Tabular is joining Databricks

I’m very happy to announce that Tabular has signed a definitive agreement to join Databricks!

In this post, I’ll share my view about why this combination is a huge win for the market, and cements the future of the open table formats in enterprise data architecture.

Interest and use of Apache Iceberg has been growing steadily over the last few years, but this year it has hit an inflection point. The data ecosystem is abuzz with talk about open table formats, and everyone we speak with wants the data architecture that those formats unlock — a secure, centralized data layer that easily connects to any specialized compute framework or engine. 

But there’s a problem: which open table format should you choose?

Like the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray choice, the problem isn’t about determining which standard is better. The problem is that the risk of investing in the wrong format prevents people from choosing at all.

So when Databricks reached out to me and proposed a collaboration that could bring Iceberg and Delta closer together, working toward a common standard, I realized that this was a unique opportunity to make one of the hardest decisions in data architecture simply go away, so that you don’t have to care about table formats.

This is why my co-founders Dan Weeks, Jason Reid and I are excited to join Databricks to build the next generation of data infrastructure!

What does this mean for the Apache Iceberg community?

There are quite a few of us at Tabular that contribute to the Apache Iceberg community, and we will continue to collaborate as we have over the past three years. Joining Databricks means that there will be more contributions from our new colleagues, and that we will also be working to improve Iceberg support throughout the Databricks platform. Our goal is to improve interoperability so that you can take advantage of the amazing work of both communities and don’t need to worry about the underlying format. While doing this, we assure that our approach to the Iceberg community itself is not changing.

Tabular and Databricks are committed to the ongoing success of the Apache Iceberg community. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with Databricks and the broader Delta community to build better table formats together.

What’s next?

Next week, we will be at Data and AI Summit to share more details and hear the other exciting announcements from Databricks. We encourage you to come by and say “hi”! You can also find more details about Tabular and Databricks joining forces in the blog post from Databricks as well as the press release about the acquisition.