An Open Letter to Our InterBase Customers

By: David Intersimone

Abstract: Frank Slootman, VP  Software Products, issues a statement of direction for InterBase in an open letter to the InterBase community.

An Open Letter to Our InterBase. Customers

We are pleased to issue this statement of direction with regards to the InterBase. open source project and our commercial releases of InterBase. We are committed to supporting the InterBase product line, our valued customers, and the many respected partners and third-parties who add value to the product and provide quality support and services to the many InterBase customers worldwide.

We feel there is much to be gained from the collective enthusiasm and talent inherent in the open source movement, notably the ability to further InterBase by tapping the many and varied resources available in the community. We feel it is important that Inprise/Borland continues to provide our installed base - including corporate customers, VARs, OEMs, and government clients - with certified commercial releases. So, we have determined to both actively support our InterBase open source project and continue to certify and release commercial versions of InterBase.

Open Source

Over the past few weeks, we have been working to make our InterBase project hosted on Source Forge http://sourceforge.net/projects/interbase more complete and better organized. Currently there are four projects hosted on Source Forge by Inprise:

The new InterBase 6.0.1 binaries and kits have also been updated on http://www.inprise.com/interbase/downloads/, correcting the problems encountered with some of the original kits posted July 25, 2000. We are also preparing documentation, build procedures and other documents to be used as reference materials for the InterBase community. It is from these documents that we hope the community will guide itself when taking an active role in this open source development project. We will also make a series of test suites available to the community for developers to check code against before submitting it to the tree for review. Please look for the IBTests project to be active in the next few days on http://sourceforge.net/projects/ib-tests.

The individuals on the build committee ("committers") will continue to be identified over the coming weeks. Our vision is to have a solid team of committers that is split between individuals internal and external to Inprise/Borland, the list of which we will further publish as committers are identified. Additional news and information regarding InterBase and the Inprise open source project will periodically be posted at http://www.inprise.com/interbase.

Due to the nature of the open source license, other entities are empowered to certify their own versions of InterBase. In support of this, Inprise/Borland is evaluating how to license a meaningful assortment of QA test suites to members of the community. We will also be evaluating the use of copyrights and registered trademarks owned by Inprise/Borland relative to the InterBase name. We are working to make all important decisions as quickly as possible and will post information on www.inprise.com/interbase as it becomes available.

We ask for your continued encouragement and input as we work to make our InterBase open source project successful. Your comments are appreciated and can be directed to interbase@inprise.com or posted to one of the many newsgroups, found at: http://www.inprise.com/newsgroups/#interbase.

Inprise/Borland Certified Releases

Periodically, Inprise/Borland will test and certify versions of InterBase for commercial release. The first of these will be a derivative of the InterBase 6.0.1 code which has been posted to Source Forge. We are in the process of certifying the final components of this release and will then make it available to our customers and partners via our regular distribution channels. Inprise/Borland will resume its marketing and sales efforts around certified releases of InterBase and will meet customer commitments and offer support and services http://www.inprise.com/devsupport/interbase/ in conjunction with these releases.

We encourage third-party companies to offer support and services for all versions of InterBase, including open source versions and any other-certified releases. This is a great opportunity for the many talented developers, consultants, and trainers who are members of the InterBase community worldwide.

In addition, Inprise/Borland is currently in search of a Manager of the InterBase product line who will also be active in the open source project. A detailed job description will be posted at http://www.inprise.com/about/hr/ within the next several days. This person will be tasked with running the InterBase line of business which will include both managing the release process for certifying releases of InterBase and acting as a single point of contact for Inprise/Borland to guide and communicate our proposed directions for the Inprise open source project. Interested candidates should apply by emailing their resume to resume@inprise.com

Thank You for Your Support !

InterBase is a strong product with a loyal following. Without the strength of the community, the direction we are now taking would not be possible. We look forward to supporting the product going forward and joining the open source movement to create ever-better versions of InterBase.

It is an exciting time to be at Inprise/Borland and I look forward to the opportunities ahead as we focus on bringing to market our superior development tools, including InterBase, and our best-of-class Application Server solutions. Again, I thank you for your interest in InterBase and look forward to supporting the success of your various endeavors.

Respectfully,
Frank Slootman
VP  Software Products
Inprise/Borland


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