IBM is donating half a million lines of code from its Cloudscape database to the open source community, care of the Apache Software Foundation.
IBM said the move would spur the development of Java applications, The FT reports, acknowledging the contribution open source developers can make to corporate strategy. The move also suggests IBM is not taking the open source street cred it has gained from its fight with SCO for granted.
Greg Stein, director of the Apache Software Foundation, said that open source developers would "improve on Cloudscape, build new tools and take it in directions that IBM either could not or did not think of".
Cloudscape is a small-footprint Java database, designed to be embedded in handheld computers or point-of-sale terminals. It is a world away from IBM's core DB2 database business. IBM acquired Cloudscape when it bought Informix for $1bn in 2001. Informix paid $85m for the database in 1999.
IBM will still offer its own version of the product, counting on a full tech support offering to attract customers. ®