Red Hat to announce new open source database app

By Todd R. Weiss, Computerworld online |  Development

Leading Linux operating system vendor Red Hat Inc. will branch out its Linux offerings next week with its first database application.

The Durham, N.C.-based company teasingly revealed the pending new product Tuesday while announcing its first-quarter financial figures for fiscal year 2002.

Michael Tiemann, Red Hat's chief technology officer, said in an interview today that the new offering will continue the company's trend of adding technologies as they are sought by customers.

"Customers are looking for more integrated solutions from open source and we see that as a natural opportunity to supply database technology on our Red Hat Linux platform," Tiemann said. In January, Red Hat acquired e-commerce software from open source e-commerce software vendor Akopia Inc. in Reston, Va., while last August it acquired Oakland, Calif.-based C2Net Software Inc., the creators of the Apache-based Stronghold secure Web server.

Tiemann refused to give further details about the new database, which will be officially unveiled on Monday.

Red Hat's financial results for the quarter ending May 31, 2001, showed revenue of US$25.6 million, up 18 percent from $21.7 million reported for the same quarter a year ago. Revenue declined 5 percent from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001.

Red Hat's adjusted net income totaled $600,000, or break even per share for the quarter, compared to an adjusted net loss of $3.7 million, or 2 cents per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2001. On a reported basis, the net loss was $27.6 million, or 16 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $17.4 million, or 11 cents per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2001.

"In an increasingly difficult IT environment, Red Hat delivered a profit and generated positive cash flows for the first time," said company president and CEO Matthew Szulik, in a statement. "Companies continue to migrate their platforms to Red Hat Linux and to adopt open source solutions for mission-critical applications."

Red Hat has signed up several new customers in recent months, including contracts with Thrifty Car Rental to use Red Hat Linux for database configuration and reporting systems, and a deal with the National Hockey League's NHL.com Web site to use IBM Linux Systems running Red Hat Linux 7.

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