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Oracle Bid to Acquire MySQL 180

Posted by Zonk
from the watch-those-tractor-beams dept.
i_frame writes "CNet is reporting on a recent Oracle bid for open-source database MySQL. They were unsuccessful." From the article: "'It all comes back to the question of cannibalizing an existing business,' O'Grady said. 'If you determine that to some extent it's inevitable, wouldn't you prefer that you do it, instead of your competitors?' O'Grady said Oracle could benefit from MySQL in the way that IBM has from its acquisition of Gluecode, a company that commercializes the open-source Geronimo Java application server software and competed with IBM's own proprietary WebSphere product."
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Oracle Bid to Acquire MySQL

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  • MicroracleSoft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ExE122 (954104) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:49AM (#14732575) Homepage Journal

    O'Grady said Oracle could benefit from MySQL in the way that IBM has from its acquisition of Gluecode

    This analyst is obviously a genius. Who knew that buying out all your competition would benefit your company?

    MySQL was created for low volume applications which don't need all the excessive functionality and optimization. What isn't mentioned is that this would probably ruin many small businesses who depend on open-source software because they can't afford large expensive distributions such as Oracle. The article mentions that Oracle has already bought out Sleepycat and InnoDB and now is planning move to take over JBoss. Do we really need to wait until all the competition is dead and gone before we realize they are monopolizing the market?
    • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GigsVT (208848) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:53AM (#14732611) Journal
      You know it's GPL right?

      It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.
      • They could kill it. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by IAAP (937607)
        It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

        They could let it just die. As in, stop supporting it, stop adding code, stop fixing bugs, etc.... just leave it as it is until it becomes irrelevent because obsolescence.

        • by inter alias (947885) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:19AM (#14732890) Journal
          I believe the non-compete clauses in work contracts that are common in the US are illegal in sweden (mysql AB is swedish).

          Imagine this scenario:

          * oracle tells recently bought mysql "don't improve mysql"
          * mysql ab employees are pissed off because they like their db
          * novell/redhat thinks mysql is important for their linux sales
          * they hire said grumpy mysql employees to work on the GPL version

          == mysql development continues and oracle just wasted a lot of money.
          • You left off the last step:

            Oracle sues Novell/redhat for taking it's people. They *are* US companies.
          • by kbahey (102895)
            That is the best outcome.

            However, what the ex-MySQL/DBD/InnoBase/Oracle people cannot do is sell non-GPL licenses of the MySQL/InnoDB/DBD and make that a business model.

            They can still do private modifications for customers on the GPL base code, but those customers cannot relicense those under a proprietary license.

            That is the different of having MySQL own the code (which is today's scenario) vs. Oracle owning it and the developers leaving.

            In both cases there is an impact, but less so on the open source comm
        • by Karzz1 (306015) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:20AM (#14732897) Homepage
          They could. But an application as important and popular as MySQL would simply fork. Simply look at X.org vs XFree86.
          • by Senzei (791599)
            They could. But an application as important and popular as MySQL would simply fork. Simply look at X.org vs XFree86.

            ...and how long did we wait for x.org to get moving while xfree86 did piss all for the linux world? Why would this be any different?

            If oracle bought and canceled mysql you would see a number of people try to improve it with five hundred million cludgey add-ons. Eventually in about two or three years frustration over that mess would hit critical mass and someone would organize something to

          • by PhotoGuy (189467)
            They could. But an application as important and popular as MySQL would simply fork. Simply look at X.org vs XFree86.

            But can they fork the InnoDB stuff? I got the impression seemed to be more restrictive license-wise, as well as having more enterprise grade features.

            If they can, there may be hope for MySQL. Otherwise, it's another victim of the Great Database Consolidation (i.e. Takeover), of Oracle.

            I firmly believe they're not "softening their image" or "supporting open source", but quashing all non-comme

            • But can they fork the InnoDB stuff?

              Yup, sure can. It's GPL too.

