Open letter to my friends at EnterpriseDB

With the recent announcement from Amazon that PostgreSQL will be available as a standard RDS option,  I feel compelled to ask you to consider what would happen if you open sourced Postgres Plus Advanced Server….

Here’s one plausible scenario to consider…

1) Postgres usage and adoption rates will excel a rate not seen to date.  It would be a no brainer for Amazon and many others to include Advanced Server in their solutions and offerings.  Let’s face it, I’m confident they don’t like paying for proprietary software any more than their users do.  Check out the difference in instance pricing between Postgres and Oracle.

2) Converting from Oracle to Postgres would be as easy as “spinning up an instance”…  Ok maybe not that easy, but it sure would be easy to try, and work in many of today’s data usage scenarios.  I would bet over time the community would continue to make it easier and easier.

3) A key barrier to Enterprise customer adoption would be removed.  Migration projects are costly and take time.  If your going to invest to make the transition, do you really want to end up on another closed platform?  

4) Your business would boom with the rising tide.  You could focus your marketing might on valuable customer support, focused services, training and solutions.

5) You would be instrumental in helping Postgres achieve its full potential and a true catalyst for change.  Your team would be aligned with the community at large.  I have heard your team say “we all win together”.

6) Your shareholders would be rewarded.  Even common stock holders! (Full disclosure: I do own some common stock)

From my viewpoint the time is now;  you hold the keys to enabling a great tipping point. 


  1. Gary LongGary Long11-18-2013

    Hi Charles,

    I’m not sure how the AWS announcement changes the open versus closed source argument for EDB Advanced Server, which is already available on AWS … though perhaps not as well-promoted as this announcement.

    The people using AWS are not necessarily hackers who would care if they can get the source.

    (While I am on EDB’s board, the above is my personal comment, not the company’s.)


    Gary Long

    • Charles GerthCharles Gerth11-19-2013

      Hi Gary, No direct connection to “opening up” EDB Advanced Server and the recent AWS announcement… but… The value prop jumped out at me by looking at the delta in Amazon’s RDS Postgres and Oracle Instance pricing.

      Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing something about Advanced Server Plus’s availability on AWS but, since its “buried” (maybe because its closed source?) I honestly forgot about it.

      Many of our customers use open products because they know then can “hack” the code if they need to (or a close partner could). Even though they may have no direct interest in the source code at the present time, they are tired of being “locked in” and subject to a single vendor’s control.

      Our recent release of PostgreSQL Studio is a good case in point. While there is “some” interest in the source code, there is significant interest in the product. We are fairly confident the download traffic would have been significantly lower if we used a more restrictive license.

      Just my independent thoughts on this one. Its easy to say “open up your IP” but without access to the underlying sales data, I could be totally wrong. Time will tell on this one.



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