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How Ingres Is Still Changing the Database World

Back in 2005 Wired magazine published a very interesting issue depicting how George Lucas’ blockbuster movie Star Wars eventually spawned a whole legion of special effects experts, all the way from Pixar to movies by James Cameron. The graphic can be found here if you are interested

It got me to thinking how some of the recent new innovations in database technology have similar spin off roots. For example from Michael Stonebraker who founded Ingres and PostgreSQL databases we have many other successful companies in the marketplace.


  • PostgreSQL is the foundation of Greenplum, acquired by EMC and Asterdata, acquired by Teradata
  • Michael also founded Streambase in 2003
  • Streambase’s CEO at one point was Barry Morris who is now co-founder with Jim Starkey at NuoDB a NewSQL database
  • Daniel Abadi collaborated and co-authored (together with others the C-store, column store paper). Daniel has now founded Hadapt a PostgreSQL/Hadoop combo
  • They also collaborated on H-Store which is now the commercial offering VoltDB

Of course this is no surprise, in an industry as large as the database market ($100 Billion in opportunity), there’s room for more than one or even a hundred better mousetraps. But I just have to say kudos to Mr. Stonebraker for 4 decades of innovation and the continued desire and successful evolution of database technology.

As you may have guessed my title “How Ingres is still changing the database world” is a bit tongue in cheek, since Ingres has since renamed itself Actian and has Ingres and Vectorwise as two separate products and aren’t in any way directly related to what Mr. Stonebraker is doing today. But from those humble beginnings in the Berkeley lab, his early pioneering work on relational databases in the Ingres and Postgres projects, has made things very interesting and competitive in a world which also includes NoSQL databases, Hadoop and alike.

It’s definitely a fun time to be in the Big Data and database space!

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