Database Thought Leaders Divided on Oracle MySQL

UPDATED: With all of its newly acquired Sun intellectual property and R&D in hand, Oracle is now moving headlong into the server, storage, processor, networking and, yes, even the switch business. But the most hotly debated factor in the acquisition has been the MySQL database.

Because Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems affects so many different markets, reaction to the completion of the $7.4 billion deal is still coming in from various corners of the IT world.
With all of its newly acquired Sun intellectual property and R&D in hand, Oracle is now moving headlong into the server, storage, processor, networking and, yes, even the switch business. Sun has been offering its own networking switch for several years, though it remains to be seen whether Oracle will continue in its development.
More than any other sector, however, the database world has had the most hotly debated reaction.
Some of the most indignant remarks came from IBM, in response to remarks made by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison about the DB2 database during the media event Jan. 27.
Previously, most of the reaction involved the care and feeding of the open-source MySQL database, which many people believe competes directly against Oracle's highly proprietary DBs. It is a direct conflict of interest, critics claim, for the world's largest database company to own and serve as steward of a popular, free-of-charge, open-source database like MySQL.
However, a number of other industry people-including former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos-strongly believe that Oracle is within its full right to acquire all of Sun, including MySQL. Mickos and others believe that the international community and the installed base will keep the technology independent.
Larry Alston, vice president of marketing and product management at EnterpriseDB, is one of those on Mickos' side of the argument. Alston told eWEEK that he expects Oracle to continue to invest in MySQL.
"They may formalize the licensing and pricing, but we actually think Oracle might invest in MySQL more than Sun did," Alston said. "Ultimately, Oracle could be a better home for MySQL. That being said, once MySQL is integrated into Oracle, it will be difficult for anyone to consider MySQL a truly independent, community-driven open-source project."
How will this affect EnterpriseDB in particular?
"Oracle's official ownership of MySQL simply further supports the fact that PostgreSQL is the only real choice for organizations looking to deploy an open-source database that is backed by a truly independent community," Alston said.
"For the last several months we've seen a steady stream of MySQL users looking to us for migration tools to Postgres, and we expect that trend to continue and even accelerate now that the EU has made its decision. PostgreSQL will continue to thrive because of its growing community and rock-solid development efforts. EnterpriseDB will float because of that."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...