              However, the question remains: who? MySQL's development is currently centralized at MySQL AB. That makes it harder for other developers to pick it up and run with it. There are probably not many people who know the MySQL internals except for the MySQL AB employees.

              It, of course, takes time to learn, and that time is what Oracle is buying.

              Other projects like PostgreSQL already have a distributed community of developers and has more history taking
        • by budgenator (254554) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @12:31PM (#14733757) Journal
          if your running MySQL and need transactions, that's provided by the berkely DB, supported by Sleepycat, or InnoDB supported by Innobase, both were bought by Oracle. If Oracle is seeking to kill MySQL, then it's dead man walking right now. However if Oracle's intentions is to aquire MySQL, make a few modifications and have it compatable enough with oracle that they can use it for the entry level database that can be a step towards a full oracle installation, it doesn't matter because they can still contribute code to MySQL. How many MSSQL instalations happen because somebody outgrows access?
      • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gUUU ... inus threevowels> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:07AM (#14732740) Homepage Journal
        It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

        No, but it gives Oracle and excellent barganing position. They can effectively kill the upgrades to MySQL that would turn it into a real database. (Look Gepeto, I'm a real boy!) Then when customers come through looking to use MySQL, Oracle will try to upsell them to Oracle or one of their other properties. Even if the customer decides on MySQL, that's still revenue for Oracle.

        If Oracle wanted to be really nasty, they could start legally enforcing MySQL's interpretation of the GPL. i.e. If your software uses MySQL but isn't GPLed, Oracle could sue you for failing to keep up the licensing terms. Even if you are just using it for internal, non-distributable software (such as a web app), many companies would rather pay up a small licensing fee rather than tango with Oracle in court.
        • This is exactly what the JD Edwards on MS SQL Server customers are bitching about. Oracle has them over a barrel.
        • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:3, Informative)

          by gnuLNX (410742)
          "If Oracle wanted to be really nasty, they could start legally enforcing MySQL's interpretation of the GPL. i.e. If your software uses MySQL but isn't GPLed, Oracle could sue you for failing to keep up the licensing terms."

          This is totaly FUD.

          The GPL does not enforce "external" programs to fall under the GPL. It is perfectly legal for non GPL code to "USE" GPL code as longs as it does not link directly to the code or add any exsisting extensions to it.

          If your software embeddeds a MySQL database then you hav
          • Allow me to repeat myself (as you seem a little hard of hearing):

            "Even if you are just using it for internal, non-distributable software (such as a web app), many companies would rather pay up a small licensing fee rather than tango with Oracle in court."
          • by typical (886006) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:51AM (#14733273) Journal
            Ah, but, see, MySQL AB makes its revenue by spreading exactly that FUD. [mysql.com]

            Yes, you can use MySQL legally in a commercial app without buying a license. You aren't linking to it. However, MySQL says that you *do* need a license. Enough people are going to be scared enough to buy a license. Open source people just see "GPL -- okay, must not be evil" and go ahead and use it.

            This is why I use Postgres and avoid the whole ugly thing.
          • If your software embeddeds a MySQL database

            Or if it embeds the client library, which most software that uses MySQL needs to do directly or indirectly.

            You can talk about using an abstraction layer like JDBC, but if you're doing that just to circumvent the "derivitive work" definition I'm not sure that would stand up in court.
        • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          Just because your software uses something that's GPL, doens't mean that you have to release all your source code. If you have an app which accesses an opensource database, or is hosted on an opensource web server, then you are not required to release your code. If you decide to release/create a database app or a webserver, and use the code from MySQL or Apache, then you are bound by the GPL. Simply using an open source project, even writing code that accesses an open source project, does not bind you to r
          • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:5, Insightful)

            by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gUUU ... inus threevowels> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:44AM (#14733186) Homepage Journal
            1. MySQL's interpretation is that by accessing MySQL over the network, you're "linking" against it.

