Infor aligns with PostgreSQL, aims at Oracle's heart

Infor aligns with Red Hat and EnterpriseDB to create an open source technology stack that aims to cut cost of ownership by with lower license and maintenance fees.

Infor on Wednesday outlined a partnership with Red Hat and EnterpriseDB to deliver its Infor LN enterprise resource planning software, used in manufacturing, on an open source technology stack featuring PostgreSQL as a database.

The plan for Infor is to use open source to lower its total cost of ownership and better compete with the likes of Oracle and SAP. Infor has worked with Red Hat since 2012 and the addition of EnterpriseDB, which offers a version of the PostgreSQL database, gives it a more complete stack.

Specifically, Infor will run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss middleware and EnterpriseDB's Postgres Plus.

Infor CEO Charles Phillips said that an open source stack means fewer licensing and distribution restrictions and the ability to shift between the cloud and on-premise installations. Phillips comments could be viewed as a dig against former employer Oracle and its database.

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For Infor, the PostgreSQL move makes sense. The company is migrating its on-premise customers to the cloud and those licenses — usually Oracle — would have to be transferred either to Infor or held by customers. In addition, companies like EnterpriseDB and Red Hat are good partners because they want a large independent software vendor on open source.

"An open stack makes it easier to control the experience and move licenses around," said Phillips.

He added that Infor worked closely with EnterpriseDB and Red Hat to optimize the stack. As a result, Phillips said Infor customers can get the same performance for 80 percent savings.

"A lot of Internet companies are using PostgreSQL and contributing back code," said Phillips, who added that some of that code ensured Oracle compatibility.

When Infor pitches the savings as well as nuking incremental costs like moving licenses, the PostgreSQL case is easy to make, said Phillips. "For a lot of customers, it's a no brainer because many are using PostgreSQL and MySQL for custom apps," he said.

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