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Oracle offers commercial extensions to MySQL

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Oracle has released three new commercial extensions for MySQL, provoking fears that the company might be trying to take the project too far from its open source roots.

The extensions for MySQL Enterprise cover thread pool scalability, a pluggable API for PAM and Windows authentication, and additions to Oracle VM and Windows Server failover clustering support within MySQL Enterprise. Existing open source plans for MySQL are unaffected.

“There are already detractors who see this release as a sign of the apocalypse,” said Giuseppe Maxia, former MySQL community team member, in a blog post.

“They probably want to see only this one feature in the commercial arena, dismissing the dozens of new features released to the general public under Oracle stewardship. I refuse to enroll in the chorus of critics who judge Oracle on prejudice. I am so far satisfied with what Oracle has done with MySQL.”

He explained that in order for open source development on MySQL to continue, money needed to be raised from somewhere, and this was as good a way as any. The open source MySQL community should continue to get updates before paying customers, so it can test and patch code before commercial deployment, but these commercial extensions could be developed and sold without the open source team.

Certainly, Oracle has always show plenty of talent in getting commercial value out of its investments, Charles King, chief analyst at Pund-IT tells The Register, and in this case, its motives appear to be pure. However, the company needs watching as it develops the MySQL system.

“Oracle’s record around open source is spotty enough, so I think it’s fair to question if this is murder by commercial extensions," he says, "the company’s history demands people keep a close eye on them.” ®

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