TmaxSoft goes after Oracle licenses in Canada

Korean software firm TmaxSoft wants your database business – and its new Canadian office is prepared to undersell the competition to get it.

The 19 year-old company, which sells IT infrastructure software, has set up shop in Mississauga and is focusing on price competitiveness with its three-pronged product line. Alongside OpenFrame, its legacy hosting software, it will sell its web application framework, called Jeus and Webtop, and a relational database product called Tibero.

The firm has been in the US since 2002, and CEO Satya Sarangi said that the time was right to tackle the Canadian market.

“We are a global software company but didn’t have a presence in Canada,” he said. “Canada has big potential for all our solutions, including our database as well as our OpenFrame mainframe modernization product. That’s the reason we opened an office and we’re planning for fast growth.”

The relational database market is tough, dominated as it is by the incumbent players such as Oracle and Microsoft, and by open source options like Postgres and MySQL, popular with the LAMP stack set. Sarangi is nevertheless hoping to pick up business based on fallout from a shift in Oracle’s licensing strategy.

“Our Tibero database is compatible with all the current database products, such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL and IBM DB2,” he explained. “With our licensing and maintenance costs, the total TCO can be half their current costs with their current database providers.”

Licensing concerns

Oracle came under fire for changes to its licensing strategy announced when it launched version 2 of its Standard Edition database last September. The firm halved the number of sockets that customers could use with the product to two, and each socket can only use a maximum of 16 CPU threads. Industry watchers said this would stop people bolting together multiple instances of the entry-level product and using VMware to scale them.

The controversy over Oracle licensing heated up when software licensing group the Campaign for Clear Licensing published an open letter to Oracle’s executive chair Larry Ellison earlier this month, asking the company to clear up its act and be more open with its licensing structure.

Last November, the group published a report in which 92 per cent of customers said that Oracle wasn’t being clear with its licensing strategy.

“A lot of Oracle customers are being forced to move from SE and SE1 to Enterprise Edition,” said Sarangi. “We can offer the same kinds of versions at a lower cost. They don’t have to move just because Oracle is forcing them to move.”

Moving from the mainframe

TmaxSoft is also hoping to wean Canadian institutions off their mainframes. Its OpenFrame product takes legacy code written in languages like COBOL and PL/1, and hosts it on an x86-based Linux architecture. Unlike other code modernization projects, this doesn’t involve rewriting, he said, but could save them around 60 per cent of their current mainframe costs.

“We would like to help them be able to rehost their mainframe so that they don’t have those costs, which also makes their infrastructure open to cloud-based systems, and makes it more open so that they can move faster to a digital world and not have issues accessing their data,” Sarangi concluded.

The company, which also provides a hosted version of its database product, will host code and data locally rather than in Korea, he said. He wouldn’t reveal how many people would be working at the firm, but said that it would have level 1, 2 and 3 engineers on the ground here in Canada.

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Danny Bradbury
Danny Bradbury
Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with over 20 years' experience writing about security, software development, and networking.

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