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IBM lines up MySQL blue corner against rivals

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IBM has teamed with database rival MySQL in a deal illustrating how far it's prepared to go to reach open source developers and stuff Oracle and Microsoft.

IBM will re-sell MySQL subscriptions through its massive reseller network, ensuring MySQL slips into IBM shops and channel partners, serving ISVs that need a low-cost, small-footprint embedded database for their applications.

Some 60 per cent of MySQL's business currently comes from the embedded market, despite its attempts to move into the enterprise with version 5.0 of its open source database, and a deal with IBM is likely to help MySQL double down.

IBM, meanwhile, has served the embedded market with DB2 Express, the Cloudscape Java database and its open source cousin Derby. IBM is stopping all Cloudscape sales and support after September 2008.

Under its MySQL deal, IBM will deliver DB2 as a certified storage engine for IBM's i5/OS operating system on its die hard I Series servers. The deal lets System I customers implement online and transactional MySQL applications while tapping the power of DB2 as a single repository for data storage. Plus, there's that support.

In a statement, IBM said System I would now be open to thousands of open source MySQL and PHP applications.

IBM is the world's second largest database vendor, behind Oracle, while MySQL has seen rapid adoption among the developer community.

IBM and Oracle have taken steps to improve performance of PHP on their databases for web developers, through relationships with PHP developer Zend Technologies. Late last year, Microsoft also reached a deal with Zend to improve performance of PHP on Windows servers, with a planned Fast Common Gateway Interface for PHP on Windows Server 2003 and the forthcoming Longhorn.®

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