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Oracle Bid to Acquire MySQL

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the watch-those-tractor-beams dept.

180

i_frame writes "CNet is reporting on a recent Oracle bid for open-source database MySQL. They were unsuccessful." From the article: "'It all comes back to the question of cannibalizing an existing business,' O'Grady said. 'If you determine that to some extent it's inevitable, wouldn't you prefer that you do it, instead of your competitors?' O'Grady said Oracle could benefit from MySQL in the way that IBM has from its acquisition of Gluecode, a company that commercializes the open-source Geronimo Java application server software and competed with IBM's own proprietary WebSphere product."

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MicroracleSoft (5, Interesting)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732575)

O'Grady said Oracle could benefit from MySQL in the way that IBM has from its acquisition of Gluecode

This analyst is obviously a genius. Who knew that buying out all your competition would benefit your company?

MySQL was created for low volume applications which don't need all the excessive functionality and optimization. What isn't mentioned is that this would probably ruin many small businesses who depend on open-source software because they can't afford large expensive distributions such as Oracle. The article mentions that Oracle has already bought out Sleepycat and InnoDB and now is planning move to take over JBoss. Do we really need to wait until all the competition is dead and gone before we realize they are monopolizing the market?

Re:MicroracleSoft (5, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732611)

You know it's GPL right?

It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

Re:MicroracleSoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14732722)

And how's going to provide the active development and support?

They could kill it. (3, Interesting)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732730)

It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

They could let it just die. As in, stop supporting it, stop adding code, stop fixing bugs, etc.... just leave it as it is until it becomes irrelevent because obsolescence.

Re:They could kill it. (5, Interesting)

inter alias (947885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732890)

I believe the non-compete clauses in work contracts that are common in the US are illegal in sweden (mysql AB is swedish).

Imagine this scenario:

* oracle tells recently bought mysql "don't improve mysql"
* mysql ab employees are pissed off because they like their db
* novell/redhat thinks mysql is important for their linux sales
* they hire said grumpy mysql employees to work on the GPL version

== mysql development continues and oracle just wasted a lot of money.

Re:They could kill it. (4, Insightful)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732897)

They could. But an application as important and popular as MySQL would simply fork. Simply look at X.org vs XFree86.

Re:They could kill it. (3, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733757)

if your running MySQL and need transactions, that's provided by the berkely DB, supported by Sleepycat, or InnoDB supported by Innobase, both were bought by Oracle. If Oracle is seeking to kill MySQL, then it's dead man walking right now. However if Oracle's intentions is to aquire MySQL, make a few modifications and have it compatable enough with oracle that they can use it for the entry level database that can be a step towards a full oracle installation, it doesn't matter because they can still contribute code to MySQL. How many MSSQL instalations happen because somebody outgrows access?

Re:MicroracleSoft (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732740)

It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

No, but it gives Oracle and excellent barganing position. They can effectively kill the upgrades to MySQL that would turn it into a real database. (Look Gepeto, I'm a real boy!) Then when customers come through looking to use MySQL, Oracle will try to upsell them to Oracle or one of their other properties. Even if the customer decides on MySQL, that's still revenue for Oracle.

If Oracle wanted to be really nasty, they could start legally enforcing MySQL's interpretation of the GPL. i.e. If your software uses MySQL but isn't GPLed, Oracle could sue you for failing to keep up the licensing terms. Even if you are just using it for internal, non-distributable software (such as a web app), many companies would rather pay up a small licensing fee rather than tango with Oracle in court.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732795)

This is exactly what the JD Edwards on MS SQL Server customers are bitching about. Oracle has them over a barrel.

Re:MicroracleSoft (3, Informative)

gnuLNX (410742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732911)

"If Oracle wanted to be really nasty, they could start legally enforcing MySQL's interpretation of the GPL. i.e. If your software uses MySQL but isn't GPLed, Oracle could sue you for failing to keep up the licensing terms."

This is totaly FUD.

The GPL does not enforce "external" programs to fall under the GPL. It is perfectly legal for non GPL code to "USE" GPL code as longs as it does not link directly to the code or add any exsisting extensions to it.

If your software embeddeds a MySQL database then you have to purchase a commercial license. However, it is perfectly legal for anyone to use a mysql database without releasing any code under the GPL.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732937)

Allow me to repeat myself (as you seem a little hard of hearing):

"Even if you are just using it for internal, non-distributable software (such as a web app), many companies would rather pay up a small licensing fee rather than tango with Oracle in court."

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

gnuLNX (410742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733070)

Why? You could take a public defender and beat Oracle every single time. There is absoulty nonthing they could ever do to a small business. I sure as hell wouldn't authorize a payment to Oracle from my business.

I do understand what you are saying, but I doubt very many people would pony up. Maybe a few would until it was tried in Court and Oracle lost. Ulitmately it would be a lot of legal expensses for Oracle and very little revenue.

