Object database goes open source

Startup company db4objects this week is releasing its object database, db4o, under an open source format, with the product now available either under the GPL via open source or commercially as embeddable software.

Built for Java and .Net development, db4o enables storage of objects, according to the company. An example of an object could be a vitamin in a biotech application or a brake configuration in an automotive application, according to Christof Wittig, CEO of db4objects.

"Our database, basically it helps object-oriented developers using Java or .Net objects to simply store the objects," instead of having to disassemble and reassemble them for storage in a relational database, Wittig said.

db4objects adheres to a dual-licensing strategy, offering both commercial and open source options, like database vendor MySQL AB, Wittig noted.

To seed the market, users can download the database for free and use it for non-commercial purposes under the GPL, through which users must release source code for changes made to the software. The company believes previous object databases failed "because they were not penetrating the market because they were too high-priced," Wittig said.

The product's alternative commercial licensing, for embedding in units such as mobile devices, costs US$9 per device runtime. Companies developing and shipping proprietary products also can receive support and indemnification. Open source users also can purchase support.

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