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Gibraltar Software Acquires VistaDB


When we started Gibraltar Software we always intended that it would grow to encompass multiple products that each fit with our common mission of helping .NET developers build rock solid software.

We’re thrilled to announce that Gibraltar Software is the new home for VistaDB – an embedded SQL Server-compatible database engine.  As you may recall, we’ve been enthusiastic about this product since we found it while doing the initial development of Gibraltar.  Over time we only got more interested in its potential to help developers in all kinds of situations where you want a database but don’t want SQL Server.

We use it ourselves in every part of our product – Analyst, Hub Server, and Agent.  There’s even a small database in every package file.  While we know that often SQL Server is a great answer as you scale up there are a lot of places where a small, portable database engine that’s upward compatible with SQL Server is just what the doctor ordered.

We’d been in discussions for some time with the owners of VistaDB about ways we could bring the two products together and finally found a way that made good sense for both parties.  Accordingly, we’re taking over full development, support, and sales for VistaDB as of October 1st.

What’s this mean for Gibraltar?

There are several great things that will come out of this.  First off, we will be able to use our real-world experience in Gibraltar to help optimize the performance of VistaDB.  There’s nothing like having to live and die by your own software to make you pay attention.  This will benefit all of the users of Gibraltar by improving its scalability and performance.

Secondly, while these products are both for the .NET market they’re far enough apart to have different sales cycles.  This is important because it means we can afford to put more revenue into product development instead of having to hold it back for the lean times that inevitably arrive in any single market.

Third, the added exposure of VistaDB will help us market Gibraltar – and that will provide more & better feedback on where the product needs to go.  Thanks to the additional revenue we’ll be able to act on that feedback faster.  In short, your investment in software maintenance with Gibraltar just got more valuable.

Finally, we are going to add staff to help us ramp up to handle both products and ensure that we can keep delivering enhancements at the pace you’ve come to expect since Gibraltar went live.

What’s this mean for VistaDB?

Much of the same things that apply for Gibraltar also apply for VistaDB – more resources for improving the core engine, confidence that we are as dependent as you are on having it work great, and the comfort that the product will be supported for years to come.

We will be developing a roadmap for VistaDB development over the next month based on feedback from the existing community.  Meanwhile, the current site will stay up with some minor changes while we work to integrate the sales & user communities.

Our first priorities will be to establish the ability to get trial versions and handle licensing for VistaDB.  Concurrent with that we’re going to set up the right support channels so you can get the same exceptional service that Gibraltar customers have enjoyed.  The vibrant user forum at VistaDB will also stay up.

Meanwhile, you can continue to access your VistaDB account, perform activations of older versions, and generally carry on as you did before.


If you’d like to get your ideas to the head of the queue and are an existing VistaDB customer, send us email to support at  We’ll be doing some formal feedback gathering, but why wait and risk being missed – get us your ideas today.  We’ve proven repeatedly we listen to our customers when figuring out what to develop.

For the formal announcement, check out the press release.

26 thoughts on “Gibraltar Software Acquires VistaDB

  1. Great to hear you’re taking over VistaDB. I look forward to seeing what directions you take the product. 🙂

  2. Ben

    I am very glad to hear you are acquiring VistaDB. What better company to move VistaDB forward than a company that specializes in quantifying performance and usage.

  3. We’re thrilled. Our strategic direction in the future included VistaDB; we held thing up to see where the technology was headed; we’re now full-speed-ahead with the development! Six products in the next six months, all with VistaDB embedded!

  4. That’s awesome! Please do not hesitate to reach out for anything we can do to help you out with that. And definitely check out Gibraltar too 🙂

  5. Hi Kendall,

    Good to read that VistaDB will continue to be developed. Wish you good luck with it!

    Maybe you can make VistaDB work again on Windows Mobile? But it will take a lot of time, money and effort to support that…

  6. Congratulations!

  7. That’s always a possibility, based on if there’s enough demand. We are eying the new Windows Phone 7 for some opportunities as well.

  8. Uwe

    I am very happy about that decision. I was already planning on removing VistaDB support from our Test Management Software “Zeta Test”, since I only want to use supported products.

    Gladly, you saved my day!