            2. MySQL has further enforced this by GPLing all of the drivers, which you MUST link against in order to access MySQL.

            3. Did I mention that Oracle could take them to court regardless of whether or not they're actually in violation? Did I also mention that most companies would pay up rather than go to court? Why yes, I do believe I mentioned that.

            MySQL OSS License Page [mysql.com]

            In their simplest form, the following are general licensing guidelines:

                    * If your software is licensed under either the GPL-compatible Free Software License as defined by the Free Software Foundation or approved by OSI, then use our GPL licensed version.
                    * If you distribute a proprietary application in any way, and you are not licensing and distributing your source code under GPL, you need to purchase a commercial license of MySQL
                    * If you are unsure, we recommend that you buy our cost effective commercial licenses. That is the safest solution. Licensing questions can submitted online for our advice, and we encourage you to refer to the Free Software Foundation or a lawyer as appropriate.


            The older version of that page [mff.cuni.cz] was more to the point:

            3. Commercial use for everyone else

            If your application is not licensed under GPL or compatible OSI license approved by MySQL AB and you intend to distribute MySQL software (be that internally or externally), you must first obtain a commercial license to the MySQL software in question.

            More specifically:

            a) If you include the MySQL server in your non Open Source application, you need a commercial licence for the MySQL server

            b) If you include one of the MySQL drivers in your non Open Source application (so that your application can run with MySQL), you need a commercial licence for the driver(s) in question. The MySQL drivers currently include an ODBC driver, a JDBC driver and the C language library.

            c) If you use MySQL Software within your organisation and you don't want to risk it falling under the GPL license, you are welcome to purchase a commercial license.

            d) Many users opt for the commercial licence simply because under it MySQL AB takes responsibility for its products. Under the GPL licence, there are no warranties or representations from the developer (i.e. from MySQL AB).


            So in short, Oracle would have broad powers under which to enforce the GPL, and they could easily extend them (whether correct or not) to bring a court case against companies whether or not the case has any validity. Understand now?
            • MySQL's interpretation is that by accessing MySQL over the network, you're "linking" against it.

              That's nice, but it's pretty irrelevant, because proving that in court will be effectively impossible. Especially given the technical definition of linking.

              MySQL has further enforced this by GPLing all of the drivers, which you MUST link against in order to access MySQL.

              Well, I don't think that's strictly true. You could write your own client library. Or, alternatively, you could write a database ab

            • And as long as you are linking against GPLed drivers (including the MySQL C library), MySQL AB has every legal right to force the issue.

              Funny, I brought this issue up two days ago [slashdot.org] and everybody seemed to think I was nuts.... Now, suddenly, that worst case scenario of Oracle buying MySQL AB suddenly looks more plausible, and suddenly the attitudes change a bit. How deliciously ironic.

          • Just because your software uses something that's GPL, doens't mean that you have to release all your source code.

            Absolutely true. Unfortunately with MySQL it gets a little tricky. If you write your own library to connect to MySQL via a standard socket you are fine. If you use a standard MySQL library (which is also GPL) you MUST release the source. Most people are doing the latter without realizing it's a GPL violation.
            • That is a little tricky, but i'm sure it wouldn't take long to for someone to write a library so that nobody ever has to use MYSQL's library. That could probably be released under the BSD License so that we wouldn't even have to worry about all this stuff. I think that MYSQL has been a little underhanded in this way. Hard to believe that they have gotten so popular in the open source community with such restrictions in place. If they really start enforcing it, maybe everyone will switch to postgresql.
              • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:3, Interesting)

                by AKAImBatman (238306)
                That is a little tricky, but i'm sure it wouldn't take long to for someone to write a library so that nobody ever has to use MYSQL's library.

                Oracle could merely do with that project what MySQL did to the LGPLed JDBC driver: Buy them out and relicense before the project is fully compatible. RMS would then hail them as true heros for relicensing under the GPL rather than the LGPL.

                • Oracle could merely do with that project what MySQL did to the LGPLed JDBC driver: Buy them out and relicense before the project is fully compatible.


