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With MySQL experiencing a possible backlash, it seems the company can confidently flip the middle finger to certain critics with the latest market share numbers from Evans Data Corp (EDC).

MySQL is fast approaching majority market share among software developers, with 44 per cent using the open source database to meet their needs. Use of MySQL has surged 25 per cent during the last six months according to EDC.

Overall deployments of open source databases have grown 20 per cent. EDC polled 400 developers in North America.

EDC did not go into why MySQL in particular is growing, but noted that database security is an important facet of database development overall. "Evans found that proprietary database servers are almost twice as likely to have suffered a [security] breach in the last year compared to open source database servers," EDC said.

A major factor in MySQL's success has been its close association with Linux, the Apache web server, and the Perl/Phython/PHP scripting languages - a combination known collectively as the LAMP stack. LAMP is being used by a growing number of developers to provide a low-cost, reliable platform for web-based applications. MySQL has also been especially successful in embedded systems, which compose more than 60 per cent of the company's business.

MySQL decided to take its embedded business a step further in September by agreeing to jointly develop a certified version of the company's database with SCO for the OpenServer 6.0 operating system. SCO estimates 85 per cent of its Unix-based deployments require a database, with the company enjoying large use in the retail sector. The SCO deal opens the door to wider uptake of MySQL in the retail market.

MySQL's decision, though, has produced reports and reaction over the "ethics" of doing business with the Linux pariah. Furthermore, a pillar was apparently whipped out from beneath MySQL's business with Oracle's decision to buy MySQL developer partner Innobase. Innobase develops open source discreet transactional database technology InnoDB, which provides many vital database features and is distributed with MySQL. Innobase's contract with MySQL is up for renewal next year, and Oracle has said it "fully expects" to negotiate an extension to the relationship.®

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