For what it's worth it does indeed worry me that Oracle is trying to buy all the small time DB vendors. Actually is scares the shit out of me.

Re:MicroracleSoft (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733390)

Why? You could take a public defender and beat Oracle every single time.

Public Defenders are for criminal cases. AFAIK, the court will not appoint one for a civil disagreement. There is also the massive expense for a company to find and prepare evidence for their defense. Since the GPL is hinged on very technical matters, Oracle could easy keep the case in the court for a LONG time and bleed a company dry trying to defend themselves. Worse yet, a judge may actually agree with Oracle due to difficulty in understanding the technical issues at hand. Which means that the case would be held up even more by appeals.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14734064)

Here's the NAPA county (CA) page on public defenders. [napa.ca.us] From the link:

I want to sue the Police Department. Will the Public Defender represent me?

The Public Defender handles only criminal cases. The state law does not allow us to represent persons who want to file a civil lawsuit.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14734072)

First of all, public defenders are only for criminal cases, not civil ones. Second of all, it's not like you can just win by default even if the law is on your side - you still need to present a defense. Third of all, DISCOVERY. If the suit has even a chance of success, they can and will require you to turn over all kinds of documents, records, files, information. It's a huge waste of time and an enormous burden, especially on a small business. And it's an unavoidable one - if you refuse to comply, you will go to jail.

MySQL AB makes its money on FUD (3, Insightful)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733273)

Ah, but, see, MySQL AB makes its revenue by spreading exactly that FUD. [mysql.com]

Yes, you can use MySQL legally in a commercial app without buying a license. You aren't linking to it. However, MySQL says that you *do* need a license. Enough people are going to be scared enough to buy a license. Open source people just see "GPL -- okay, must not be evil" and go ahead and use it.

This is why I use Postgres and avoid the whole ugly thing.

Re:MicroracleSoft (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733012)

Just because your software uses something that's GPL, doens't mean that you have to release all your source code. If you have an app which accesses an opensource database, or is hosted on an opensource web server, then you are not required to release your code. If you decide to release/create a database app or a webserver, and use the code from MySQL or Apache, then you are bound by the GPL. Simply using an open source project, even writing code that accesses an open source project, does not bind you to releasing your code under the GPL. If that were the case, all software coded on linux would have to be Open source.

Re:MicroracleSoft (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733186)

1. MySQL's interpretation is that by accessing MySQL over the network, you're "linking" against it.

2. MySQL has further enforced this by GPLing all of the drivers, which you MUST link against in order to access MySQL.

3. Did I mention that Oracle could take them to court regardless of whether or not they're actually in violation? Did I also mention that most companies would pay up rather than go to court? Why yes, I do believe I mentioned that.

MySQL OSS License Page [mysql.com]

In their simplest form, the following are general licensing guidelines:

        * If your software is licensed under either the GPL-compatible Free Software License as defined by the Free Software Foundation or approved by OSI, then use our GPL licensed version.
        * If you distribute a proprietary application in any way, and you are not licensing and distributing your source code under GPL, you need to purchase a commercial license of MySQL
        * If you are unsure, we recommend that you buy our cost effective commercial licenses. That is the safest solution. Licensing questions can submitted online for our advice, and we encourage you to refer to the Free Software Foundation or a lawyer as appropriate.


The older version of that page [mff.cuni.cz] was more to the point:

3. Commercial use for everyone else

If your application is not licensed under GPL or compatible OSI license approved by MySQL AB and you intend to distribute MySQL software (be that internally or externally), you must first obtain a commercial license to the MySQL software in question.

More specifically:

a) If you include the MySQL server in your non Open Source application, you need a commercial licence for the MySQL server

b) If you include one of the MySQL drivers in your non Open Source application (so that your application can run with MySQL), you need a commercial licence for the driver(s) in question. The MySQL drivers currently include an ODBC driver, a JDBC driver and the C language library.

c) If you use MySQL Software within your organisation and you don't want to risk it falling under the GPL license, you are welcome to purchase a commercial license.

d) Many users opt for the commercial licence simply because under it MySQL AB takes responsibility for its products. Under the GPL licence, there are no warranties or representations from the developer (i.e. from MySQL AB).


So in short, Oracle would have broad powers under which to enforce the GPL, and they could easily extend them (whether correct or not) to bring a court case against companies whether or not the case has any validity. Understand now?

Apache is not GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733200)

The Apache License [apache.org] is more of a BSD style license. There is no requirement to release modified source code.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

AdamWeeden (678591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733272)

Just because your software uses something that's GPL, doens't mean that you have to release all your source code.

