MySQL usually is touted as a cross-platform, open-source database. And it is. But the company behind it—also known as MySQL—probably takes in the bulk of its revenue on the commercial side of the house.
The fact is that when ISVs embed MySQL in their applications, the database is a commercial product with a commercial license. And the company derives actual revenue from license sales as well as from support contracts.
In a recent interview, CEO Marten Mickos said the addition of triggers, stored procedures and other higher-level database functions in the current MySQL 5.1 release, filled many requirements for OEMs. He would not comment on the percentage of revenue that flows through OEMs, but it was clear that they are an important part of the distribution mix.
Mickos maintains that for many ISV and OEM customers, there is comfort in knowing that MySQL does not compete with them in applications. Last year, Sage Software CEO Ron Verni told a reporter that one reason his company went with MySQL in its wares was Microsofts decision to enter the ERP and CRM fray where it competes with Sage products.
In fact, several third-party ISVs view Microsoft with alarm and thus went with other software providers for code they did not want to build themselves. RightNow and Omniture are also big MySQL ISV customers.