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Apache Derby Project Charter

Derby Project Charter

The Derby project develops open source database technology that is:

  • Pure Java
  • Easy to use
  • Small footprint
  • Standards based
  • Secure

Database Technology

Database technology is defined as software that processes data related requests from applications. Data requests include data definition, data modification, and data retrieval. The Derby project does not develop database GUI tools or IDEs.

Pure Java

Derby technology is written in Java in order to take advantage of Java’s write once, run anywhere promise. Java platforms such as OSGi, J2ME, J2SE and J2EE are supported as appropriate.

Easy to Use

Derby intends to be easy for software developers to use and to impose no administrative burden on end users.

Small Footprint

Derby provides significant functionality, fits in a small code size footprint, and uses runtime resources efficiently.

Standards based

Derby adheres to database standards such as JDBC and the ANSI/ISO SQL specification. This means that Derby provides modern relational database functionality, including SQL syntax, transaction management, concurrency, triggers, and online backups. It also means that developers can migrate easily to other databases later on.


Derby provides secure data management appropriate to the environment where the engine runs. While traditional enterprise database systems rely on machines being physically isolated in a locked room, Derby databases often reside on unprotected laptops and other unattended hardware.

Derby Technologies

Derby embedded database engine

The core Derby technology is a fully functional, embedded database engine. The engine can be programmed using SQL over JDBC.

Derby network server

The Derby network server provides traditional client/server access to the Derby engine. The network server lets clients connect over TCP/IP using a subset of the DRDA protocol. The network server supports connections from networked JDBC, ODBC/CLI, Perl, and PHP clients.

Database Utilities

  • ij -- a tool that allows SQL scripts to be executed against any JDBC database, including non-Derby databases.
  • dblook -- a schema extraction tool for a Derby database.
  • sysinfo -- a utility to display version numbers and class path.

Derby History

In 1996, a start-up called Cloudscape Inc. was founded in Oakland, California in order to develop Java database technology. In 1997, Cloudscape released the first version of its database engine, then called JBMS. Subsequently, the product was renamed as Cloudscape and the company adopted a six month release cadence. In 1999, Informix Software, Inc., acquired Cloudscape, Inc.. In 2001, IBM acquired the database assets of Informix Software, including Cloudscape. IBM re-branded the database engine as IBM Cloudscape and releases continued, mainly focussing on embedded use with IBM's Java products and middleware. In August 2004, IBM contributed the code to the Apache Software Foundation as Derby, an Incubator project sponsored by the Apache DB project (see the Incubator proposal). In July 2005, Derby graduated from the Incubator as an Apache DB sub-project.

Last updated: 09-September-2017