In The EU and MySQL, Tim Bray treads lightly on the topic of Oracle's pending ownership of MySQL if the Sun acquisition goes through. I left a comment on his post, but he's likely to be heavily moderating what appears there since he works for Sun.

So here's what I posted on his blog.

I haven't yet seen anyone explain what motivation Oracle has for pouring resources into MySQL, especially if it eats away at their DBMS business on the low end.
I've been puzzling over this since their acquisition of Innobase Oy (the makers of InnoDB) years back. Is Oracle serious about seeing MySQL grow and succeed, or was that just a way to get a strangle-hold on a critical piece of MySQL?
I've never had the chance to ask Ken Jacobs that. Actually, I have but it would have been kind of rude. And even if I did, I'm not sure I could trust the answer.
I doubt this comment will get published, but as a MySQL long time user, supporter, advocate, and author I'm really glad to see things like PBXT, MariaDB, and Percona's XtraDB out there.

Really, we need that kind of diversity in Open Source. A MySQL/InnoDB "monopoly" wouldn't have been healthy in the long run.

A reporter contacted me today to ask, among other things, if I think Oracle was/is threatened by MySQL. Oracle claims that they serve two different markets, etc. He wasn't so sure.

Sadly, there's some background information that I should not publish here, but suffice it to say that Oracle was and probably still is threatened by MySQL. Their sales/marketing tactics made this quite clear long ago. But those deals were rarely public--for good reason.

Posted by jzawodn at October 21, 2009 08:41 PM

Reader Comments
# pb said:

Relating to this discussion: When Marten commented that the competition in the database market will increase due to Oracle acquiring MySQL, here some nice supporting evidence.

Prior to Oracle's acquisition announcement, MySQL was promoting the following Migration material:

After the Oracle acquisition announcement, the material changed slightly

I.e. miraculously, three sections have disappeared since the announcement:
- Migration White Papers / A Practical Guide to Migrating From Oracle to MySQL
- Migration Forum / Oracle
- Migration Presentations / MySQL for Oracle DBAs and Developers

So, the deal is not yet even through, but I can already feel the competition increasing...

on October 22, 2009 12:37 AM
# lautsprecherkabel said:

The Oracle's acquisition of Sun is surprising for me.It looks like a dramatic situation between Mysql and oracle about acquisition plan.

on October 22, 2009 03:23 AM
# Rob Colburn said:

I'm really hoping Oracle has a taken some time to think about what it is they ate purchasing, and integrate into their business plan. What MySQL does have is an installation base, a massive one (though most of it is probably in no way willing to spend money on their free db). Their are some who would. Those with large enough installations willing to pay money to invest in better tables, extensions. It might be nice to see Oracle competing against XtraDB for instance. W/o owning MySQL that kind of move might otherwise look bad. Investing dev time to a competing product. But, then the question becomes what kind if profit can they yield if they are just selling extensions and not the core product?

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on November 1, 2009 09:39 AM
# Amit Patel said:

I agree that MySQL could threaten Oracle's full database software. On the other hand, if it weren't for MySQL, I probably wouldn't be using a database at all, and I wouldn't have bothered learning databases or SQL. So there's a small possibility that MySQL makes more people learn how to use databases, and that those people will be more likely to buy Oracle DB for a large/complex project. (e.g., MySQL helps “grow the pie”)

on November 10, 2009 04:50 PM
# Clive Boulton said:

my 0.02

Larry wants all of Sun to rearchitect and rebuild Oracle Apps for the cloud. 64, he is committed to 5 more yrs. So he needs first hand access to all the technologies enabling Cloud apps.

No mystery.

on November 17, 2009 05:33 PM
# Mike said:

Such a shame to see a great product like MySQL start sliding down the slippery slope of Oracle profit-glut. Our organisation has been a major backer of MySQL but is now in the process of moving 34 core MySQL databases onto PostgreSQL. A major project but there is absolutely no doubt that MySQL has no future with big red.

Come on guys, there is tons of info out there on the web that supports the view that Oracle is scared to death of a further rise in MySQL deployments. We run major enterprise on-line apps successfully (and cost-effectively) on MySQL and this is the market where Oracle is throwing most of their marketing dollars.

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