CA Stirs up MySQLs World

Computer Associates' entry into the open-source database arena is making for some interesting times for the little Swedish company.

Imagine youre a little open-source database company from Sweden named MySQL. Things are going pretty good for you. Instead of competing directly with the RDBMS overlords, any of whom could squash you like a bug in terms of product features or market share, youre pushing the idea of lean, mean commodity databases that can do grunt database work without busting the bank.

Such a humble approach is indeed working for MySQL AB. Forrester recently surveyed 140 large North American companies on their open-source plans and found that MySQLs open-source database was high on respondents project lists, with 52 percent of respondents reporting that theyre using it or plan to use it.

So far, so good. But now, imagine youre MySQL last week. You wake up one morning as the open-source database darling of the corporate world, but by the end of the day, big-boy IT vendor Computer Associates has announced plans to unleash its Ingres database into the open-source database market.

Will CAs move threaten to push MySQL out of the picture? Its an interesting question, and opinions are mixed. As Forrester analyst Noel Yuhanna pointed out when he called from the things-are-jumping floor of CAWorld, Ingres is a very mature database management system. Compared with other open-source databases such as MySQL, its got a good feature/functionality makeup.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read more about CAs open-source plans.

"I think MySQL is going to be in trouble," Yuhanna said. "They still lack some of the business features and functionality." Yuhanna was referring to stored procedures and triggers, which MySQL has been talking about but which havent reached the production version yet.

"I think this is the right step for CA to capitalize on Ingres, [which is] a product thats not getting traction with new users," Yuhanna said.

Next page: Open-sourcing as an end-of-life strategy.