Absolutely true. Unfortunately with MySQL it gets a little tricky. If you write your own library to connect to MySQL via a standard socket you are fine. If you use a standard MySQL library (which is also GPL) you MUST release the source. Most people are doing the latter without realizing it's a GPL violation.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733346)

That is a little tricky, but i'm sure it wouldn't take long to for someone to write a library so that nobody ever has to use MYSQL's library. That could probably be released under the BSD License so that we wouldn't even have to worry about all this stuff. I think that MYSQL has been a little underhanded in this way. Hard to believe that they have gotten so popular in the open source community with such restrictions in place. If they really start enforcing it, maybe everyone will switch to postgresql.

Re:MicroracleSoft (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733427)

That is a little tricky, but i'm sure it wouldn't take long to for someone to write a library so that nobody ever has to use MYSQL's library.

Oracle could merely do with that project what MySQL did to the LGPLed JDBC driver: Buy them out and relicense before the project is fully compatible. RMS would then hail them as true heros for relicensing under the GPL rather than the LGPL.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733639)


Oracle could merely do with that project what MySQL did to the LGPLed JDBC driver: Buy them out and relicense before the project is fully compatible.


Wow, I think I've got a new business model. Create LGPL or BSD licenced drivers for MySQL, wait for Oracle/MySQL to buy you, repeat.

Oracle can't buy everyone. Creating a driver for a well known protocol isn't exactly rocket science, so there's a LOT of groups that could do it. Furthermore if Oracle started trying this, it would only enourage MORE development of more open drivers. Someone handing you big fat checks isn't exactly discouragement for developing drivers ;). Right now not many people are interested in doing it because MySQL isn't pressing the issue and trying to enforce their GPL interpretation on anyone. If they did that, there'd suddenly be several groups that'd be interested in doing just that, and at least one of them would succeed before Oracle managed to buy them.

Re:MicroracleSoft (2, Interesting)

undercanopy (565001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733893)

Hard to believe that they have gotten so popular in the open source community with such restrictions in place.

I'm actually kind of surprised that debian still includes mysql with such a restrictive license. Or is it allowed because; you can use mysql for free (beer) so long as you keep your app free (speech)?

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733116)

They can effectively kill the upgrades to MySQL that would turn it into a real database.

How can they stop someone from forking MySQL and adding in those upgrades themselves?

Re:MicroracleSoft (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733222)

As long as there's a semi-official version of MySQL that's kept up to date (just without the Real Database(TM) features), any fork would have a difficult time surviving. Plus they couldn't call it "MySQL" or Oracle would come down on them like wrath from heaven.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733436)

>>You know it's GPL right?
>>It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

> No, but it gives Oracle and excellent barganing position. They
> can effectively kill the upgrades to MySQL that would turn it
> into a real database.

Um, no, they can't. IT'S GPL. Or am I missing something? Unless I've been misled for the last 8 years, GPL products cannot die, period. At worst, they fork (with the lead devs gone, which is of course bad) but AFAIK, this DOES NOT, and CAN NOT, mean the end of MySQL.

If Oracle were to kill MySQL AB and MySQL AB quit making upgrades, the rest of the world could still carry on. And even if they did somehow kill MySQL, 1) this would not affect current installations, and 2) there are many other OSS databases to choose from; among them Postgres (my favorite), Firebird, and Apache Derby.

Besides, Oracle isn't SCO--they aren't dying yet, and don't need to sue their customers. :-) (And in that vein, whether or not your interpretation of MySQL's licensing terms is correct is an issue I'll leave to other posters, but it doesn't sound right to me.)

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

C. E. Sum (1065) | more than 8 years ago | (#14734097)

> Um, no, they can't. IT'S GPL. Or am I missing something? Unless I've been misled for the last 8 years, GPL products cannot die, period. At worst, they fork (with the lead devs gone, which is of course bad) but AFAIK, this DOES NOT, and CAN NOT, mean the end of MySQL.

One interesting wrinkle in this is that you cannot force a vendor to disclose GPL'd code that they own the complete copyright to, that is:

1) small company develops openDB under GPL
2) all contributions from outside incorporated into openDB assign the (c) to small company (I assume mysql does this, as they offer a non-open v. already?)
3) bigCorp buys small company.

At this point, you cannot force bigCorp to release anything, even old versions of the GPL'd code. Old copies of the software floating around can probably be redistributed (though the FSF's contention that the GPL is a license--not a contract--implies that it can be unilaterally revoked by bigCorp AFAICT).

The key here is 2) (all (c) being assigned to smallcorp). If you are the copyright holder, essentially you can do anything you want, including relicensing all future versions under whatever license you want.

IANAL, but I'm married to one who is publishing a jumbo article on GPL enforcement.. ..but I could be misunderstanding the issues here so let me know.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733976)

Nobody cares what MySQL's interpretation of the GPL is, it's the Court's interpretation of the GPL that counts. Do You think Oracle's lawyer want to tango with RMS and the FSF as an expert witness on the GPL's intentions?

