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Oracle Acquires Sleepycat

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the everyone-getting-a-piece-of-open-source dept.

Databases 403

Deven writes "Computerworld is reporting that Oracle has just acquired Sleepycat Software (makers of the open-source Berkeley DB embedded database) for an undisclosed sum. Having previously acquired Innobase, Oracle is certainly taking a look at diversity."

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May I be the first to say... (4, Funny)

spectre_240sx (720999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721307)

God Damnit

Re:May I be the first to say... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721344)

May I be the first to say - I second that!

Interesting .... (5, Interesting)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721331)

.. o O o ..

Can Oracle's acquisitions be predicted based upon the database backends used with MySQL? What other backends work with MySQL?

Re:Interesting .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721596)

Microsoft Access! [mysql.com] 0_o

Re:Interesting .... (1)

menkhaura (103150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721655)

How evil would Microsoft be if Oracle acquired Microsoft? IOW, how evil Oracle is?

Re:Interesting .... (1)

Jamesday (794888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721757)

At present there are more than twenty storage engines for MySQL, though most aren't distributed by MySQL itself. Quite a few significant users of MySQL have their own engines for special purposes as well.

Why do this? (2, Interesting)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721337)

Why buy up all these other database alternatives? The only good reason I can think of is that they are trying to cover all ranges of database needs. I guess that makes sense, but are they going to combine all of these products into one interoperable system and thus destroy the original advantages the previous products had?

Re:Why do this? (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721353)

Why buy up all these other database alternatives?

To screw with competitors like Mysql.

Re:Why do this? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721528)

Don't blame Oracle (since it's their right to buy software); blame the people selling to Oracle.

Re:Why do this? (1)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721568)

Don't blame Oracle (since it's their right to buy software); blame the people selling to Oracle.

Huh? That doesn't make any sense. It their right to sell to Oracle also.

Why not blame open source software developers who depend heavily on products that they can't control. I'm not saying it's always a bad idea to link to BDB, I'm just saying that if your project can be seriously hurt by the actions of another project, you need to have a plan B.

Re:Why do this? (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721681)

Berkeley DB was, is , and will always be open source. The Cat is out of the bag, and it's not going back in. I say hurray to Sleepy Cat: The open source world has a database and they got an undisclosed bonus for all their work.

Re:Why do this? (1)

Jamesday (794888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721767)

So fork BDB - that's your right for open source software. :) If this bothers people, that's what will happen. The right to fork is a significant guarantee of long-term availability.

Re:Why do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721728)

TimesTen was considered the fastest in-memory DB in the financial software industry. Oracle bought it, and stuffed it with Java, and other usual Oracle thingies. like JDBC and Web based administration etc.. I haven't tried it since, but I will not be surprised if its benchmarks are comparable to Microsoft Access.

Re:Why do this? (4, Insightful)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721768)

There are two important decisions that I think are relevent:

(1) Oracle bought not one, but TWO mysql backends, which happened to be both of their transactional backends.
(2) MySQL AB licenses the client libraries under the GPL.

The only conclusion that I can come to from either of those is control.

MySQL AB needed control over their MySQL database, and so they restricted the distribution of the client libraries. You can argue about what licenses are acceptable for libraries in general, but for a client-server program, it is very strange to restrict the distribution of the client libraries. The decision therefore must have been deliberate, and made for a business reason. That reason is control.

And Oracle obviously made a business decision. There was question about the motives after buying Innobase, but those questions are now answered when they purchased the only remaining candidate for a transactional storage engine for the MySQL commercial product.

So here we have Oracle which clearly thinks they have control over MySQL AB, and MySQL AB which clearly thinks they have control over the MySQL database. For that to be false you would have to assume that one of those companies made a serious error in their business decision. So, Oracle now has some substantial degree of control over MySQL database.

To prevent Oracle from exercising this control, we need to
(1) fork the MySQL database
(2) do a cleanroom reverse engineering of the client libraries and make them LGPL/whatever (in order to keep current commercial MySQL users in business)
(3) fork InnoDB and/or BDB to make sure we have an open source backend that is actively developed.

By that time, it will all be irrelevant.

