Oracle taking over as MySQL’s landlord

Update: Oracle briefly addressed the question in a letter to customers released Thursday, which states, “MySQL will be an addition to Oracle’s existing suite of database products.”

News that Oracle is buying Sun broke just as 1,800 or so database programmers and open-source aficionados were gathering this week in Santa Clara for the annual MySQL Conference and Expo. Ironically, a lot of the buzz at last year’s conference focused on Sun’s recently completed $1 billion acquisition of MySQL, and how the popular open-source database program would fare under Sun’s leadership.

 This year, attendees are wondering about the future of MySQL under Oracle. “This is sending the MySQL community reeling,” blogged developer Bill Karwin. “Everyone’s talking about whether this change is good for MySQL.”

The same is probably true for fans of Java and other open-source software that Sun has promoted. But there’s particular concern among some who fear Oracle will view MySQL as a rival to its own flagship Database program, and quietly strangle it.

But RedMonk analyst Michael Cote says Oracle has reasons to keep MySQL alive. MySQL is used by many on-line businesses and is popular among developers who use it to create new Web start-ups, while Oracle customers tend to be larger, established corporate and government entities. He suggested MySQL could introduce Oracle to new markets and also serve as an entry-level product for customers who might eventually graduate to Oracle’s more expensive lines.

It’s worth noting, as former MySQL executive Marten Mickos pointed out in an interview with the Merc last year, that Oracle already owned InnoDB, a component of MySQL, and had continued to license its use after Sun bought MySQL.

Meanwhile, IBM announced Wednesday that it will license technology from another open-source database provider, EnterpriseDB, which it says will make it easier for IBM customers to run applications originally written for Oracle’s Database.


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  • The fact is: MySQL is going to new markets and supporting larger applications and databases as Oracle. So, the point is: Will Oracle still permit this? I don’t think so. I have customer with databases varying from 10G to 3TB. It’s show how MySQL became stable and reliable enough to be considered an enterprise class database. In my opinion Oracle will not end MySQL development nor deployment, but, Oracle than delay it, make things slow, and worse, for the customers and the MySQL ecosystem: establish boundaries. But, it’s all speculation, let’s see what happens.

  • Charles

    Oracle will kill MySQL. There goes a good product!

    Looks like a good time for a startup to invest the next hot database.