MySQL to Play in

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-04-14 Print this article Print

SMB Space?"> Oracles been making a lot of moves to crack the SMB [small to midsize business] market: cutting prices on Oracle 10g Standard Edition 1, packaging with Dell servers, etc. Everybody, myself included, has interpreted this as both a defensive and offensive move against Microsofts lock on the SMB market. What part do open-source databases such as MySQL play in these moves, though? As you surmise, it is likely that MySQL will have a greater impact on the SMB market than on the enterprise arena. The requirements in this market are less demanding. SMB customers are more sensitive to costs, and this is a perceived, but not completely accurate, advantage for MySQL. Since Microsoft has historically been a lower-cost product and since its functionality is more limited, users are more likely to migrate from SQL Server to MySQL than they are to do so from Oracle. Thus, SQL Server is under more pressure from MySQL than Oracle is.
This survey conducted by MySQL shows that more users have converted to MySQL from SQL Server than from Oracle, but that most users have not been using a database at all.
Customers remain concerned about the availability of support and are becoming aware of hidden costs in using open-source database products. Further, SMB customers most often seek solutions in the form of packaged applications and dont seek to purchase raw technology and build their own applications. There is a very limited range of packaged applications available for MySQL. Oracle is increasingly successful competing with Microsoft, and the new initiatives youve cited are being well-received. Attractive pricing and packaging makes the enterprise-class features of Oracle available to a broader range of customers and ensures their ability to scale and grow their applications environment as their business grows. The new manageability focus in Oracle 10g makes our product more appealing to customers of all sizes. A recent study shows that Oracle 10g is significantly easier and less costly to manage than a Microsoft SQL Server environment. Oracles availability on Linux and other operating systems is also attractive to more customers who want to avoid lock-in to the Windows environment. Oracle SE One pricing means that customers can obtain world-class database technology and professional support for less than they can with MySQL, depending on the number of users and servers they need. Why would a customer spend more to get less? Oracles new initiatives and the strength of our product line not only help us compete better with Microsoft, but further raise the bar for MySQL. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at for the latest database news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our database news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

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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