Fortunately, PostgreSQL is immune from these types of licensing problems. The client libraries and the database itself are freely destributable. And the developers work for a wide variety of companies. As far as I know, FirebirdSQL, Inges, and SAP DB are also free of licensing problems. That's 4 good alternatives if Oracle really tries to set MySQL back.

Re:Why do this? (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721786)

I think fine tuning would be the main benefit.

My understanding is that mainframe DB/2 lets you specify the type of storage and indexing to provide over data. PostgreSQL provides some control over that detail. MySQL was pretty much built as a virtual database over real containers. Sybase and Ingres have always allowed a fair bit of control over their indexing and container options. Oracle has some tuning options as well.

But if a vendor is targetting environments that need fine-tuning to eek every last bit of performance out of the hardware, it's always good to have more options for certain performance profiles. They're not common, but there might be a large enough customer base to consider adding that type of tuning to Oracle.

The fine-tuning options are all that significantly distinguish the top 3-4 RDBMS vendors. They all meet the checklists for multi-language, multi-platform drivers, SQL92+ standards support, integrity constraints, triggers, stored procs, replication options, online backup, and hot-failover and/or cluster support. You just need to buy into vendor-specific syntax to tweak the performance. It's getting hard to find specific areas where one vendor is "better" or "easier" than another.

diversity???? (2, Insightful)

slackaddict (950042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721345)

"Having previously acquired Innobase, Oracle is certainly taking a look at diversity."

Uhhh... it looks to me like they are purchasing their competition to either insure it isn't developed to the point that it can be a serious threat to their own database product or to quietly change it so much that it's useless and kill the project. Wouldn't be the first time this has happened...

The "Symantec" and Macromedia Approach (2, Interesting)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721357)

Buy good product. Stop selling product.

Drove me nuts back in my Mac programming days. But at least now developers can fork the open source code, should the creator decide it shouldn't be so open any more.

Re:The "Symantec" and Macromedia Approach (1)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721461)

But at least now developers can fork the open source code

True. However, any successful move of development from one organization to open source coders is usually heavily backed by the organization, at least to get it started. Oracle knows that the organization of the project itself takes a lot of work to nurture, and that anyone who forked development wouldn't really get off the ground for a while, if ever. And time is valuable to Oracle now.

Its not competition (1)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721365)

BDB doesn't compete with oracle in any way.

Re:Its not competition - Oh yes it is (3, Informative)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721408)

BDB is used as a backend engine in MySQL. It is one of the two best backends - the other being InnoDB. Oddly enough, Oracle bought InnoDB about 3 months ago.

Sense a pattern?

Re:Its not competition - Oh yes it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721494)

Are you seriously trying to say that Oracle is in competition with MySQL? Even the MySQL developers wouldn't say that with a straight face. MySQL is a toy database.

Re:Its not competition - Oh yes it is (5, Interesting)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721559)

Do a Google groupd search for MySQL. Do a second one for Oracle.

Surprise! MySQL has 75% as many messages about it as Oracle does.

They damn well are competition. They are eating Oracle's entry market. Not everyone needs a super-duper database. A good enough free database trumps a extremely overpriced 'perfect' one in most applications.

Re:Its not competition - Oh yes it is (1)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721656)

"Are you seriously trying to say that Oracle is in competition with MySQL?" Yep. I had a customer who currently uses Oracle ask me about our support for using OSS databases (i.e. postgres & MySQL) with one of our products only yesterday (we do not support them at present but enough customer ask...).

I sense you needing hooked on phonics. (1)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721801)

You can certainly argue that mysql competes with oracle. They are both relational SQL database servers. Oracle did not purchase mysql however, they bought sleepycat, who makes BDB, which is in no way a competitor to oracle. It is neither relational, nor SQL, nor even a server. Its a low level database library. It is also BSD licensed, so mysql can go right ahead and keep using it until they end of time, regardless of who buys the company who made it.

Re:Its not competition (2, Interesting)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721426)

Yes it does, as a potential replacement for InnoDB as a backend for MySQL. When Oracle bought Innobase (makers of InnoDB), all the MySQL people suggested improving the BerkeleyDB backend to make it their primary transaction-supporting backend. Now, looks like that's owned by Oracle to. Maybe it's a coincidence? Or maybe the licensing of MySQL really is a weakness*, and Oracle saw a cheap way to exploit it.

