IBM Corp. has found a new home for the Cloudscape database software it picked up in 2001 through its acquisition of Informix Corp. The company plans to announce Tuesday that it will give Cloudscape to the Apache Software Foundation, which will oversee Cloudscape as an open-source project.

Cloudscape's code comprises more than half a million lines, and IBM estimates the software's value at $85 million. IBM said its goal in releasing the code as open-source is to spur Java application development, creating new business opportunities for its infrastructure software products.

Cloudscape, called Derby in its latest incarnation, is a lightweight, Java-based relational database with a footprint of just 2MB. It's significantly less resource-intensive than enterprise databases like IBM's DB2. Its target use is to underpin small Web sites, point-of-sale systems and departmental-level or small-business applications.