Re:MicroracleSoft (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14732745)

Open Source MySQL would only be available under the GPL right? Now how could commercial users use MySQL in such a situation, if they can't put their own code under the GPL?

Christof Wittig has written a very interesting paper on the MySQL business model and he did post some interesting comments recently:

http://www.people4objects.org/ [people4objects.org]

I think it's a very good sign that MySQL feels strong enough to stay independant. It suggests that open source is stronger than Oracle.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732894)

You know it's GPL right?

It's not like the open source MySQL is going to go away if they buy MySQL AB.

Then what is the benefit in Oracle buying them?

I worry that Oracle seems to be buying up most of the FOSS databases, and could eventually impair their long-term viability so they have less competition.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733563)

Once Oracle own them, they can offer a free database to their low-end customers (who simply cannot afford Oracle licences), and then sell them other stuff they don't really need (like consultancy and support), and also suggest they migrate to an 'enterprise' database like Oracle when they start to outgrow MySQL.

They cannot reduce the Oracle licence as it would devalue the DB from a marketing point of view. MySQL is a kind of embrace-and-extend when they use it to get their hooks into you, and not let you go.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733041)

Yeah, it's open source. But how many people are working on it that aren't employeed by MySQL?

I would think that buying it out at this point and firing those guys would essentally halt the development.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733479)

This ignores a reality of the situation: As far as I've understood, MySQL AB has hired almost everybody from the community that hacks on MySQL-the-db. There are no serious outside hackers.

That means that MySQL-the-db would probably be set back a couple of years (at least), as you'd need a complete change of development practices, and new developers would have to learn the codebase and build that culture.

It might still work out - heck, mysql might finally become a quality product - yet it would take a ton of time.

Eivind.

Re:MicroracleSoft (5, Insightful)

dr_d_19 (206418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732636)

What isn't mentioned is that this would probably ruin many small businesses who depend on open-source software because they can't afford large expensive distributions such as Oracle

Yeah, because no other [postgresql.org] similiar [sourceforge.net] solutions [ca.com] exists. Right?

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733189)

MySQL was created for low volume applications which don't need all the excessive functionality and optimization.

Not Exactly. MySQL is primarly targeted to "embedded" DB world: Database that is only storage service to application. Application contains all logic and has central place. It is different aproach then "real DB" like say, DB2, where DB (not app) has central place, most of the logic, and various apps connects and operates on it including powerusers with scripts etc. It is just different logic, not that one is "clever" and other "stupid". Contrary to what many people thinks, MySQL supports large amounts of data well. I have application working with Geo spatial applications and there is one table with _ALL_ street of europe, with many attributes (>60 millions of records, 30GB) and I don't have problems displaying one single city from it (using spatial index), fulltext search ... Inno DB, however, is made to compete with "real" DBs, like PostgreSQL or DB2. But this is area that I and most of MySQL users are not interested in, contrary to what average ANSI SQL /. Jeehadists believe.

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

HaydnH (877214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733254)

There will always bee PostgreSQL (Thank you Sun!!)

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733755)

Only if you believe the buzz.

</joke>

Re:MicroracleSoft (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14734055)

MySQL was created for low volume applications which don't need all the excessive functionality and optimization.

Like these [mysql.com] or these [mysql.com] ?

Cannibalizing? (-1, Flamebait)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732601)

He actually SAID that? WTF?!! This is yet more proof that something is seriously wrong with business people and that there is far more evil being done in the name of competition than good. All of this, "we must completely decimate and cannibalize our competitors" attitude is NOT positive. Didn't these people learn to pay fair when they were kids? What the fuck is wrong with the business world? God I HATE those people!!!

Hi. A business class would do you good. (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732686)

Cannibalizing, in market-ese, is when you have 2 products that compete for the same space. An example is 2 low cost printers. . . they are both eating each other's sales. I.e. cannibalizing.

In this case I believe it's used incorrectly, as it's supposed to be specifically when you OWN both products. Otherwise it's just plain ol' competition.

A little silly to go into hysterics about the business world based on their choice of "cannibal" don't you think? There's lots of other stuff you can get all histrionic about, without resorting to really silly arguments that water down the real dangers of ungoverned corporatism.

Please No... (4, Funny)

RiscIt (95258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732608)

I am NOT buying larry a new boat.

Who modded this offtopic? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732962)

FYI, Larry Ellison is the Oracle CEO. I'd mod parent insightful instead.

my initial thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14732610)

Oracle's databases must suck if they have to buy out every other database company!

-Sj53

How does this affect me? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14732613)

I use MS SQL Server, a robust and reliable enterprise class database server.

How does this news affect me?

Thanks

Re:How does this affect me? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14732710)

It lowered your already pitiful IQ.

ahh again (1)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732625)

So they've got innodb [slashdot.org] now, and are going after mysql, is the plan here to own it and then discard further development of it?