                  Wow, I think I've got a new business model. Create LGPL or BSD licenced drivers for MySQL, wait for Oracle/MySQL to buy you, repeat.

                  Oracle can't buy everyone. Creating a driver for a well known protocol isn't exactly rocket science, so there's a LOT of groups that could do it. Furthermore if Oracle started trying this, it would only enourage MORE development
              • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:2, Interesting)

                by undercanopy (565001)
                Hard to believe that they have gotten so popular in the open source community with such restrictions in place.

                I'm actually kind of surprised that debian still includes mysql with such a restrictive license. Or is it allowed because; you can use mysql for free (beer) so long as you keep your app free (speech)?

        • They can effectively kill the upgrades to MySQL that would turn it into a real database.

          How can they stop someone from forking MySQL and adding in those upgrades themselves?
          • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:3, Informative)

            by AKAImBatman (238306)
            As long as there's a semi-official version of MySQL that's kept up to date (just without the Real Database(TM) features), any fork would have a difficult time surviving. Plus they couldn't call it "MySQL" or Oracle would come down on them like wrath from heaven.
            • Sure, they could call it "YourSQL" which would be accurate, just in the same way that the restrictive licensing policies of MySQL make the name "MySQL" equally appropriate.
        • >>You know it's GPL right?
          >>It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

          > No, but it gives Oracle and excellent barganing position. They
          > can effectively kill the upgrades to MySQL that would turn it
          > into a real database.

          Um, no, they can't. IT'S GPL. Or am I missing something? Unless I've been misled for the last 8 years, GPL products cannot die, period. At worst, they fork (with the lead devs gone, which is of course bad) but AFAIK, this DOES NOT, and
          • > Um, no, they can't. IT'S GPL. Or am I missing something? Unless I've been misled for the last 8 years, GPL products cannot die, period. At worst, they fork (with the lead devs gone, which is of course bad) but AFAIK, this DOES NOT, and CAN NOT, mean the end of MySQL.

            One interesting wrinkle in this is that you cannot force a vendor to disclose GPL'd code that they own the complete copyright to, that is:

            1) small company develops openDB under GPL
            2) all contributions from outside incorporated into openDB a
        • Nobody cares what MySQL's interpretation of the GPL is, it's the Court's interpretation of the GPL that counts. Do You think Oracle's lawyer want to tango with RMS and the FSF as an expert witness on the GPL's intentions?
          • Do You think Oracle's lawyer want to tango with RMS and the FSF as an expert witness on the GPL's intentions?

            The real question is: Will RMS and the FSF argue against or for Oracle's policies? Remember, RMS wants all software to be free, and MySQL claims that their interpretations of the GPL come from the FSF's FAQ. Considering that you have to link against GPLed drivers to access MySQL, you may find no support from those avenues.
      • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Open Source MySQL would only be available under the GPL right? Now how could commercial users use MySQL in such a situation, if they can't put their own code under the GPL?

        Christof Wittig has written a very interesting paper on the MySQL business model and he did post some interesting comments recently:

        http://www.people4objects.org/ [people4objects.org]

        I think it's a very good sign that MySQL feels strong enough to stay independant. It suggests that open source is stronger than Oracle.
      • You know it's GPL right?

        It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

        Then what is the benefit in Oracle buying them?

        I worry that Oracle seems to be buying up most of the FOSS databases, and could eventually impair their long-term viability so they have less competition.
        • Once Oracle own them, they can offer a free database to their low-end customers (who simply cannot afford Oracle licences), and then sell them other stuff they don't really need (like consultancy and support), and also suggest they migrate to an 'enterprise' database like Oracle when they start to outgrow MySQL.

          They cannot reduce the Oracle licence as it would devalue the DB from a marketing point of view. MySQL is a kind of embrace-and-extend when they use it to get their hooks into you, and not let you g
      • Yeah, it's open source. But how many people are working on it that aren't employeed by MySQL?