  9. We’re glad to hear it, thanks for continuing to support VistaDB.

  10. Jarid

    Glad to hear that the Torch has been passed to a company with a vested interest in the product.

    We are looking for significantly faster data lookup and manipulation performance within the core engine.

    Best wishes and congrats !

  11. Thanks for that feedback. We’re definitely keen to find out what we can do on the performance front.

  12. This is good news for sure. Any new news or updates on this? 🙂

  13. We’re working some internal integration issues (ecommerce and licensing) as well as working on a product strategy through several channels. It’s going to take a few weeks to bring that together so we can then announce what things are going to look like going forward. We appreciate the community’s patience and feedback. Meanwhile, if there’s any piece of feedback you want to give us about product direction please don’t hesitate to get it to us through the normal Gibraltar support channels!

  14. We have been waiting some time to buy VistaDB as this has depended on our project V5 series.
    Now that our V5 series is completed we need to buy the software, so we hope that we will be able to obtain the trial and/or buy the software tomorrow which is October 1st.

  15. We have a special offering for folks that need a license right now and can’t wait for the re-release; I’ll send you information out of band. Thanks for reaching out!

  16. Travis

    I’m also investigating using VistaDB in an upcoming project and need to make a decision soon. What information can you provide on pricing/licensing and can you provide a trial version?

  17. We haven’t settled on final pricing – we will announce that by the end of this month and expect to have a trial version published by around then. Currently we don’t have a trial version available. We are working on customers on a case-by-case basis to provide options that make sense for their situation. I’ll send you an email out of band (or you can catch us on live chat) to discuss your specific scenario so we can get you taken care of.

  18. Mick G

    I was hoping someone would ask, my support and updates with VistaDB were to be in force till March or something like that. Is Gibraltar going to honor previous customers updates? When that time is up will you offer a reasonable upgrade for another year?

    I also am trying to decide which direction to jump, MS SQLExpress is a bit of a sledge hammer for my projects but doable, comments?


  19. We’re committed to helping existing customers stay in the fold. We intend to pull forward support contracts that were in force before through their term at least to the equivalent current version. Likewise, we’ll work with you to find an affordable option to renew if you choose.

  20. CBiggerstaff

    I’ve found VistaDB very useful on a handful of projects. I’m not sure what your needs are, myself I use VistaDB primarily for 2 purposes: 1. Single File DB with .Net support (no server engine needed). 2. In past version, when I originally got interested, purchased, and used I really liked that the same db could be used with the .Net Compact Framework. I could use the same db on the desktop and then on the hand held and back again.
    I hope you are able to do the same with a new release.

  21. It’s November… any work being done on this?

  22. Indeed! We posted an announcement last weekend with a bit of information and to expand on that somewhat:

    We’re set to announce new pricing, and are working through upgrade options for existing customers
    We just performed our first internal build of VistaDB 4.2 yesterday.
    We’ve done phone interviews with a randomly selected group of 20 customers to get a good cross section of feedback
    And more….

    Because there are very few reported defects with VistaDB right now we’re being cautious and taking our time to create 4.2 to ensure we get the licensing strategy right and don’t introduce new issues. We’re looking for as much feedback from people as we can get on licensing, features, and pricing to make sure we hit the right points out of the box.

    In September we sold a solid number of new licenses to VistaDB to new customers despite not being really back on the market yet. We can’t wait to get a new trial version posted and new pricing so even more people can join the team.

  23. If there’s something specific you’re curious about or would like to provide input on, email our support or use the live chat feature of our web site and we’d be happy to provide our candid thoughts on the spot or set up a call to discuss in depth.

  24. Abdelghani Souirji


    We use VistaDB to develop project management and microfinance software. These applications are often used in areas where electricity outages are frequent.
    Inspite of very interesting features in VistaDB, we found that it is easily corruptable in case of power cuts.
    It is therefore very important for us that VistaDB becomes more robust towards power cuts.

    We are relieved that you’re taking over VistaDB and wish you luck. We’re awaiting your VistaDB roadmap.


  25. This is certainly a challenge with an in-memory DB (or really any DB). We’ve had some discussions for ways VistaDB could detect when it opens a database that such an inproper shutdown occurred and then take the necessary steps to fix it. Thanks for bringing it up, its important to know what’s of concern to real customers, not just us.

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