* MySQL licenses the client libraries as GPL, meaning that any application that has support for MySQL needs to either be GPL or get a commercial license.

Re:Its not competition (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721508)

When Oracle bought Innobase (makers of InnoDB), all the MySQL people suggested improving the BerkeleyDB backend to make it their primary transaction-supporting backend. Now, looks like that's owned by Oracle to.

BerkeleyDB is open source. Who cares whether or not Oracle owns SleepyCat? Isn't the worst they can do is force all the employees to stop working on it during work hours? Nothing stops them from developing it on their own time or even letting another group of developers take over.

Re:Its not competition (1)

spectre_240sx (720999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721566)

Quite a few people care. Just because it's an open source project doesn't mean that the amount of work it takes to keep it going is any less significant. If developers are forced to stop working on the project at certain times or if the project needs to be forked, you can expect a large pause in development that can seriously disrupt the project.

Open source is good, but it doesn't miraculously solve all problems.

Re:Its not competition (2, Insightful)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721602)

Because, many people depend on commercially-licensed MySQL because they have a non-GPL product that they want to include MySQL support for.

Now, the commercial distribution of MySQL may be weaker than the GPL version, because Oracle can stop licensing the "good" backends to MySQL AB for them to license to you. And the GPL version is highly restrictive because you can't link the client libraries to non-GPL clients.

And if MySQL AB stops developing MySQL because they can't sell people a database without transactions, the development organization of MySQL database is gone. It takes a long time and/or a lot of help to get that organization back, and by that time it may be irrelevent.

Re:Its not competition (1)

mccoma (64578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721744)

I guess we have a new rule in the "Dual License Business Model" - you need to own all the software you are licensing.

Well, maybe all this will start more people looking at PostgreSQL.

Re:Its not competition (2, Interesting)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721630)

As I said to the other poster: The BDB code may be covered by patents which Oracle could choose to exercise, thereby preventing the BDB code from being used despite its liberal license.

Re:Its not competition (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721620)

There you're wrong. We (Openwave) used Oracle in our flagship email system, and swapped out the backend for Sleepycat (on the low end) in order to be able to meet a lower price point. For our application, performance was similar or better on similar hardware, but the maintainence and supporting utilities weren't there.

No, I'm quite right. (1)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721779)

BDB isn't a database server, nor is it relational, nor does it involve SQL in any way. Its a lower level database, it could be used to create a backend for a database server (like mysql uses it for), but does not in any way compete with oracle, which is a relational database server.

Re:diversity???? (1)

malraid (592373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721422)

diversity would be buying "Dunking Donuts"... this is core business as usual.

What competitors does Oracle have? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721564)

Uhhh... it looks to me like they are purchasing their competition to either insure it isn't developed to the point that it can be a serious threat to their own database product or to quietly change it so much that it's useless and kill the project. Wouldn't be the first time this has happened...

I seem to remember reading that their only serious competitor for the high end database market is DB2/IBM with Microsoft offering a low end alternative. As far as I know they haven't bought out IBM or Microsoft yet and they haven't gone after the OSS alternatives: Postgres, Firebird, Mysql etc. either so I don't think that is has alot to do with suffocating competitors. Mostly Oracle has been buying up all sorts of Middle ware, SSO/Identity Management and other specialist firms with the aim of offering a one-stop-shop platform independent middleware solution for medium to large corporate customers. They are buying expertise and functionality they need but don't have and want to integrate it into their solution packages.

Please - anyone see this not happening? (1)

RiotXIX (230569) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721349)

It's just like the parable of the mouse and the blind horse - in the end, it all came together from nowhere.

Re:Please - anyone see this not happening? (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721412)

I don't get it.

Or, are you saying that it just doesn't make sense?

Re:Please - anyone see this not happening? (1)

RiotXIX (230569) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721721)

Kind of - think about it: 1 [irenecrafts.com] + 2 [firstartsource.com] = 3 [roving-mouse.com] . The mouse travelling at the speed of a horse under its control will always outrun a sleepy-cat [uci.edu] . It's the only option the mouse had looking at the circumstances, and given Oracle must be the mouse in the story, it's in the winning situation.