        I would think that buying it out at this point and firing those guys would essentally halt the development.
      • This ignores a reality of the situation: As far as I've understood, MySQL AB has hired almost everybody from the community that hacks on MySQL-the-db. There are no serious outside hackers.

        That means that MySQL-the-db would probably be set back a couple of years (at least), as you'd need a complete change of development practices, and new developers would have to learn the codebase and build that culture.

        It might still work out - heck, mysql might finally become a quality product - yet it would take a t

      • Yeah but who's gonna maintain it, kid? You?

      • No, but the business model of MySQL AB goes down the drain, and given the fact that MySQL is more or less just a query engine on top of a handful of third party repos, I wish them good luck if oracle decides to close their future developments. What does MySQL have now? They have a query engine, one of the worst there is. Two GPL repos which still can be relicensed for their business model, but if oracle says no one day, bad luck. What can they do, a) Either try to merge the SAP codebase in (good luck with
    • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dr_d_19 (206418) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:55AM (#14732636)
      What isn't mentioned is that this would probably ruin many small businesses who depend on open-source software because they can't afford large expensive distributions such as Oracle

      Yeah, because no other [postgresql.org] similiar [sourceforge.net] solutions [ca.com] exists. Right?

      • Re:MicroracleSoft (Score:3, Informative)

        by lewiscr (3314)
        While OSS alternatives do exist, migration is non-trivial. Particularly when you've been drinking the MySQL koolaid. My day job is a MySQL shop. Our code was written to run fast using MySQL, not an ACID database. Transactions were not available, and were not designed for. Rewritting all the code that does multi-table joins in code instead of in SQL (because that the only way to make MySQL fast) will take a lot of time.

        The time it will take to migrate won't kill us, but it will cost us customers. Since w
    • There will always bee PostgreSQL (Thank you Sun!!)
    • MySQL was created for low volume applications which don't need all the excessive functionality and optimization.

      Like these [mysql.com] or these [mysql.com]?

    • Those small businesses have to move on, there are better alternatives. MySQL had the hype, but the others the better and freer prodduct. It is not like people can move on to Firebird or PostgreSQL! Good luck with buying out PostgreSQL, that is close to impossible. It only worked for MySQL because a) The entire thing is GPLed with a buyout option b) MySQL is basically a query engine on a number of third party repos which had the same licensing issues you can find in a) (and not even a good one) c) The en
  • by RiscIt (95258) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:52AM (#14732608) Homepage Journal
    I am NOT buying larry a new boat.
    • FYI, Larry Ellison is the Oracle CEO. I'd mod parent insightful instead.
    • obligatory in Mother Russia...

      We would say "fork your mother", really, in this case... the mother of all GPL... uh, hold that...

      IN US:
      I'm gonnato forkin' fork with you by forkin' gettin' another forkin' version of my forkin MySQL. She will be the MOTHER of all forker's. Watch me FORK you over...

      Yeh, FORK you, you...

      (Ok, enough FORKin' around and forkin' get back to forkin' work.)
  • by tcopeland (32225) * <(tom) (at) (thomasleecopeland.com)> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:55AM (#14732632) Homepage
    ...from these things since no one entity owns it. I'm running a Jabber server with PostgreSQL as the data store [blogs.com] and it's been quite solid... good times.
    • do you think so? I bet you could easily hire aware the developers of that project... If the key developers are gone, well development is halted... yes others can pick up where they left behind, and in 6months some development will start again by people that dont have the intimate knowledge of the system or the same set of skills. you could cripple most projects with that method
      • Except that PostgreSQL is pretty darn stable at this point. There's not much that's absolutely necessary to the future of the database. (Unlike MySQL which is in the process of getting their act together to make it a Real Database(TM).) The development that they're doing now is simply making PostgreSQL more and more of a competitor to Oracle for large, enterprise databases. If Oracle hired away the developers, they'd gain maybe six months to a year before someone needs to scratch an itch and pulls the proje
      • > I bet you could easily hire aware the developers of that project.

