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Hoping to appeal to cost-conscious IT shops, open source developers Ingres and Alfresco have worked in concert to deliver a software appliance that will serve as an alternative to Microsoft's SharePoint.
The Icebreaker ECM Appliance, which melds Ingres' database with Alfresco's content management system, works with Linux and will run with good performance on commodity hardware, according to officials from both companies.
Using the economic crisis as leverage, officials from both companies believe the trend of two or more open source companies working together to deliver a single, more cost-effective solution will accelerate over the course of this year.
"This is just one solution of many we'll be seeing more of in 2009, where open source companies combine their technologies and position them as alternatives to overpriced proprietary offerings," Roger Burkhardt, the CEO of Ingres, said in a statement. "We think the days of predatory pricing by large software companies are on the way out."
Another element that signals the trend may continue is the mushrooming amount of content both large and small IT shops are forced to handle. These shops are under increasing pressure to come up with not just inexpensive, but technically sound content management solutions.
According to a recent study from Forrester Research, office paper has experienced double-digit growth year over year since 1995.
Consequently, an increasing number of users are spending more time trying to locate important data. The new combined offering, which concentrates on capturing, storing managing, preserving, and delivering data, directly addresses these problems.
"Content is growing at unprecedented rates, and document retention is becoming the norm. Today's content management solutions are often cost prohibitive and difficult to implement -- until now," Deb Woods, VP of product management at Ingres, in a said statement.
One advantage of the tightly integrated technical pieces from two vendors is that together they save resources associated with typical up-front integration and configuration issues associated with implementing an enterprise content management solution, officials from each company said.
And because the new bundle creates a single point of contact for technical support -- which in this case is Ingres -- it also serves to reduce maintenance costs, they said.