I've attached below a press release that hit the wires this
morning. It details the formation of a company called Great Bridge,
LLC, which will professionally market and support PostgreSQL. We've
been working for about six months, learning about PostgreSQL,
testing it in our labs, talking with the core steering committee,
and we thought that the release of 7.0 was a good time to publicly
announce ourselves to the world.
My name is Ned Lilly; my role in the company is kind of a VP for
Hacker Relations.... I'd be happy to answer anyone's questions about
the company, our plans, etc.
The press release is also on our website at www.greatbridge.com -
along with a number of links to other information about PostgreSQL,
most of which will be familiar to this group. Among the links is a
web-based survey about your use of PostgreSQL - everyone who fills
out all the questions will get your choice of a T-shirt, mug, or
baseball cap from the PostgreSQL store at pgsql.com (btw,
PostgreSQL, Inc. doesn't have any official relationship with our
company - in this instance, we're just buying merchandise...) We
believe that the more companies working to support PostgreSQL (and
open source in general) the better; Marc and the rest of the core
group have been very gracious in welcoming us to the party, and we
expect that there will be other companies to jump in too as open
source gains wider acceptance in the business world.
As the release indicates, we're very interested in talking to anyone
who would like to work on PostgreSQL full-time - either in a
development or customer support role. Please direct all resumes,
letters, etc, to me at this address.
Thanks, and we'll see you out there!
Red Hat angel investor funds new open-source software
startup to take on database giants
Frank Batten Jr.'s new Great Bridge LLC to commercialize
world's most advanced open-source database
Norfolk, Va, May 9, 2000 - Landmark Communications, a large
privately held media company whose chairman bankrolled Linux leader
Red Hat Inc., announced it has funded a wholly owned subsidiary with
the intention of doing for databases what Red Hat did for Linux and
operating systems - give business a formidable open source
alternative to existing proprietary applications.
Newly formed Great Bridge LLC is backed by more than $25 million
from Landmark Communications, a media conglomerate involved in
broadcast, print and interactive media including The Weather
Channel, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, and weather.com. Batten
funded Red Hat's successful launch and IPO last year, and served on
its board of directors.
As Red Hat has done for the open-source Linux operating system,
Great Bridge will market commercial products, services and support
for PostgreSQL (popularly called "Postgres"), a rapidly evolving,
open-source database that rivals leading proprietary databases such
as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server in performance and features.
After recently winning the prestigious LinuxWorld award for Best
Database Management System, the judges said PostgreSQL "has become
one of the most mature and powerful open-source tools available."
Open-source software like PostgreSQL and Linux is freely owned,
enhanced and supported by global grassroots communities of elite
programmers, rather than by a single company. Working with this
collaborative software community, Great Bridge will help proliferate
the commercial adoption of Postgres by providing the financial
stability, assurance and professional support organization corporate
The Postgres development community consists of hundreds of
developers worldwide, guided by a six-member core steering group,
similar to the way Linux creator Linus Torvalds oversees and screens
new enhancements for Linux. A key member of the steering group is
joining Great Bridge as a senior developer, and the company intends
to recruit other members from the Postgres community as well.
"While PostgreSQL's Internet presence is growing rapidly, commercial
acceptance has been hampered by the lack of a large-scale support
organization," said Bruce Momjian, a PostgreSQL core member and
author of PostgreSQL: Introduction and Concepts (Addison-Wesley).
"Even though we continue to make huge advances using the open-source
development model, many businesses prefer to get database support
from a trusted, professional enterprise. I am excited to see Great
Bridge providing that support."
Great Bridge will operate initially as a wholly owned subsidiary of
Landmark, which under Batten's leadership has made significant
investments in other technology companies over the past two years.
Alfred Ritter, former Landmark executive vice president and CFO,
will head the company as president and CEO. Robert Strickland,
former Landmark chief technology officer who held senior technology
officer positions at MediaOne, Harvard Business School and The
Weather Channel, will serve as CTO. Ned Lilly, a veteran of several
Landmark-funded web startups, will serve as vice president of
open-source development. David Mele, a new ventures director at
Landmark and former manager with Andersen Consulting, will serve as
vice president of marketing.
"We strongly believe that the open-source process is a fundamentally
better way to develop software," said Frank Batten, Jr., Chairman of
the Board, Landmark Communications. "Products like Red Hat Linux and
Apache Web Server proved these technologies can be commercial
successes thanks to the faster development cycles, fewer bugs and
better flexibility their development communities were able to
deliver. The next big venue for the open-source movement will be the
database market. We scrutinized all the potential open-source
database systems, and Postgres was by far the most sophisticated,
ready-for-prime time offering."
Postgres in progress
Today's unveiling of Great Bridge coincides with the Postgres
development community's launch of PostgreSQL version 7.0, which adds
significant performance improvements, new querying capabilities, and
over 300 other enhancements.
While Great Bridge will officially open for business in August, the
company has already made significant progress working with the
Postgres community to help make the technology a commercial
* In March, Great Bridge hosted the first-ever face-to-face meeting
of the PostgreSQL core developers- a three-day meeting in San
Francisco at which the core steering group and Great Bridge agreed
to coordinate their respective efforts on technology improvements,
with Great Bridge focusing on identifying key product and service
features required by business customers.
* Great Bridge has established a testing and integration lab and
initiated the most comprehensive benchmark tests of PostgreSQL to
date to give corporate technology buyers fair and accurate product
* The company has launched what it believes is the most extensive
market research program ever conducted for an open-source software
product to help it better understand and meet customer needs, and
lay the foundation for the company's business model. These efforts
include an initial round of 32 qualitative focus groups conducted
across four U.S. cities and an ongoing program of statistically
valid quantitative research.
"While open-source development yields superior software, businesses
have been reluctant to deploy open-source alternatives without a
reliable, professional enterprise behind them. The Postgres
community has done an exemplary job in developing a standards-based,
object-relational SQL database that can handle the heaviest demands
of many e-commerce and enterprise applications," said Ritter.
"Postgres can only get better. The community will continue to
develop its capabilities beyond the award-winning features and
performance it has already achieved. We at Great Bridge will be
active contributing members of the community. And, we are committed
to providing the kind of service and support that will encourage
businesses to enjoy the benefits of this open-source database."
Great Bridge will unveil its initial product and service offerings
in August, along with additional members of its management team, and
information regarding its channel strategy and business model.
About Great Bridge
Great Bridge LLC is committed to making open-source software
commercially viable, and will be the leading commercial provider of
PostgreSQL database products, service and support. Headquartered in
Norfolk, Va., Great Bridge is a wholly owned subsidiary of Landmark
Communications Inc. (www.landmarkcom.com), a multinational media
company with businesses in newspapers; broadcasting; cable
programming; electronic publishing; and specialty media, including
guide books, billboards, interactive media and a new career schools
division. The privately held company employs more than 5,000 people
Contact: Ed Marshall
Beaupre & Co. Public Relations
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