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Oracle Lines Up Unbreakable MySQL

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the the-swirling-of-large-and-small dept.

Oracle 132

munchola writes "MySQL CEO, Marten Mickos, has revealed to CBRonline that Oracle has threatened to provide support for MySQL and is already distributing the open source database. "They have hinted to us that they will," said Mickos, indicating that the database giant is planning to repeat its October 2006 Unbreakable Linux plan, which saw it undercut Red Hat with enterprise Linux support. Despite the competitive threat, Mickos is unmoved. "I hope they do that," he said, noting that it would be seen as an endorsement of the open source database.""

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Mikos is right. (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801454)

I find it hard to believe that a company with the amount of overhead that Oracle has will be able to provide mySQL support for the same rates that mySQL can; the primary benefit for Oracle is that they'll be able to offer bundled support with people who already have Oracle support and want the convenience of dealing with one company for all their support needs.

Definitely a win-win situation for mySQL, because they get press and legitimacy without losing too much business. The "unbreakable linux" deal probably hurt RedHat a hell of a lot more than this will hurt mySQL.

I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801802)

Same reasons. The more publicity, the better. If Oracle believes in it enough to offer support, everyone else can feel a little bit easier about using it.

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (5, Insightful)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802324)

I doubt they'd support PostgreSQL. MySQL is basically a non-competitor. While PostgreSQL still isn't, it's much closer. Postgres is fully ACID compliant, is very strict about it's data, has mature support for just about everything (still lacks in clustering and replication, though...), is very fast, scales well, etc.

When you hit the limitations with MySQL, need a feature it doesn't support, etc, Oracle can point you to a sales rep. There are far less limitations with PostgreSQL. It wouldn't make as much business sense to encourage it's use.

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (0, Redundant)

tieTYT (989034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803576)

very good point. I'd mod this up if i knew how..

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (1)

ATMD (986401) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806152)

Heh, you're new, right?

Just hang around here for a while and (if you can bear it) participate in the discussions.

Soon enough you'll see the little drop-down boxes under every post and the "moderate" button right at the bottom of the page. (It took me *ages* to figure out how to submit my moderation when I first got points). In the meantime, you can find out about it HERE [slashdot.org] .

Hey, someone's gotta take care of the newbies :)

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17806472)

I think you also have to check the box in your preferences that says "I am willing to participate in slashdot's moderation system" or something along those lines...

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (3, Informative)

Electrum (94638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805712)

Postgres is fully ACID compliant

As is MySQL [mysql.com] .

has mature support for just about everything

It lacks anlaytic functions [oracle.com] .

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (4, Insightful)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802624)

Same reasons. The more publicity, the better. If Oracle believes in it enough to offer support, everyone else can feel a little bit easier about using it.

I doubt it. Unlike MySQL, PostgreSQL is much more of a direct competitor to Oracle. In fact, I've converted PG databases to Oracle with ease. (Why did I do this? The client wanted Oracle, so I ported our PG product to it.) The translation of some rather intensive PL/pgSQL to PL/SQL was almost trivial, with a translator script I wrote in a day. The resemblance is so close that if I didn't know better (and maybe I don't), I would almost say PG "borrowed" some of its syntax from Oracle. Going back would be a little harder if some of the more obscure Oracle PL/SQL features were used, but probably not rocket science for most applications. There are other interesting resemblances - you can see very meticulous, almost obsessive Oracle emulation in the behavior of date/time stuff (search the PG source code for "Oracle" - beautifully commented stuff is in there).

With MySQL on the other hand, even without getting into an ACID problems discussion (some of which have been improved in recent releases), has a very poor feature overlap with Oracle, not a minor one being not having anything like PL/SQL.

I guess the thing that bothers me personally about this is that it is publicity for MySQL, subconsciously encouraging more people to adopt it over the (IMHO) much better PostgreSQL. I think that it will poison your mind to learn DB theory from MySQL. :) But that is just my personal view and I encourage alternate viewpoints.

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (2, Interesting)

EugeneK (50783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803988)

The translation of some rather intensive PL/pgSQL to PL/SQL was almost trivial, with a translator script I wrote in a day.

any chance you'd release that script as Free Software?

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (1)

newt0311 (973957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804136)

PG does take a lot from oracle. Some of their features like large objects are spitting images of blobs in oracle and like you pointed out, similarities in the date/time stuff.

Re:I hope they do it for PostgreSQL, too. (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803452)

Same reasons.