Bingo (3, Interesting)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732690)

The cost to buy out these little "free" alternatives is statistical noise in the balance sheet Larry Ellison/Oracle. So they buy the company, patent any IP they think might be useful, and then put development on ice while "their top people" study it (Raiders of the Lost Ark style).

Re:Bingo (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733051)

There probably wouldn't be anything to patent. Since MySQL is open source, all the IP has been in the public eye for many years. This pretty much rules out the idea that any of it is patentable.

Re:Bingo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733997)

Which would raise the point posted elsewhere already that this might simply be for GPL leverage.

Re:swap your loyalty cards... (0, Flamebait)

Forbman (794277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732737)

is the plan here to own it and then discard further development of it?

Hopefully, because it would do the world some good in the long run.

Foxpro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14732630)

Remember what Microsoft did to Foxpro?
If Oracle ever succeeds at aquiring MySQL, I think the same thing will happen here.

Re:Foxpro (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732753)

Was Foxpro GPLed? That's one of the virtues of Open Source: Even if a company decides to stop development, it's not necessarily dead. Everyone with the needed knowledge can step in, take the code and continue development. So if, say, Novel considered MySQL important enough for their Linux business, they could have stepped in, hired a few database guys, and continued development on their own.
The only way an OSS project can die is if there's no one interested in developing it further. And even then, the code is still there for others to use.

Re:Foxpro (4, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732980)

Remember what Microsoft did to Foxpro?

Yeah, they bought the product and continue to this day to pay a team of programmers to develop it. Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9 Service Pack 1 was released just two months ago.

Uh, wait, I was supposed to say that they did something nasty, wasn't I? Sorry, but when a company has released four major versions of a product in 8 years, and is committed to supporting the current release through to 2015, it's really rather hard to say that they've evilly crushed the competition like a bug beneath their iron boots.

Re:Foxpro (2, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733599)

Microsoft hasn't killed FoxPro but they have prevented it from becoming a competitor to Access. Prior to the purchase, FoxPro was on track to eat Access market share. It was faster, more stable, and had more functionality. They haven't killed FoxPro but have kept it in its place (running legacy specialized applications).

PostgreSQL seems to be immune... (4, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732632)

...from these things since no one entity owns it. I'm running a Jabber server with PostgreSQL as the data store [blogs.com] and it's been quite solid... good times.

Re:PostgreSQL seems to be immune... (2, Insightful)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732714)

do you think so? I bet you could easily hire aware the developers of that project... If the key developers are gone, well development is halted... yes others can pick up where they left behind, and in 6months some development will start again by people that dont have the intimate knowledge of the system or the same set of skills. you could cripple most projects with that method

Re:PostgreSQL seems to be immune... (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732810)

Except that PostgreSQL is pretty darn stable at this point. There's not much that's absolutely necessary to the future of the database. (Unlike MySQL which is in the process of getting their act together to make it a Real Database(TM).) The development that they're doing now is simply making PostgreSQL more and more of a competitor to Oracle for large, enterprise databases. If Oracle hired away the developers, they'd gain maybe six months to a year before someone needs to scratch an itch and pulls the project back on track.

Re:PostgreSQL seems to be immune... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732839)

> I bet you could easily hire aware the developers of that project.

Right, that comes up occasionally: the "what if someone hires Tom Lane" (*) question. It's a legitimate concern. But it'd be hard to hire all the PG core developers since they don't all work for one company.

Also, what's the chance of a core guy taking a job that requires him to stop working on PG? On a much smaller scale, I wouldn't take a job that required me to stop working on PMD [sf.net] ; there are lots of other jobs out there. Don't want to damage my book sales [pmdapplied.com] , either!

(*) Tom Lane is a PostgreSQL uber-guru [oreillynet.com]

Re:PostgreSQL seems to be immune... (3, Interesting)

Bob Uhl (30977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14734303)

If the key developers are gone, well development is halted... yes others can pick up where they left behind, and in 6months some development will start again by people that dont have the intimate knowledge of the system or the same set of skills. you could cripple most projects with that method

Of course, as How PostgreSQL Rose to Fame [oreillynet.com] documents, PostgreSQL lay dormant for about two years and was picked up by a mostly-new set of developers. And it seems to be doing pretty well; no doubt MySQL could survive in a similar fashion.

Of course, my druthers would be for PostgreSQL to take over for MySQL, but that's just because I consider it a better database. It's conceivable that someday MySQL will be better. Although, quite frankly, I doubt it.

Re:PostgreSQL seems to be immune... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14732960)

Because its not a big enough threat yet....

This space is available for purchase (4, Interesting)

MrPeavs (890124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732657)

My heart skipped a beat, I am glad they didn't.

In one of my former jobs, they were looking for a database system for HR, accounting, inventory and production related stuff. We were looking at JDEdwards and Oracle, both came to our company to present. JDEdwards blew us away, like they actually wanted us as a client. Oracle came in and half assed it, like they couldn't care if they got us or not.

