Towards the end of 2009 there has been much speculation about the future of MySQL, which boasts, with good reason, the tagline “the world’s most popular open source database”.
This is an important news item for “the opens”. In case you are not aware of MySQL and it’s widespread use, here is a short exerpt from the MySQL wikipedia page:
“MySQL is often used in free software projects that require a full-featured database management system, such as WordPress, phpBB and other software built on the LAMP software stack. It is also used in many high-profile, large-scale World Wide Web products including Wikipedia, Google and Facebook.”
So, back to the story — Sun Microsystems bought MySQL in 2008, and now Oracle are in the process of aquiring Sun. The concern, acording to a Computer World blog is that because Oracle has its own flagship database offering (in the high end corporate end of the market) it will have little incentive to improve the open source MySQL product.
They are not the only ones to be concerned. Yahoo! News reports the European Commission objections regarding competition in the database market. The item focuses on a campaign launched by the MySQL creator to try and stop the deal. Not everyone agrees, FT.com report comments from competitor IBM who claim that there is no antitrust issue. MySQL, they report, isnt a competitor for the more sophisticated database products of Oracle.
After the EC hearing the Register reported on the discussions in Brussels which are instrumental for the deal to be approved by regulators in Europe (the deal has already been approved in the US):
“Oracle said it would “publicly commit” to making MySQL’s storage engine APIs available to vendors. It also declared a number of licence promises including “non-assertion” and “to enhance MySQL in the future under the GPL”…. “A final legal deadline for a decision on the Oracle/Sun Microsytems deal is 27 January 2010″”
Oracle published a 10 point plan to ease customer’s concerns about the future of the best known open source product.
Let’s see what the EC think when they make their decision later this month.