. Even when you wish to stop the server instance, you can use Visual Manager to stop the database server.
|Performance Monitor tool can help you see the information about the system as well as the database sessions, logs and locks information
Ingres provides visual interface tool for database creation and administration called as Ingres Visual DBA. You can start the Visual DBA by using the system-tray icon. When you navigate through the nodes tree to the Ingres server, you can connect to the database server and then on the right panel you can see the Database Object Manager window. The Database Manger window also provides nodes whereby we can create profiles, users as well as roles for the users through this interface. To create a database we click on the Add Object button, or by right-clicking on the database node we can add a new database. On 'create new database' window, we can give name of the database as well as we can select the option of creating a distributed databases and from the Location tab, we can specify the location of the database. Similarly, to create tables for a database, just expand the node of that particular database name. And from under the table's node, we can select Add Object button to add a new table under that database.
For administration, Ingres has some utility tools like Ingres Performance Monitor, which can be used to monitor system-related or performance information in the Performance Monitor window. With this system NameServer, Network info and database locks, and information pertaining to sessions can be monitored.
Ingres being an open source RDBMS is a strong database that has features as well as performance capability to match the leading industry database systems like Oracle and MS SqlServer. But it remains to be seen how much community work can propel this open source database to the heights and popularity of that achieved by MySQL.