We ended up holding back because there were talks of Oracle and Peoplesoft to buy out JDEdwards. Eventually, the Peoplesoft deal went through and we ended up purchasing JDEdwards as they claimed we would get full support. Shortly after I left the cocmpany, Oracle gobbled up Peoplesoft.

I don't hear to many good things about Oracle as a company and I don't think too highly of them when they just buy out the competition. They are becoming more like Microsoft, sort of.

I think this means good things for MySQL, it is going to get them more press and more help because of it. They have had a great and free package for years now. With Oracle wanting to buy them out, it just means that Oracle is finally scared of them, they are doing something right!

Re:This space is available for purchase (2, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733333)

If I were a knowledgeable player in the development of MySQL, I'd be laying down plans to start a foundation that will step in and pick up the open source development (forking if necessary) the minute any sale occurs.

Re:This space is available for purchase (2, Informative)

MrPeavs (890124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733544)

Yeah, though I am sure someone would've stepped up and done that if the sale had gone through.

As someone pointed out already, since it is under GLP. There is nothing Oracle could do about a fork. The software is open source, so a group could pick it up and continue developing for it. Much like StarOffice and OpenOffice. We use StarOffice here at work for some users. With my limited knowledge of both StarOffice and OpenOffice, I think I like OpenOffice better actually. I would assume that MySQL would head the same way, so Oracle couldn't exactly buy out the competition. Though, with them being a big company with money to throw around, I am sure they would try some legal stuff to lessen that kind of stuff.

Oh well, we don't have to worry about it, for now at least.

Oracle (1)

certel (849946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732671)

Should some type of purchase take place, would Oracle keep the software opensource and add some additional functionality and possibly increase the performance of MySQL?

Not For Sale (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732672)

MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos confirmed the acquisition attempt in an interview at the Open Source Business Conference here but wouldn't provide details such as when the approach was made or how much money Oracle offered.

He did, however, say why he turned down Oracle's offer: the desire to keep his company's independence. "We will be part of a larger company, but it will be called MySQL," Mickos said.

Oracle didn't immediately comment on the acquisition offer.

Oracle has become bloated and greedy (not unlike another large software company I could mention) and as their product continues to be mired in expensive add-ons and upgrades that not many IT departments have use for, they are seeing MySQL as the herald of their doom. MySQL is a lean, mean RDBMS that is slowly becoming the darling of programmers (how many PHP/MySQL books are there?) and Oracle is dominating the large-scale market but can't seem to make in-roads in the smaller markets. On the one hand, they covet MySQL's success; on the other, they see MySQL as a competitor to be squashed.

Larry Ellison better watch his back - the open source community may decide to start truly gunning for him.

Re:Not For Sale (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732867)

There are about 10 major opensource server database projects. Most of them have a product roadmap which boils down to "implement features a,b,c,d,e from Oracle". How isn't the open source community gunning for him?

MySQL is not a danger; PostgreSQL may be (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733011)

MySQL is fine for doing websites, or bulletin boards, or dinky little apps. The markets for Oracle and MySQL, though, basically don't overlap at all. Apart from companies which already have a significant infrastructure built to support and maintain Oracle databases, nobody's gonna use Oracle for most of the applications that MySQL is typically used for. More complex business applications require more functionality than MySQL provides. Oracle provides an assload of features, even in the lowest end version of their product, that most people writing the average web app just won't need.

MySQL isn't a competetor for Oracle in the space where Oracle is usually deployed. IBM DB2, MSSQL Server - those are the competetors for Oracle. And probably PostgreSQL is too. It provides a lot of functionality that you'd want in those kinds of applications, and its free. It has the problem, however, of overcoming entrenched attitudes towards 1) anything that's free, and 2) anything that's unfamiliar. Me? I'd use PostgreSQL for those apps, but that's me. Often, there's vendor platoform requirements that'd make that impossible, or management level edicts that prescribe platoforms.

If anything, the purchase of MySQL was intended to soften the image of Oracle and make it appear to be more of a player in the low end. They have (rightly) a reputation for being expensive, and this was probably a ploy at changing that. It's not fear of MySQL's technical prowess.

Re:MySQL is not a danger; PostgreSQL may be (1)

GotenXiao (863190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733490)

You seen the trillion-record table query benchmarks for MySQL? Very impressive stuff coming from the underdog.

Re:MySQL is not a danger; PostgreSQL may be (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733642)

I haven't; kindly post a URL for these benchmarks so I can see.

Re:MySQL is not a danger; PostgreSQL may be (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733526)

These [yahoo.com] guys [flickr.com] might disagree with your assessment of it being for "dinky" apps.

Re:MySQL is not a danger; PostgreSQL may be (1)

ms139us (723585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733877)

These guys might disagree with your assessment of it being for "dinky" apps.

