Oracle Finds the Flaw in MySQLs Business Plan

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-10-12 Print this article Print

Updated: Opinion: Many believe that the InnoDB storage engine is at the heart of what makes the upcoming MySQL 5.0 database tick. The question now is, will Oracle twist that knife?

Oh, MySQL. We hardly knew ye.

Here you are, perched on the final release of 5.0. Its expected out within mere days; this, the version destined to get you playing with the database big boys, with transactions and stored procedures and all those enterprise must-haves.
Then all of a sudden, from out of the darkest pits of Mordor, Oracle comes and snatches the golden ring.
Yes, on Friday, the database behemoth gulped down InnoDB, the development company behind what some people consider to be one of the most crucial pieces of technology in the innovative 5.0 database release. Sure, the InnoDB storage engine is only one of many storage engines that ships with the database. But from what I hear, if you want to do transactions with MySQL, youve got to have InnoDB. This is how Jeremy Zawodny, an open-source database expert and MySQL user who works at Yahoo, put it in a recent blog post: "Its the de-facto choice for developers who need high concurrency, row-level locking and transactions in MySQL." That take was echoed by a former Oracle database marketer: Paola Lubet, now vice president of marketing and business development at Solid Information Technology. Lubet was with Oracle for seven years and was senior director of database product marketing. "The recently announced new 5.0 features of MySQL are powered only by InnoDB, [which] now belongs to Oracle," Lubet told me. "As a result, MySQL is left only with its Classic edition that is file-based and doesnt support transactions, triggers or store procedures or any other advanced database features." Next Page: Who to believe.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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