        Right, that comes up occasionally: the "what if someone hires Tom Lane" (*) question. It's a legitimate concern. But it'd be hard to hire all the PG core developers since they don't all work for one company.

        Also, what's the chance of a core guy taking a job that requires him to stop working on PG? On a much smaller scale, I wouldn't take a job that required me to stop working on PMD [sf.net]; there are lots of other jobs out there. Don't want
      • by Bob Uhl (30977) <eadmund42@gLAPLA ... m minus math_god> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @01:23PM (#14734303) Homepage
        If the key developers are gone, well development is halted... yes others can pick up where they left behind, and in 6months some development will start again by people that dont have the intimate knowledge of the system or the same set of skills. you could cripple most projects with that method

        Of course, as How PostgreSQL Rose to Fame [oreillynet.com] documents, PostgreSQL lay dormant for about two years and was picked up by a mostly-new set of developers. And it seems to be doing pretty well; no doubt MySQL could survive in a similar fashion.

        Of course, my druthers would be for PostgreSQL to take over for MySQL, but that's just because I consider it a better database. It's conceivable that someday MySQL will be better. Although, quite frankly, I doubt it.

    • by emil (695)

      If Oracle takes out MySQL and the other free databases expand to fill the void, what is to stop Oracle from using their patent portfolio as a lethal weapon?

      MySQL is currently the big fish, and it's getting skinned. The rest of the free db ecosystem is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

      • Re:Patents? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ckaminski (82854)
        If they could, they already would.

        How exactly are you going to defeat Postgres 8.01, downloaded umpteen-hundred-thousand times ( 8, at least, by me ). You can't. You may stop future development on it, but at what cost? You can't get monetary remuneration from the authors of any significant value, so why bother? If somepgsqlvendor.com starts making a billion a year, well, that's an entirely different situation altogether, but then it'll be Oracle v somepgsqlvendor.com and not Oracle v pgsql.
  • by MrPeavs (890124) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:58AM (#14732657)
    My heart skipped a beat, I am glad they didn't.

    In one of my former jobs, they were looking for a database system for HR, accounting, inventory and production related stuff. We were looking at JDEdwards and Oracle, both came to our company to present. JDEdwards blew us away, like they actually wanted us as a client. Oracle came in and half assed it, like they couldn't care if they got us or not.

    We ended up holding back because there were talks of Oracle and Peoplesoft to buy out JDEdwards. Eventually, the Peoplesoft deal went through and we ended up purchasing JDEdwards as they claimed we would get full support. Shortly after I left the cocmpany, Oracle gobbled up Peoplesoft.

    I don't hear to many good things about Oracle as a company and I don't think too highly of them when they just buy out the competition. They are becoming more like Microsoft, sort of.

    I think this means good things for MySQL, it is going to get them more press and more help because of it. They have had a great and free package for years now. With Oracle wanting to buy them out, it just means that Oracle is finally scared of them, they are doing something right!
    • If I were a knowledgeable player in the development of MySQL, I'd be laying down plans to start a foundation that will step in and pick up the open source development (forking if necessary) the minute any sale occurs.
      • Yeah, though I am sure someone would've stepped up and done that if the sale had gone through.

        As someone pointed out already, since it is under GLP. There is nothing Oracle could do about a fork. The software is open source, so a group could pick it up and continue developing for it. Much like StarOffice and OpenOffice. We use StarOffice here at work for some users. With my limited knowledge of both StarOffice and OpenOffice, I think I like OpenOffice better actually. I would assume that MySQL would h
    • Oracle is a successful company. In the products tied to their core competence, they have made their customers very, very happy.

      Oracle's database is light years beyond the competetion. It has some major problems (security) which are being addressed. For example, IBM DB2 didn't get triggers until v5 (in the late 90s I believe), and the new Oracle db features such as flashback, dataguard, etc. just have no equal.