Damn. (4, Interesting)

cosmotron (900510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721350)

What a bad reason to lay off their employees [slashdot.org] . I can't believe that they bought another company [slashdot.org] ...

Re:Damn. (1)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721502)

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Perhaps it was a stock deal?

And even if not, it's not like the money was spent on some party. That money goes to another company, who will use that money to buy labor and/or capital. If an Oracle employee is being a net negative, it's economically more efficient to reallocate those human resources elsewhere. If they are highly qualified, maybe they could go work for google, or someone who could use them more effectively.

is that the way... (0, Flamebait)

netdur (816698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721362)

Oracle wanna "fight" oss competitors?

wonder if Oracle understand what open source is... and what fork means

Re:is that the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721415)

Yes. This is an _excellent_ time to dive in and learn this code. Just reviewed the licence and it seems clear that berkeley db is totally forkable.

Re:is that the way... (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721467)

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I have no doubt Ellison has nefarious purposes in all of this. Will someone fork these projects and pick up the torch? Will new products be built?

Re:is that the way... (2, Interesting)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721735)

Sure Oracle understands. They also understand that enterprises want support . Any company can pick up the source code to Berkeley DB and run with it. But that company cannot sell a commercial license, they can only provide support.

Re:is that the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721822)

So if a fork can provide the only thing that enterprises want, what exactly is the problem?

SleepyCat huh? (3, Funny)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721367)

Well, don't walk around their headquarters at night then, you might trip on the damn thing because its sleeping in the middle of the hallway.

Re:SleepyCat huh? (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721755)

Illiad? Is that you?

Taking a look at Diversity? (5, Insightful)

hedronist (233240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721372)

Diversity? It looks more like careening towards homogeneity to me. First they bought Innobase, giving them the ability to cut MySQL's transaction nuts off, then they buy another open-sourece-friendly DBMS which has transaction capability.

Now, if you were the largest commercial DBMS vendor in the world and you were worried about the OSS people moving into your space, what would you buy in order to stop them cold? Me? I'd keep them out of atomic transaction space.

Do keep in mind we are talking about Larry Ellison here. Just google on "larry ellison greed" to see what some other people think of this champion of diversity.

Re:Taking a look at Diversity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721488)

Now, if you were the largest commercial DBMS vendor in the world and you were worried about the OSS people moving into your space, what would you buy in order to stop them cold?

A massive web hosting company and a book publishing firm.

PostgreSQL is BSD-licensed and better than MySQL. There are two main advantages MySQL has:

  1. It's easy to find web hosting with MySQL, not so easy for PostgreSQL.
  2. It's easy to find books on MySQL, not so easy for PostgreSQL.

Oracle can cut the nuts off MySQL at any point. But their real problem is that they can't possibly do the same for PostgreSQL, because everything that makes it go is BSD licensed. So Oracle need to make sure MySQL maintains its userbase.

Re:Taking a look at Diversity? (1)

Jamesday (794888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721793)

One other MySQL advantage: millions of downloads and lots of places like Wikipedia and Sabre and Yahoo and Google using it in world-beating products with massive loads.

Re:Taking a look at Diversity? (2, Funny)

saifatlast (659446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721498)

Now, if you were the largest commercial DBMS vendor in the world and you were worried about the OSS people moving into your space, what would you buy in order to stop them cold?

Shhh!! You idiot, don't give them any ideas!!

Re:Taking a look at Diversity? (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721514)

In other news, 1.25 seconds after SleepyCat was bought, a group of MySQL developers forked BDB and life moved on.

Re:Taking a look at Diversity? (1)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721599)

Are you sure the BDB code is not covered by patents now owned by Oracle? What happens if they should choose to exercise them?

Re:Taking a look at Diversity? (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721636)

The Sleepycat code is dual licensed. It's only opensource for opensource. That can be a problem for commercial users of the software.

Re:Taking a look at Diversity? (1)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721773)

Unfortunately for MySQL AB, that would only allow them to release the resulting combination under the GPL. They would not be able to sell proprietary-licensed versions for $400 or so a crack.