At the risk of turning this into a Postgresql discussion, Yahoo! has some serious data integrity issues. Often, checking your e-mail does not cause the "new e-mail" indicator to go out for up to a minute.

This is just an annoyance for Yahoo!, but would be the death-knell of any banking or inventory management application. Imagine a bank where transactions were delayed and posted in a random order. With a constant transaction flow, there would never be a moment in time when you could actually see what the status of the bank accounts are -- scary stuff.

Re:MySQL is not a danger; PostgreSQL may be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733935)

my dinky little app right now is returning billion row search count() queries in .051 seconds, maybe your the only one thats running these dinky blogs?

Re:MySQL is not a danger; PostgreSQL may be (4, Informative)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14734165)

MySQL is fine for doing websites, or bulletin boards, or dinky little apps. The markets for Oracle and MySQL, though, basically don't overlap at all.

http://www.mysql.com/why-mysql/case-studies/ [mysql.com]

PokerRoom.com Powers High Transaction Online Poker System with MySQL and HP .... 12,000 players occupy the poker tables. Since each bet, each played hand and other data are recorded, the database often handles 2,000 transactions per second.

Los Alamos National Labs Relies on MySQL to Scale with 7 Terabytes of Data.

Lycos Europe Reduces TCO by 90% by Migrating to MySQL.

Lycos Europe migrated all company portal services to MySQL, displacing one of the leading proprietary databases in the market. Replacing their existing database solution with MySQL resulted in more than a 90% savings. Lycos Europe today has approximately 1 terabyte of data handled by 100 MySQL servers. At peak traffic up to 25,000 concurrent users are online and 1 Gb of data per second is delivered to users.

Cox Communications Powers Massive Data Warehouse with MySQL To maintain optimum performance and customer-service levels, Cox has developed a huge data warehousing application. At the heart of this business-critical system is a 2-billion row MySQL database.

etc.....

Re:Not For Sale (4, Funny)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733301)

I am starting a paypal collection box to make a competing bid. If enough of you contribute than I will attempt to out-bid Larry. If each slashdot userid contributes $100 USD we can make a very loud statement that free software should be free, unless someone tries to buy it and then it's really freaking expensive but we will buy it anyways and pretend it's free. Of course if not enough money is collected, at least we tried and I can buy that ipod I always wanted.

Re:Not For Sale (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733447)

No, it's slowly becoming the favourite hate object of more and more programmers. It's being *used* by many PHP and Perl monkeys, sure - unfortunately including me - but it still suck, and more and more of us know it. I hate that it's a two week job to migrate off it - otherwise, I'd be off it a long time ago.

Eivind.

Not quite an RDBMS (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733796)

It's not an RDBMS without Oracle owned innodb. MySQL fills a very different need than Oracle. It's great if you need a fast database for very simple data and your data is not extremely important. Also, you don't want to use it if you're selling your application to anyone as you will the need to incur license fees.

I'd bet that Oracle was planning to make it easy to migrate from MySQL to Oracle when your application grows, much like Microsoft has an MS Access upgrade tool which many use. This would allow a lot of the people with growing applications to switch over, instead of switching to something cheaper during a rewrite.

Re:Not For Sale (1)

Bob Uhl (30977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733876)

Oracle has become bloated and greedy (not unlike another large software company I could mention) and as their product continues to be mired in expensive add-ons and upgrades that not many IT departments have use for, they are seeing MySQL as the herald of their doom. MySQL is a lean, mean RDBMS that is slowly becoming the darling of programmers (how many PHP/MySQL books are there?) and Oracle is dominating the large-scale market but can't seem to make in-roads in the smaller markets. On the one hand, they covet MySQL's success; on the other, they see MySQL as a competitor to be squashed.

And then there's PostgreSQL: meaner, more stable and an actual proper RDBMS. MySQL is slowly getting better, no doubt (and I like that it has so many more built-in types), but PostgreSQL is far ahead of it, and just as easy to use. I find it truly stunning that so few projects are using it.

Principled or just stubborn? (3, Insightful)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732711)

[MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos] did, however, say why he turned down Oracle's offer: the desire to keep his company's independence. "We will be part of a larger company, but it will be called MySQL,"

Given that Oracle has already acquired the makers of two of MySQL's transactional engines, putting them in a real tough spot, I'm sure Mr. Ellison assumed this final offer to MySQL to be just a formality.

This kind of integrity is so rare these days. Whatever happens, we should all try our best to support MySQL in what may be a losing battle against an evil foe.

The Purpose of Open Source (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732727)

Oracle ... it's MY SQL ... and you can't have it!

