Do Databases Lie at the Heart of Open Source?


The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology of Jordan seems to think so:

Ingres Corporation, the leading open source database management company and pioneer of the New Economics of IT, and the Government of Jordan announced today that they have joined forces to establish the first ever agreement between an international company and a government to promote and drive open source adoption. Ingres and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology of Jordan (MOICT) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to achieve the widespread use of information technology and communication, particularly open source technology from Ingres, throughout the local software infrastructure in Jordan.

Now, obviously I'm delighted to see Jordan aspire to become the open source “hub” for the Middle East, as the press release puts it: we sorely need a focal point for free software there. And the activities that Ingres will organise seem eminently sensible:

Organize “boot camps” to address technical requirements for the community

Offer free training to certify individuals from the IT industry

Arrange executive calls to assist MOICT in understanding the world-wide open source market

Provide software and support for a laboratory in one of Jordan’s leading universities

Train a group of specialists to implement a specific government service project

Support MOICT initiatives to promote open source through workshops, academic initiatives, and local partner support

Promote Jordan as a hub for the open source technology in the region

But is Ingres the right company to do this? By that I don't mean to cast aspersions on Ingres or its products: I just wonder whether an open source *database* company can really offer the breadth required to create an all-encompassing “hub” that reflects the tremendous richness of free software. Indeed, I wonder whether any one outfit could: maybe it would be better to create a consortium of companies from different parts of the open source world who together could offer complete coverage.

What are your views?

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