The same reasons being most likely that by "supporting" MySQL or PostgreSQL they are effectively suffocating the companies who continue to develop of those databases and probably poaching a few sales too. Eventually those other companies might go down the tubes or at least suffer financially and Oracle can turn around and claim "see you can't trust open source, buy Oracle".

I wonder why MS doesn't try the same thing - push out Microsoft Linux, complete with a free Vista / Windows runtime included, support the thing until Red Hat or Novell go bust and then shitcan it. Naturally the proprietary layer sitting over Linux would not be open sourced.

Confused. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17801868)

Given that MySQL and Oracle are on complete opposite ends of the scale with regard to their uses, what benefit does Oracle have in killing what is essentially a non-competitor?

Knowledgeable IT people presumably already know when to use Oracle and when to use something smaller like MS-Access. IT morons who think that single-user databases with less than a thousand records need to be in Oracle have already drank the kool-aid and will never change to another product. Oracle's only threat would appear to be the next generation of IT morons who realize that Oracle is not always the best solution to simple problems. But since they don't know any better, presumably they will still go with Oracle.

Re:Mikos is right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17801918)

oracle is repackaging RHEL, RHEL happens to include Mysql for various minor purposes.

Some twit saw mysql on the package list of a distribution that oracle plans to support therefore "oracle is supporting mysql"

by this logic oracle is supporting: {insert popular package}

That is ALL the news there is. Oracle isn't endorsing anything.

Re:Mikos is right. (5, Interesting)

jimbojw (1010949) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801942)

> the primary benefit for Oracle is that they'll be able to offer bundled support with people who already have Oracle support and want the convenience of dealing with one company for all their support needs

This is not a trivial point.

Brand recognition goes a long way when a company is shopping for support. Companies that already pay for Oracle support might be very willing to tack-on MySQL support from them, rather than to establish a new relationship with MySQL.

Also, since Oracle will be distributing the MySQL database themselves, the unsuspecting middle-manager might think that "MySQL" is just another Oracle offering, or component of their architecture. It's the old "bundled with" implies "created by" heuristic.

Re:Mikos isn't right. (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801984)

Oracle has one kind of customer, MySQL has another kind of customer.

Just a guess, but I'll go out on a limb and state that any hopes MySQL had in wooing really pricey billable hour customers is evaporating. Even if I'm wrong, the mood at MySQL has probably been a little less happy when they figured out Oracle was going after the top of the consulting/support dollars.

There's still *so* much they have to offer for businesses willing to pay. They just need to keep at it and understand that Oracle won't be the first company to do this to them. Microsoft will surely follow with some kind of crazy scheme. They have to at some point as their arrangement with Novell suggests they need to at least appear as if they have something like OSS to offer.

Re:Mikos is right. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803284)

considering that mysql is a cheap sonofabitch database without primary keys, and would not even remotely threaten OracleSQL for banks and their customers altogether, i can only supose that this move is done to field out postgress which may pose a serious security threat in the next decade.

Re:Mikos is right. (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806424)

There are things that we don't support, sure, but claiming that we don't support primary keys is ridiculous.

I suggest that the parent is ignorant and/or trolling.

"Threatening" to support a product? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17801564)

Sounds great! Maybe GM will "threaten" to buy fuel for my car, or Amazon will "threaten" to return my library books for me so I don't have to.

Re:"Threatening" to support a product? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17802456)

MySQL make money on support and nothing else. They give the software away for free.

Oracle Sucks (-1, Flamebait)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801576)

If you came up with a ratio of $spent/$productivity, Oracle would probably throw a divide by zero error. Most folks would be orders of magnitude better off with mySQL, SQL Server or Access.

Re:Oracle Sucks (5, Funny)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801648)

> If you came up with a ratio of $spent/$productivity, Oracle would probably throw a divide by zero error.

Whereas MySQL would silently insert a default value.

Re:Oracle Sucks (1)

zaguar (881743) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804444)

Haha Brilliant. What would PgSQL do?

Re:Oracle Sucks (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805576)

Haha Brilliant. What would PgSQL do?
Divide by zero error, but only because it tries to emulate Oracle as closely as possible. :P

Re:Oracle Sucks (3, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801732)

Serious question: What exactly is the advantage of Oracle over SQL Server? I asked that to an Oracle DBA once, and he just got red in the face and stammered about having more options to configure things the way he wanted. I asked what exactly he configured, and basically got a lecture on Microsoft being evil. I then asked if he thought Larry Ellison was a saint, and the conversation just continued to devolve.

Serious question: why is Oracle considered so much better that SQL Server?