That kind of undermines the whole "You're always safer if you buy commercial licenses" thing...

Two MySQL backends owned by Oracle (5, Interesting)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721395)

Oracle now owns two MySQL backend products. First InnoDB, which was their primary transaction-supporting backend, and now BerkeleyDB. Now, in order for MySQL AB to license MySQL database commercially, they need Oracle's permission (that is, if they want basic database features like atomic transactions).

And if you don't get a commercial license from MySQL AB, you can't link the mysql client library to a non-GPL application. That means, if you have a non-GPL application and you want to add support for MySQL, you are now dependent on Oracle.

Re:Two MySQL backends owned by Oracle (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721720)

> And if you don't get a commercial license from MySQL AB, you can't link the mysql client library > to a non-GPL application.

Sure you can, you just can't distribute it.

Re:Two MySQL backends owned by Oracle (1)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721846)

That's a pretty strong restriction, considering that organizations usually want to deploy many copies of an application, even if they are only using it internally. Particularly a database driven application.

You can also split hairs over whether you can use an interpreted language that has the library built-in or something. I think the standard is that if you depend on that specific code being there (i.e. the MySQL library), then it counts as distribution. The point is, you are deep in lawyer-ville. Maybe you can sort these things out and stay on the right side of the letter of the law. But to me, having to be so careful doesn't sound like the spirit "free software".

Let's imagine a hypothetical alternative: A GPL database and LGPL client libraries. You put as many of the databases anywhere you want, and you link up the client library to whatever you want and put the resulting programs wherever you want, or sell them if you want. To me, that's easy and feels a lot more free. Or, take the GNU example: GNU gzip will happily provide it's output to either GNU tar or BSD tar. Again, feels like the spirit of free software.

Limiting the linking of a library to GPL applications may promote more GPL applications. But limiting the distribution of a client library limits interoperability. A client library is sort of like a standard more than like code, and GPLing it means only GPL applications get to see the standard.

[ if you weren't serious, I apologize ]

more generic interfaces (1)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721821)

I really think that using a more generic interface, such as JDBC/ODBC would effectively act as a GPL barrier. Sure, it's not as fast, but it should work. Furthermore, if you built from scratch a library that talked with the mysql server, you could give it a generic license.

I'm not arguing that Oracle didn't do it with the intention to kill the competitor, just that the consequences aren't as drastic, at least not in the short term.

Re:more generic interfaces (1)

jadavis (473492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721888)

I really think that using a more generic interface, such as JDBC/ODBC would effectively act as a GPL barrier

True. The difficulty there is that MySQL's version of SQL is substantially different from other dialects. Granted, the standard is not adhered to all that well by anyone. But there are definately a few MySQLisms that would stand out, and limit that argument. I don't know whether it would stand up or not, but it seems like a lawyer could make a reasonable argument that "hey, they're just using this as a workaround layer" if you're still using highly MySQL-specific SQL.

Furthermore, if you built from scratch a library that talked with the mysql server, you could give it a generic license.

Yes. I highly recommend that people interested in MySQL as an open source database do indeed implement a from-scratch LGPL version of the library. It may be necessary in the future, in a sudden way. Then, if the worst happened (development from MySQL AB, Innobase, and Sleepycat just stopped), you would at least have the commercial users still on board when you needed to organize some developers to fork the code. If you didn't have the LGPL library, the commercial MySQL licensees would just have to jump ship when that happened.

Re:Two MySQL backends owned by Oracle (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721835)

Call me crazy, but isn't it trivial to write your own client lib? I mean, looking at the source code here, it appears to just be a wrapper that opens a socket (tcp or unix), writes your plain text SQL request to it and reads back the response. I can remember someone asking me to add mySQL support to an app about 6 years ago and I didn't even use the client lib cause I didn't think anyone would need a library for something that simple.

Chump change to Oracle (5, Insightful)

jonsmirl (114798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721398)

The price of these acquisitions is chump change for Oracle. My bet is that they are buying these companies to destroy them. Oracle does not want something like Mysql becoming a real threat to their DB business, so the tried and true solution is to kill the babies before they grow up. They will attempt to migrate what customers they can and then stop development on the acquired code bases. The acquired developers, if they stick around, will be put to work building migration tools.

