According to reports released in March by Meta Group analyst Charlie Garry, MySQLs ability to take an ever-bigger bite out of the Oracle-dominated database market is real and growing. "MySQL is the wildcard in the competitive $12 billion database market," Garry wrote in the article, titled "MySQL Open Source Essentials." "MySQL AB is attacking market leaders using a combination of open source and commercial licensing to speed the adoption of its software." (For a look at eWEEK Labs tests that have shown MySQL performance on a par with Oracle9i, click here.)MySQL estimates that 29,000 people download its database daily and that it has about 4 million active users. Only 1,200 of those users are paying customers, estimated Garry, in Stamford, Conn. Granted, thats not an impressive number, he said. But when you look at the power of a distribution model such as open source, which anybody in an enterprise can download without getting a signature from higher-ups, enterprise management would be wise to look into how theyre going to manage MySQL, because it will surely show up. "In a few years, well start to get calls from database administrators saying, We just found out weve got all these MySQL applications that have been built. What should we be doing?" Garry said. "[Management] had better start thinking about, How do we use open source better in our environment, how do we control the influx? Its so easy to get. You dont want to get applications being built with MySQL and you dont even know about it. You have to control that usage." MySQL 5.0 is available in pre-alpha code now and expected to arrive at alpha stage in three to five months, in the opinion of MySQLs Wagner. For future releases, the company will focus on speed, reliability, ease of use and maintaining the economical value of the database, he saidnot always an easy thing to maintain when open source hits the enterprise market. "Theres always ease-of-use issues to work on as we grow in the enterprise and add more enterprise-level features that the big customers demand to support their applications," he said. "Its tough to maintain that ease of use without getting bogged down in complications. A database that supports SAP or something, thats not that easy to use. Thats going to be a balance for us to maintain." Latest Stories by Lisa Vaas:
Garry expects the open-source model to grow "exponentially" as large IT organizations become ever-more comfortable with its risks and rewards with regards to support, security and total cost of ownership. Meta expects that open-source databases will begin to gain a significant chunk of the enterprise marketbetween 3 and 5 percentby 2006, as use of low-level software such as operating systems and Web servers pave the way for wider acceptance of higher-level components, such as databases and application servers.