August 8, 2005—The group developing the Apache Software Foundation's Derby database has released an upgrade to the software and the project has graduated from its "incubator" status to an Apache subproject.

Apache Derby has been released, according to information on the project's Website. The changes include a new, open source network client driver for remote access to the Derby network server, which means developers no longer have to use IBM's Universal JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) driver, according to the software's release notes, which also list several other updates and fixes.

The software can be downloaded from Apache.

Derby moved out of incubator status last month to become a subproject in the Apache Software Foundation's broader database project. New projects often go through the incubation stage to help assess their maturity and ability to attract developers, and to help set up the infrastructure they need to grow. Derby began life as a mobile database developed by a software startup called Cloudscape, which was acquired by Informix Software in 1999. Informix was in turn acquired by IBM, which donated Cloudscape to the Apache Software Foundation last year for development under the Derby project.

It is a lightweight, Java-based relational database with a memory footprint of only about 2 MB. It's significantly less resource-intensive than enterprise databases such as IBM's DB2. Its target use is to underpin small Websites, point-of-sale systems, and departmental-level or small-business applications. It uses standard SQL and JDBC as its APIs.

James Niccolai is a Paris-based correspondent for the IDG News Service.

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