Re:Chump change to Oracle (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721854)

Time to move on to postgresql. Actually, I did that a while back.

Obviously... (0, Flamebait)

Chilluhm (953659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721410)

...another sign that the apocalypse is upon us.

Oracle cannot kill the GPLed MySQL (4, Interesting)

Andy Tai (1884) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721437)

Oracle may have screwed up the ability of MySQL to license the proprietary version of their database and may even killed MySQL's primary revenue stream, but they cannot remove MySQL, Berkeley DB or innobase from the market. Maybe MySQL will adapt, or someone will pick up the MySQL business, but the Free databases will continue to gain on Oracle. Oracle's nightmare cannot go away.

Re:Oracle cannot kill the GPLed MySQL (2, Interesting)

nikoftime (544802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721517)

They can't kill off the GPLed MySQL, but they can kill off the **commercial version** by purchasing the backend products and then reducing or eliminating their development. This means that a company or third party vendor that wanted to develop an app using MySQL would not be able to use the commercial version of MySQL in an effective way (since they would now be tied to Oracle, and Oracle's development whims of development for the MySQL backend products like InnoDB and BDB), and they also cannot use the GPLed MySQL unless they want to GPL their own application.

Oracle thus makes it sensible for any vendor who doesn't want to be tied to an rapidly deprecating platform to use the Oracle database.

Re:Oracle cannot kill the GPLed MySQL (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721560)

What MySQL *really* needs is a nice BSD-licensed connector/driver/client library compatible with existing solutions for popular languages such as PHP, Perl, Python, Java & others.

Re:Oracle cannot kill the GPLed MySQL (1)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721587)

Or, you know, PostgreSQL (http://www.postgresql.org/ [postgresql.org] ) which is a far better database than MySQL by most measures, and much closer to Oracle in terms of features and performance (and even PL/SQL compatibility to a limited extent in the form of PL/PGSQL).

Funding baby, here we come! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721482)

Don't you love the OSS cycle? OSS product picks up market share, commercial competitor pays buckets to shut it down ... OSS product uses money to fork off a better product.

Us westeners think in such a wrong way. Japanese businesses think in years, westeners think in quarters. I reckon the real value here is the huge injection of cash into database R&D, from a respected commercial source. And don't forget! Oracle make a good database engine.

Re:Funding baby, here we come! (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721718)

westeners think?

Seriously, when was the last time you heard a westener say "how is this good for the company?" without snickering?

How will this affect BDB-using projects? (2, Interesting)

TheBracket (307388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721495)

I wonder how this will affect other projects using the BDB back-end (for example, OpenLDAP and Subversion). I imagine Oracle can't pull the source for already open versions, and it might be possible for a free fork to emerge if it is needed - but it could put a cloud over those projects while they arrange alternative back-ends.

Re:How will this affect BDB-using projects? (2, Informative)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721594)

Subversion was moving away from BDB in favor of fsfs anyway. The fact of the matter, though, is that BDB has all the features OpenLDAP and Subversion need... so even if SleepyCat doesn't release any more updates it doesn't really mean much to the individual projects. They can fork BDB and life will move on.

American Idol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721515)

The grey haired guy will win American Idol. Mark my words.

Also, those nig twins should have been kicked off for asshattery.

Challenge for Open Source (5, Interesting)

cyberjessy (444290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721524)

This could become one of the biggest challenges for Open Source in the years to come. The biggies could but these companies (often run by a handful of good men) for a small sum; and then change the way they function. Of course the old source will still be available, but the guys who know the intricacies will no longer be working on it. Bug fixes might be late, new features may never come. Many of the old users will leave, some stay hoping for the best. All the roadmaps vanish. Until someone picks up the ashes and starts again. Rebirth.

I am not sure how fair it will be to ask any company/people to not take a multi-MILLION dollar offer, so that they would remain FREE.

You can mod this funny, 'cause after I finished writing it feels like a para from MadMax.

racing home ASAP (0, Offtopic)

Flunitrazepam (664690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721544)

Dear god what Phluffy ever do to Oracle?

