Interview with Jan Karremans, Director at Data Management Company: EDB

EDB offers an enterprise-ready open-source database management system, tools, and services. Our system builds on an open-source database called Postgres, surrounding it with additional software capabilities so companies such as Mastercard, IKEA, and ACI, can use it to run large-scale applications.

We’re based in Boston, with offices globally, and our customers include 28% of the Fortune 500 companies and 22% of the Fortune 100. EDB provides technical leadership, vision, and core development to the Postgres community, and has been the largest contributor for the last 15 years.
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What is Postgres, what does it do and why is it important?

Databases collect and track data. A simple question typed into a search engine, such as, “Where’s my local coffee shop?” requires retrieving and making sense of lots of data quickly. Where Postgres is superior to other databases is speed – it can run tens of thousands of transactions per second. Because it’s open-source, companies can get their products and services to market faster and at a lower cost than if they used closed-source alternatives with restrictive agreements that slow them down.

Postgres is a community project, owned by nobody and therefore owned by everybody. It’s the most liberal project in the world. Users aren’t required to be part of the community in order to participate – and you can use, adopt and build your own software using Postgres. Amazon’s AWS, for example, is an interpretation of Postgres – which they now use to operate the likes of Snapchat, Deliveroo and Disney+.

There are approximately ten million Postgres databases globally, managing all kinds of information – from the provenance of cheese to the position of all the virtual bricks in The Lego Movie.


Why is open source important and why should companies consider it?

Open-source software provides an openly available source code, allowing people to work together and create something anyone can access for free. The cost is the main reason the proliferation of open-source software like Postgres has gone insane across the world.

For a long time, companies were wary of using open source because they thought it was too risky. The hard efforts of the Postgres community, along with commercial support by companies like EDB have made it into a superior technology that’s fast, secure, and cost-effective. Today, open-source databases are more popular than commercial databases.

What can we hope to see from EDB in the future?

Our responsibility is to the open-source community and businesses we work with. As members of that community, we aim to keep contributing to Postgres development to maintain its place as the world’s most advanced database system.

In 2020, EDB posted a 59% increase in annual recurring revenue and 117% net customer expansion. This latest figure caps 45 consecutive quarters of growth for EDB. However, we do not intend to rest on our laurels. We’ll continue on this trajectory in the coming months and years.

Our commitment is also to the organisations we work with and those we will work with in the future. As the bridge between Postgres and businesses, our goal is to continue to contribute to the growth of Postgres and, in turn, the growth of our customers.

Finally, we must also seek to continue to make Postgres easier to use so that any business can reap the benefits, not just developers.