      If you are a customer in the areas of Oracle's core competence (and you have the money), you wi

  • Not For Sale (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billosaur (927319) * <(wgrother) (at) (optonline.net)> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:59AM (#14732672) Journal
    MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos confirmed the acquisition attempt in an interview at the Open Source Business Conference here but wouldn't provide details such as when the approach was made or how much money Oracle offered.

    He did, however, say why he turned down Oracle's offer: the desire to keep his company's independence. "We will be part of a larger company, but it will be called MySQL," Mickos said.

    Oracle didn't immediately comment on the acquisition offer.

    Oracle has become bloated and greedy (not unlike another large software company I could mention) and as their product continues to be mired in expensive add-ons and upgrades that not many IT departments have use for, they are seeing MySQL as the herald of their doom. MySQL is a lean, mean RDBMS that is slowly becoming the darling of programmers (how many PHP/MySQL books are there?) and Oracle is dominating the large-scale market but can't seem to make in-roads in the smaller markets. On the one hand, they covet MySQL's success; on the other, they see MySQL as a competitor to be squashed.

    Larry Ellison better watch his back - the open source community may decide to start truly gunning for him.

    • There are about 10 major opensource server database projects. Most of them have a product roadmap which boils down to "implement features a,b,c,d,e from Oracle". How isn't the open source community gunning for him?
    • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:30AM (#14733011) Journal
      MySQL is fine for doing websites, or bulletin boards, or dinky little apps. The markets for Oracle and MySQL, though, basically don't overlap at all. Apart from companies which already have a significant infrastructure built to support and maintain Oracle databases, nobody's gonna use Oracle for most of the applications that MySQL is typically used for. More complex business applications require more functionality than MySQL provides. Oracle provides an assload of features, even in the lowest end version of their product, that most people writing the average web app just won't need.

      MySQL isn't a competetor for Oracle in the space where Oracle is usually deployed. IBM DB2, MSSQL Server - those are the competetors for Oracle. And probably PostgreSQL is too. It provides a lot of functionality that you'd want in those kinds of applications, and its free. It has the problem, however, of overcoming entrenched attitudes towards 1) anything that's free, and 2) anything that's unfamiliar. Me? I'd use PostgreSQL for those apps, but that's me. Often, there's vendor platoform requirements that'd make that impossible, or management level edicts that prescribe platoforms.

      If anything, the purchase of MySQL was intended to soften the image of Oracle and make it appear to be more of a player in the low end. They have (rightly) a reputation for being expensive, and this was probably a ploy at changing that. It's not fear of MySQL's technical prowess.
      • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @01:10PM (#14734165)
        MySQL is fine for doing websites, or bulletin boards, or dinky little apps. The markets for Oracle and MySQL, though, basically don't overlap at all.

        http://www.mysql.com/why-mysql/case-studies/ [mysql.com]

        PokerRoom.com Powers High Transaction Online Poker System with MySQL and HP .... 12,000 players occupy the poker tables. Since each bet, each played hand and other data are recorded, the database often handles 2,000 transactions per second.

        Los Alamos National Labs Relies on MySQL to Scale with 7 Terabytes of Data.

        Lycos Europe Reduces TCO by 90% by Migrating to MySQL.

        Lycos Europe migrated all company portal services to MySQL, displacing one of the leading proprietary databases in the market. Replacing their existing database solution with MySQL resulted in more than a 90% savings. Lycos Europe today has approximately 1 terabyte of data handled by 100 MySQL servers. At peak traffic up to 25,000 concurrent users are online and 1 Gb of data per second is delivered to users.

        Cox Communications Powers Massive Data Warehouse with MySQL To maintain optimum performance and customer-service levels, Cox has developed a huge data warehousing application. At the heart of this business-critical system is a 2-billion row MySQL database.

        etc.....

        • These are all great examples, and consistent with the general consensus of MySQL as a fairly highly scalable commercial quality database. Anybody who takes pot shots at is as a "dinky" database, is either misinformed, or (*cough* *cough*) has reason to spread F.U.D. about MySQL.

          (I'm no conspiracy theorist, but some of these posts about MySQL, Sleepycat, etc., are almost comical in how obvious they pander to Oracle.)