Are they just trying to derail MySQL? (2, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721550)

I get the impression that Oracle is just doing this to screw with MySQL. As many know, MySQL gives you a choice of back end data stores. You can go with MAX (now owned by Oracle), or you can go with Berkeley DB (now owned by Oracle).

As the developer of an application [citadel.org] that uses Berkeley DB for all of its data stores, I am more than a little concerned about this. Does Oracle see any actual value in Sleepycat, or are they just doing this to shut them down?

Re:Are they just trying to derail MySQL? (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721700)

Hi Mr Foobar - maybe it is time to save a copy of the BDB source code, so you can fork it if needed. As is, BDB has all the features Citadel needs, so it doesn't matter if your fork stagnates.

Re:Are they just trying to derail MySQL? (1)

Jamesday (794888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721816)

It's perhaps more of a reason to use a database server like MySQL which has lots of storage engines and can develop or integrate more as necessary to deal with such business changes. No reason to write to only MySQL either.

Cutting MySQL's other leg off? (3, Insightful)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721553)

This seems like it fits with their other purchases if their strategy is to kill of the commercial incarnation of MySQL. First the InnoDB purchase threatened MySQL's commercial business being the primary transaction based backend, and now BDB too is threatened.

Can MySQL license the code (and any patents covering it) to continue commercial MySQL sales/support?

Raw Power (2, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721579)

Embrace
Extinguish
????
Profit!!!

Actually.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721682)

Profit ?????? buy stuff ?????? PROFIT!!

Raw Power Refactored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721722)

Profit
Embrace
Extinguish

Fuck the ?????

am I the only one? (0, Offtopic)

mseidl (828824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721671)

Smelly cat, smelly cat, why are they buying you?

PotgreSQL... (4, Interesting)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721676)

... dodge this. Really folks, except for the nifty LAMP acronym what is it that keeps MySQL afloat? There's no reason not to go with PostgreSQL, a neat, cool and scary DBMS. If only those phpBB look alike script packs didn't insist hardcoding MySQL dialects in their code this would be a non story, it's that simple. It's like insisting on using VB just because everyone else does... and PostgreSQL documentation is good, so there's no "I can't figure it out" excuse.

Re:PotgreSQL... (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721710)

> except for the nifty LAMP acronym what is it that keeps MySQL afloat?

Until recently it was support. Support's a big deal for many companies - they want a throat to choke as the saying goes...

Re:PotgreSQL... (1)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721873)

There is no shortage of companies supporting PostgreSQL: http://www.postgresql.org/support/professional_sup port_northamerica [postgresql.org]

Besides, who would you trust not to disappear next week, MySQL AB, or say, Sun?

Re:PotgreSQL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721908)

Um, Sun isn't in the list that you linked to.

So ..... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721690)

Should I grab a copy of it while it's still free for personal use in case I want it later?

I can't imagine it's in Oracle's ineterest for me to be able to grab a quality database which will do what I need it to do for free.

I've always liked the Berkeley Database stuff, since the key/value sets it uses can be used in cases where a traditional RDB doesn't always apply.

Sad to hear SleeyCat is going away. They have some cool stuff.

Re:So ..... (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721741)

Sad to hear SleeyCat is going away. They have some cool stuff.

There's always hope that Sleepycat folk will pull a Justin Frankel and be a pain in the ass. :)

not a competitor (1)

andrewzx1 (832134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721770)

SleepyCat is an embedded database that doesn't even process SQL. It doesn't compete with any Oracle products. This is about diversification.

Re:not a competitor (1)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721807)

Ah, but it was a competitor, in that it was the only non-Oracle-owned database engine that MySQL(tm) could use for transactional data storage.

Oracle previously bought InnoDB OY, who were the vendor of the other (non-SQL) transactional engine used by MySQL(tm).

Wouldn't it be neat (1)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721791)

Wouldn't it be neat if the new company revoked the open source license for the DB? The company owns the Copyright. Supposedly it can revoke the open source license whenever it changes its mind, which means, whenever Oracle changes its mind. Everyone using it would suddenly be without a license.