Gluecode (0, Offtopic)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732747)

A friend of a friend's uncle's brother once told me that Gluecode was originally a venture called Exist, funded by the 'Pirate of Prague' a notorious IP bandit who caught the founders, unaware of his infamy, and ended up pillaging the company of all it's value until they finally had to give up and reorganize as Gluecode.... ironically turning about and performing the same stunt themselves via IBM in order to recoup their losses... poor employees and smaller funding partners, they never had a chance. /// end anecdote

waaaan (0, Offtopic)

VAXGeek (3443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732783)

Bill Gates: Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can't figure out what, if anything, Compuglobalhypermeganet does, so rather than risk competing with you, I've decided simply to buy you out.

Homer: I reluctantly accept your proposal!

Bill Gates: Well everyone always does. Buy 'em out, boys!

[Gates' lackeys trash the room.]

Homer: Hey, what the hell's going on!

Bill Gates: Oh, I didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks! [insane laughter]

Re:waaaan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733112)

"Quiet Marge, you'll queer the deal."

DB becomes a commodity. (3, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732792)

The RDBM provides a standard function in a standard way. It only makes sense that it would become commoditized, and in the software world commoditized = free. Sure oracle offers some pretty impressive features, but at some point the cost of implementing those features yourself or the cost of not using those features is exceeded by the cost of buying oracle.

Remember, MySQL has a closed-source business model trying to sell non-GPL'd versions of their source code - and oracle, now owning the original source Innodb and BerkleyDB can prevent them from doing that. MySQL can still use the GPL'd versions in their GPL'd products, but their closed source products go away, or at least they could. And Oracle isn't a company known for playing softball.

Business factors in OSS Database Companies (3, Interesting)

andrewzx1 (832134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732843)

Here's a research piece I recently authored which details the business aspects of OSS database companies like MySQL, SleepyCat, DB4Objects, InterBase, Genezzo, and several others: http://www.tampatech.com/services/business_factors _in_oss_database_companies.htm [tampatech.com] - Andrew

Re:Business factors in OSS Database Companies (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733205)

That's facinating. Thanks. I had no idea that Berkely DB was under such a restrictive license...I kind of assumed that it was LGPL.

Re:Business factors in OSS Database Companies (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733344)

I stopped reading your poorly-researched drivel with this line: "MySQL AB was formed in 1994 by Marten Mickos."

Mr. Mickos was not a founder, and did not join the company until 2001. See http://www.mysql.com/company/management.html [mysql.com]

Re:Business factors in OSS Database Companies (1)

andrewzx1 (832134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733549)

Thanks for the info, this has been corrected.

Why bother with your competitor when.... (1)

psycln (937854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732865)

... you can just buy them!

IBM did it

Google recently did it.

Aparently every major corp does it

a shopping spree... (1)

nblender (741424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14732878)

First Sleepycat and now MySQL?

anti-competitive (1)

in4mation (652196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733046)

Companies that buy their competitors out always make me feel like they are admitting defeat in the face of their competitor and so just take the easy way out. I'm not talking about mergers here, that's a different story where both companies can benefit from one another, synergies and so on. Its not like Oracle is unable to build something that can compete with MySQL or SleepCat. Its more like they want to buy the name for its brand recognition (MySQL in this case) and expand their market share the easy way ... make investors happier ... increase stock price ... profit.

Re:anti-competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733477)

it's called capitalism. love it or move to europe or cuba.

Re:anti-competitive (1)

in4mation (652196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14734410)

so capitalism is limiting my choices ... hey thats just like communism. U and I are not so different after all ;)

Thanks for the suggestion but I think I'll stay in Canada for now.

Re:anti-competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14734118)

And what's the real problem with that?

In the end of the day, companies exist to generate profit for their stock holders, right?

Zimbra.org (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733056)

Now watch google buy out zimbra. The opensource project is a good replacement of ms crm and outlook.

ORCL and MySQL not in the same space, exactly (1)

charlton_b (123593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733066)

Oracle's bid for MySQL was not an attempt to gain greater coverage in markets where Oracle already plays, but rather another attempt to break into the "pocket database" (small end/developers database) niche, where the company has yet to find success. Cannibalism thus can never apply - Oracle is simply not selling its prior attempts at a pocket database, and its successful products neither target nor are purchased by the same people who would seek out MySQL.

dl src code quickly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733218)

its only a matter of time before they auto increment their bid

Stop Oracle Now (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733328)

. . . before they screw up another perfectly good product.

Cant beat so BUY THEM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14733373)

Thats we [anonymous] push MySQL to the limits
rather than buy Oracle!

300 servers !
2000 Clients !

Face the Inevitable - Make Oracle Open Source (1)

bratwiz (635601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14733945)

"'It all comes back to the question of cannibalizing an existing business,' O'Grady said. 'If you determine that to some extent it's inevitable, wouldn't you prefer that you do it, instead of your competitors?'

Yah dood... good idea. Why not just realize the inevitable and go ahead and make ORACLE open source!
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