MySQL Is No Linux
Those who liken the database market to the operating-system market, where Linux has been successful, and expect similar advances by the open-source database products are mistaken. In the operating-system market, unprofitable fragmentation and needless differentiation existed among hardware vendors proprietary Unix implementations. There were many incentives for the industry to consolidate on a Unixlike product to which they could contribute and which they could control. No such incentive exists in the database industry. Despite the arrangement between SAP and MySQL, which appears quite limited in its actual impact, it appears unlikely that major industry players will align around MySQL.Beyond Linux at the operating-system level, there really are relatively few other successful open-source products, and these include Web listeners [Apache], scripting languages like Perl or PHP and Java virtual machines [JBoss AS]. In these cases, the technology required to compete successfully is quite limited, especially compared with databases. Even in these areas, as with Linux, there are relatively large numbers of developers in the open-source community contributing to the development of their respective technologies. This situation does not exist in the MySQL case, where there are few actual contributors to the code base and where the company strategy includes acquisition of core technologies. The bottom line here is that in five years, while MySQL may be more capable than it is today, database products and related technology will have moved forward, as will customer requirements. It is not obvious that MySQL will be able to meet these requirements even then. Next page: You can lust after Oracle customers, but youre not getting them, Jacobs says.