MySQL in Safe Hands

Given the timing of my recent blog, Are Proprietary Databases Doomed?, I've been asked if I knew in advance about Sun's recent MySQL acquisition. Not at all! I was just as surprised and delighted as most others in the industry when I saw the news.

In the blog I outlined counter strategies that proprietary database companies might use to respond to the rise of Open Source Databases (OSDBs). One strategy was acqusition and I noted that MySQL, being privately held, was probably the most vulnerable.

The good news is that MySQL is no longer vulnerable. Sun has an unparalleled commitment to open source. No other organization has contributed anything like the quantity and quality of code, with Solaris, Java, OpenOffice, GlassFish, and other software now freely available under open source licenses. Sun also has an established track record with OSDBs such as PostgreSQL, and JavaDB, Sun's distribution of Derby. The MySQL acquisition does not represent a change of direction for Sun, rather the extension of an existing strategy.

The real surprise is that one of Oracle, IBM, or Microsoft didn't get there first. Any of them could have swallowed MySQL without burping. I'm betting there are people today wondering why on earth they let Sun steal a march on them.

Whatever the reason, the final outcome is great news for anyone who appreciates the value of free open source software. MySQL couldn't be in safer hands.

Allan

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I'm a Principal Engineer in the Performance Technologies group at Sun. My current role is team lead for the MySQL Performance & Scalability Project.

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