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The employees of MySQL are a truly blessed people. As with Sun Microsystems before it, Oracle has vowed to leave its sales and development team independent and intact.

Edward Screven, Oracle's chief corporate architect, said Wednesday that Sun's MySQL independent sales force and development teams will be retained inside the database giant.

Sun also retained the existing MySQL team of 400 employees along with management when it bought the open-source database in 2008. Only latter did individuals - including MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius - leave under their own steam as they felt MySQL was suffering under Sun's corporate weight and amid concerns about the database's direction.

Screven did not say whether MySQL's current layer of management - including Karin Padir, who took over Sun's MySQL group once former chief executive Marten Mickos resigned in 2009 -would be also be staying.

The difference between Sun and Oracle, Screven said in announcing Oracle's plans for Sun's products on Wednesday, is that Oracle will make MySQL "better."

Screven, Oracle's point man open source, promised integration would be built between MySQL and Oracle's Enterprise Manager, Secure Backup and Audit Vault. Plus, he pledged improved support for customers. He gave not dates, but earlier, executive vice president for product development and software strategy Thomas Kurian said integration between Sun and Oracle software would take place over a 12 to 14 month period.

"We are going to make MySQL part of the Oracle family," Screven said adding Oracle would make "MySQL fit well in deployments."

It's not yet clear whether the extensions Oracle adds to MySQL will be returned to the community under an open-source license. MySQL lives under a dual commercial and GPL license, and under Sun, MySQL had attempted to insert "value-added" features in to the commercial product that it could charge for. The move unleashed an outcry from the MySQL community.

The commitment comes after Oracle's purchase of Sun was delayed by concerns among European regulators over the implications of the world's largest database provider also owning this popular database and it's implications for the competition and partners.

OpenOffice will also be managed as an independent unit. As with MySQL, there will also be integration between OpenOffice and some of Oracle's existing catalogue of enterprise software. That will mean integration with Oracle's business intelligence tools and content management software, along with enhanced customer support.

An existing Sun project adding extensions to save and access OpenOffice documents in the cloud - i.e. Amazon, so far - will be continued. ®

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