Pulling the rug under MySQL

by Stéphane Faroult

Related link: http://www.oracle.com/innodb/index.html

No doubt that the OpenSOurce community is shaken by the
announcement on October 7th that Oracle is acquiring Innobase, the company behind InnoDB. InnoDB is the product that enables MySQL to turn into an enterprise-grade DBMS, with the support for commit and rollback, foreign keys, row locking ... Forget about all the reassuring noises about
"commitment to open source software", etc. Commitment to keep OpenSource software under close watch, so that it stays a toy, and not a menace in the corporate world ? (OpenSource database software, that is. Anything that has to do with operating systems, word-processing or spreadsheets is welcome).

In fact, there are many positive aspects to this announcement. Firstly, Oracle still has an interest in databases, something that wasn't absolutely obvious from the recent buying-spree. Secondly, Oracle implicitly acknowledges that OpenSource software databases have reached a level of maturity that makes them worthy contenders in the corporate market. Thirdly, it may be an opportunity for some other OpenSource entreprise-grade DBMS products to step out of the MySQL shadow. Fourthly, it makes MySQL a greater champion, if the MySQL announcement is to be believed, of the GPL license; time to dust off business models perhaps. And fifthly, it may announce the birth of a new lucrative cottage-industry: developing strong storage engines.


2005-10-13 04:56:27
Adds credibility to MySQL
MySQL can now truthfuly say that their free, Open Source, enterprise grade storage engine is an Oracle product. I know technicaly nothing's changed, but surely this has got to add a lot of credibility to any plans to implement MySQL solutions in corporations.

MySQL - Now with enterprise grade storage technology from Oracle!

2005-10-13 07:13:23
The opensource community is not particularly shaken. Both MySQL and InnoDB are available under GPL, so the users need not care. They are dependent neither on MySQL AB nor on Innobase Oy.

What happened is that if MySQL AB’s contract is not renewed in a year’s time, then can only longer use InnoDB under GPL, which means they can only bundle it with copies of MySQL which are under GPL. In other words, their commercial contract business collapses.

Basically, the free software world is completely unaffected by this move, only MySQL AB’s commercial ambitions are taken down a bunch of notches. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond; they must be sweating bullets right now.

2005-10-19 11:57:00
Risk is MySQL gets starved of new developments
Certainly they get to use GPL code that exists now, but what happens if future releases of InnoDB are non-GPL?
2006-02-12 06:41:25
Hmmmm didn't MySQL recently 'partner' with SAP? Does that possibly ring any bells?