Re:Wouldn't it be neat (1)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721874)

I am not a lawyer, but this kind of thing cant go back in time. GPL and the like dont put time clause on the license. If you (copyright holder) gave me the right to use your creation, that is how it stays. Future versions (even minor improvements) is a fair game though.

Re:Wouldn't it be neat (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721909)

i'm pretty sure that you can't revoke the license that the code was distributed with in the past, you can only change the license for new distributions (and your license can include terms that say that it can't be redistributed so that technically any new users would have to come to you under whatever your current license is at the time)

Oracle choking MySQL (1)

kbahey (102895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721827)

The other day, I wrote about Oracle becoming too powerful [baheyeldin.com] and that now MySQL AB is totally screwed up.

MySQL AB should have first seen that Inno is crucial to them, and bought them out.

Having failed to do that, BDB was the engine left after Oracle gobbled up Inno, and MySQL AB should have bought them out.

Now MySQL AB will get choked ...

[bdbxml-ann] Oracle acquires Sleepycat (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721849)

I'm pleased to announce today that Sleepycat Software has been acquired by
Oracle.

By joining the leading database company in the world, I expect that we
will be able to serve our customers and the open source community better.
With the additional expertise, resources and reach of Oracle, we'll be
able to accelerate innovation, offer you greater choice, and provide more
complete solutions. For Oracle, we fill a gap in the product portfolio
for high performance embedded/edge databases, an area which we believe is
a significant and growing opportunity.

I assure you that we will continue to deliver the products and services
that you are used to receiving from Sleepycat Software. We plan to
continue developing, supporting and selling the entire family of Berkeley
DB products, including our XML and Java Editions. There are no plans to
change our dual license model, and we will continue to serve both open
source and commercial users. Oracle will honor the terms and conditions
of existing Sleepycat agreements.

All of your contacts, phone numbers and email addresses for Sleepycat
Sales and Customer Support remain the same. In fact, 100% of Sleepycat's
employees are expected to transition to Oracle, so we retain all our deep
technical expertise and community relationships. We look forward to
working with you as part of Oracle!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at
info@sleepycat.com.

Regards,
Mike Olson
Vice President, Oracle
Former President and CEO
Sleepycat Software

Says the Noob... (1)

dartarrow (930250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721870)

According to the license here, [sleepycat.com]

Q: What must I release as open source?

A: Under the open source license, you must release the complete source code for the application that uses Berkeley DB, Berkeley DB Java Edition or Berkeley DB XML. You do not need to release the source code for components that are generally installed on the operating system on which your application runs, such as system header files or libraries.

Would that mean that Oracle would have to comply with that license, and release source for whatever they use it with? Or are they allowed to change the sleepyCat license?

PostgreSQL is safe from Oracle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14721885)

I think Oracles recent acquisitions shows how semi-open commercial OSS can be a less reliable platform to develop on than truly OSS which isn't owned by any single entity.

Sure the MySQL engines are open source and you can always fork it if they change the license, but forking such massive projects is unrealistic, and Oracle knows this.

The project I'm currently planning is going to use PostgreSQL, instead of MySQL as usual; Oracle can't buy it because it's not owned by a single company. No matter how much Oracle tries to buy out competition there'll always be PostgreSQL.

I like the press release from Oracle (1)

Beached (52204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721916)

..."projects such as the Linux and BSD UNIX operating systems, Apache web server, OpenLDAP directory, OpenOffice productivity software, and many others embed Berkeley DB technology."

Apparently Linux has BDB embedded in it somewhere ;) I didn't realize that the Linux kernel had Sleepycat source code in it. Maybe SCO would like to know about that too.

their business plan seems pretty obvious (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14721926)

Their business plan seems pretty obvious. But just in case I will state it in the usual slashdot fashion:

1. buy out all competitors
2. charge high prices
3. profit

The same method has been used with some success by other companies (such as legal data providers, for example). But I am not sure it will work here. I mean on one hand they are eliminating competitors, but on the other, they are sending a clear message to developers, that if you want millions of dollars all you have to do is write a commercial grade database and let Oracle buy you out.

Then Oracle will just be breeding new competitors as it buys out the old ones.

hell even i am thinking of hitting the books and writing a database now. Considering the multi-million dollar reward ... how hard could it be?
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