      • The markets for Oracle and MySQL, though, basically don't overlap at all.

        So, you must think that Oracle saw huge profits on the horizon for all of MySQL AB, Innobase, and Sleepycat, and wanted to buy them as a strategic investment?

        Or maybe Oracle needed their technology, because it didn't have enough database technology already?
    • by cmdr_beeftaco (562067) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:53AM (#14733301)
      I am starting a paypal collection box to make a competing bid. If enough of you contribute than I will attempt to out-bid Larry. If each slashdot userid contributes $100 USD we can make a very loud statement that free software should be free, unless someone tries to buy it and then it's really freaking expensive but we will buy it anyways and pretend it's free. Of course if not enough money is collected, at least we tried and I can buy that ipod I always wanted.
    • No, it's slowly becoming the favourite hate object of more and more programmers. It's being *used* by many PHP and Perl monkeys, sure - unfortunately including me - but it still suck, and more and more of us know it. I hate that it's a two week job to migrate off it - otherwise, I'd be off it a long time ago.

      Eivind.

    • It's not an RDBMS without Oracle owned innodb. MySQL fills a very different need than Oracle. It's great if you need a fast database for very simple data and your data is not extremely important. Also, you don't want to use it if you're selling your application to anyone as you will the need to incur license fees.

      I'd bet that Oracle was planning to make it easy to migrate from MySQL to Oracle when your application grows, much like Microsoft has an MS Access upgrade tool which many use. This would allo
    • Oracle has become bloated and greedy (not unlike another large software company I could mention) and as their product continues to be mired in expensive add-ons and upgrades that not many IT departments have use for, they are seeing MySQL as the herald of their doom. MySQL is a lean, mean RDBMS that is slowly becoming the darling of programmers (how many PHP/MySQL books are there?) and Oracle is dominating the large-scale market but can't seem to make in-roads in the smaller markets. On the one hand, they c
  • by atomic777 (860023) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:04AM (#14732711)
    [MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos] did, however, say why he turned down Oracle's offer: the desire to keep his company's independence. "We will be part of a larger company, but it will be called MySQL,"

    Given that Oracle has already acquired the makers of two of MySQL's transactional engines, putting them in a real tough spot, I'm sure Mr. Ellison assumed this final offer to MySQL to be just a formality.

    This kind of integrity is so rare these days. Whatever happens, we should all try our best to support MySQL in what may be a losing battle against an evil foe.

    • Right, support greedy MySQL in their battle against evil, greedy Oracle!

      MySQL AB thinks that using their ODBC or JDBC driver means that you have to purchase a license or go GPL. They are smoking the purple crack. JDBC and ODBC drivers aren't required for the functioning of your application - you can switch to another one. So there is no requirement to go GPL. But they would like to fool people into thinking that there is, essentially threatening them into purchasing a commercial license. In my opinion, th

  • by autopr0n (534291) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:11AM (#14732792) Homepage Journal
    The RDBM provides a standard function in a standard way. It only makes sense that it would become commoditized, and in the software world commoditized = free. Sure oracle offers some pretty impressive features, but at some point the cost of implementing those features yourself or the cost of not using those features is exceeded by the cost of buying oracle.

    Remember, MySQL has a closed-source business model trying to sell non-GPL'd versions of their source code - and oracle, now owning the original source Innodb and BerkleyDB can prevent them from doing that. MySQL can still use the GPL'd versions in their GPL'd products, but their closed source products go away, or at least they could. And Oracle isn't a company known for playing softball.
  • by andrewzx1 (832134) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @11:15AM (#14732843) Homepage Journal
    Here's a research piece I recently authored which details the business aspects of OSS database companies like MySQL, SleepyCat, DB4Objects, InterBase, Genezzo, and several others: http://www.tampatech.com/services/business_factors _in_oss_database_companies.htm [tampatech.com] - Andrew
  • First Sleepycat and now MySQL?

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