By embedded, do you mean like IBM has its DB2 Everywhere embedded database? If theres any heat, its probably from [open-source DBMS] MySQL [AB]. The heat is already coming from them, [though] not so much [from the standpoint of] the functionality and features. The interesting thing about MySQL is that it is not really open source. Its disguised as open source but is a private company. Its a for-profit organization, right? So, when the customer finally can see that and run the tests against [us], they will figure out, Oh my goodness, maybe I need to spend money on developing applications, because the moment I deploy, Im paying MySQL just as Im paying anybody else.I never underestimate my competitors. I wouldnt be surprised if, in one year, wed be sitting here talking about Microsofts entry into the market. Itd be foolish of them not to. To think that I, for some reason, am the only person with a vision. Thats why we bought AvantGo, thats why we focus so much on the embedded space, so much on the VAR space, so much on owning the embedded-database market, the mobile database market. Those are very important strategies of ours. ... Were trying to make it hard for people to catch up. But we will continue to grow, theres zero doubt because as the handset, the PDAs, the phones, as they converge and change shape and become an IP appliance of some sort, all these things [will be] happening in homes, organizations and businesses. I know Im not foolish enough to believe our early lead will sustain itself forever. I know IBM has some big aspirations. Oracle is very occupied; we dont worry about Oracle. Microsoft likes to partner with us, they put AvantGo on their desktop PC in 04. Thats a positive thing. Were trying to make it as pervasive as possible with them. What are the next steps for Sybase? Kind of the refitting of the new apps from Unix that want to move to Linux. Politically, we are the company best-positioned to take advantage of Linux. We have an opportunity to win because if you go to an established customer ... they cant afford to disassemble their platforms. So, we have some advantages. When Linux customers say, OK, were going to keep mission-critical apps on Linux on Sybase because we dont want to change the hardware environment, the application environment or the database environment, its perfect, because we kick back and use it as references to go into new accounts. Theres a lot of buzz around utility computing, making better utilization of resources. Is that something you have put money into? I think utility computing has to be a grid to be really powerful. The right way [to get the] best price performance and [lowest] total cost of ownership for our customers is you need to focus upon scalability across clusters. And you need to focus upon scalability across a distributed environment. I actually dont agree with the idea that grid computing may be useful for more than 5 percent of the bleeding edge. Because we dont need it, we really dont. On utility computing, Im not a big fan of it today; it doesnt mean it doesnt have a place. But its not something that I think Sybase should pursue. You have to build in something the customer wants. Where is Sybase at with its SAP partnership? We finally cracked the code [and convinced them that] they needed a platform beyond the Microsoft platform. Why? Because Microsoft purchases [enterprise software maker] Great Plains [Software Inc.] and wants to play in the same market. We dont have any of those aspirations, we dont have any of those needs, we dont have any of that know-how, I dont even have half of that dream. We finally were able to convince them we not only have the technology, but were a very stable company to work with. They like our mobile application. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at http://database.eweek.com for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.
Click here to read an eWEEK.com interview with MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius.