Oracle guru speaks peace, MySQL old-guard cautious
Closed-source kid gloves applied
Dr DBA, a top technology guru at Oracle, has appeared at MySQL's annual conference to sooth concerns over the open-source database's future under Oracle.
Ken Jacbos, vice president of product strategy in Oracle's server technologies division, was brought on stage to highlight the history of fraternal collaboration between Oracle and MySQL.
Which was timely, considering that this week Oracle agreed a $5.6bn deal to acquire Sun Microsystems, which last year bought MySQL for $1bn. And many people are suspicious of Oracle's intentions towards the database it will soon own.
But Jacbos's message was clear: MySQL is safe under Oracle, so don't wobble and turn to Postgres or stop building the open-source database.
Elsewhere, two prominent ex-MySQL execs have expressed their concern over MySQL's development and pointed out how the closed-source database giant could fumble the ownership of MySQL.
MySQL founder Monty Widenius has warned of the possible damage to development should the remaining MySQL talent finally decide to abandon the operation, or - as typically happens with Oracle - get cut if they are not considered essential.
Not the best possible reputation
Widenius - who left Sun in February - blogged: "Oracle, not having the best possible reputation in the Open Source space, will have a hard time keeping the remaining MySQL people in the company or even working on the MySQL project. Oracle will also have a hard time to ensure to the MySQL customers, community and users that it will keep MySQL 'free and available for all'."
Widenius pointed to how MySQL commercial and project leaders had left Sun following that acquisition.
"The biggest threat to MySQL future is not Oracle per se, but that the MySQL talent at Sun will spread like the wind and go to a lot of different companies which will set the MySQL development and support back years," he said.
He said the Monty Program Ab that he's been working on could play a "significant role". It could become analogous to Red Hat's Fedora, he said. "With Oracle now owning MySQL, I think that the need for an independent true Open Source entity for MySQL is even bigger than ever before."
Mickos, who stepped down as head of Sun's database group before the Oracle deal was announced, warned that merging MySQL with Oracle's main database group will result in turf wars. This risked losing the philosophy of MySQL and its edge in the market.
Another risk to MySQL would be simply giving it away for free, he noted. "But my belief is that Oracle's executives understand this," he wrote.
Next page: MySQL 5.4 tweaks
Re: cake and eat it......
MySQL had many owners, and yes, Monty got some well earned money.
Oracle & mySQL
Hmm, obviously we'll have to wait and see, but at least theoretically I think it _could_ be ok. My reasoning being that:
a) Oracle is at least a (successful) database company*. They understand the "product", they have the experience and technical resources. In the public mind, oracle=database. I'd be more concerned for SPARC, Solaris & Java (in that order). Oracle's not a hardware co, or an OS company (despite desire to have their own complete stack).
b) mySQL & Oracle's DB don't compete with each other. mySQL's popularity for dynamic websites isn't just down to it's price, but because (with the default MyISAM engine) it's optimised for read often, write seldom which works well in this context. Clustering support is nice to have, but I suspect it's mostly used for high-demand web apps. Oracle's db is in a different use space.
Oracle _could_ provide uniform tools, SQL dialect compatiblity, etc. for a clean upgrade path from mySQL (say as an intern department db) to Oracle when the need grows for some big iron.
If it goes pear shaped, well, the source code is there, Monty is still around live n kicking, and there's alway Postgres (which for those of us that program with a db abstraction layer should't be too much work). MySQL 5 is already installed all over the place, and does what it needs to do in 99% of cases.
As the poster says, Stay Calm & Carry On :-)
* Yes I know closed-source, and over-priced, but reasonably technically competent AFAIK.
Re: cake and eat it................
"if Monty Widenius wanted to maintain control of MySQL he shouldn't have sold out....."
Well, no. But then again he's now substantially richer, can pick and choose from the top MySQL talent, should they depart Oracle, and they can keep developing MySQL technologies knowing that although they won't be able to license the product commercially - it's GPL all the way - with their enhancements to the GPL code base, neither will Oracle. He gets to continue developing a product he sold to someone else, albeit on different terms of business, probably selling support, services, consultancy.
So, yes, Monty will have his cake and eat it, too.