Re:Oracle Sucks (1, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801908)

I've taken two Oracle classes (could have gotten certified, but I really didn't care that much). Basically, unless you're running into the tens of thousands of users, there's not much difference. Now, as a DBA, there are some things I would prefer to do in Oracle rather than SQL Server (though I'd much rather do them in an open source DB like MySQL or PostgreSQL), but I don't think it's worth the (massively) added cost unless you really are running it in an enterprise situation.

Re:Oracle Sucks (2, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801920)

What exactly is the advantage of Oracle over SQL Server?
Primarily, I would imagine that the advantage is that you don't have to run your DB on Windows, which has not had such a "rock solid" reputation in the past (compared to the Unix derivatives).

Re:Oracle Sucks (3, Interesting)

helixcode123 (514493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801988)

What exactly is the advantage of Oracle over SQL Server?

I'm rather fond of their Analytic Functions [orafaq.com] , which allow for convenient queries against other table rows. For example, given a table of time-stamped log entries you can write a query to "Show me the time intervals between successive log entries."

I'm hoping these will show up in Postgresql soon.

Re:Oracle Sucks (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802074)

Interesting reading, for sure. I know I have spent a lot of time writing "complex" SQL queries to accomplish the same thing. Interesting having a built in functions that will help accomplish the same thing.

Question: Performance-wise, is this the equivalent of using SQL subqueries? Or is there some type of database optimization that gives it a performance advantage?

Re:Oracle Sucks (3, Informative)

ohearn (969704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802896)

>"Serious question: What exactly is the advantage of Oracle over SQL Server? I asked that to >an Oracle DBA once, and he just got red in the face and stammered about having more options >to configure things the way he wanted. I asked what exactly he configured, and basically >got a lecture on Microsoft being evil. I then asked if he thought Larry Ellison was a >saint, and the conversation just continued to devolve.

>Serious question: why is Oracle considered so much better that SQL Server?"

If you ever run a LARGE datbase at the enterprise level, you will see the difference very quickly. When you are dealing with thousands or tens of thousands of users are millions of records, Oracle will kill SQL Server on performance and response time.

Also as already noted Oracle doesn't limit you to using a Windows server the way SQL Server does.

Having used various versions of Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, and (God help me) even on occasion Access for the database behind various applications in different jobs, the only 2 I would recommend are Oracle and MySQL depending on the size of the database and the budget of the business buying the product. For small businesses that I have worked in before MySQL is great; it's free, and works well unless you are talking about large data sets or large numbers of users at the same time. For enterprise level systems like those used in government or extremely large organizations give me Oracle any day, but then you are dealing with budgets large enough that the cost of Oracle is easily dealt with.

Re:Oracle Sucks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803268)

Not quite true. I supported a large customer (a national, no nationwide, building society in the UK), that has several million customers in the DB, and a couple of thousand users directly logged onto it, and several thousand remote users. (this is SQL Server BTW), and its fine, fast and responsive.

Now, the things we had to do to make this work are basically: use stored procedures.

Now I work with a large breakdown company that uses Oracle, and we've seen barely a difference. Oracle is just as performant, and just as scalable. Oracle support wasn't too helpful with a recent 100% CPU issue ("install all patches" they said, then they broke something else and their answer was "upgrade to 10g").

One big difference that you'll notice when working with both is locking. Oracle basically does row-level locking, SQLServer tries to optimise locks and escaltes them to lock pages then tables as you lock more and more rows. If you write your app without taking this into account, you could have problems with SQLServer.

One thing with Oracle - use an application server to limit connections, don't try to write a client-server app on it, each connection hogs too much memory and holds query cache latches for too long.

But of course, these 'issues' aren't problems if you're not just slapping any old code together to run against the DBs. As with everything, they all need some care and attention with how you're working with them.

I have also used Informix and DB/2 on an AS/400. For really, really big DBs - give me DB2 anytime. that really is unbreakable, and IBM will give you a 'free' AS/400 specially optimised to run it on :)

Re:Oracle Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803272)

Obviously, you have not used PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL is Oracle-lite. MySQL cannot be compared to Oracle unless you are smoking something or your requirements would not require Oracle *at all*, *ever*.

Re:Oracle Sucks (1)

krinkelkrok (899514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803598)

I think SQL Server 2005 is better from an administrators perspective. To be able to script anything from the GUI, makes it easier to perform tasks without spending too much time on figuring out how to write everything from scratch. Allthough you have excellent tools like Toad for Oracle, the GUI in the current version of SQL Server saves me a lot of time. I've tested Oracle on my most used application (100+ concurrent users. I know, it's not big), and SQL Server performs just as good as Oracle here.

And you still don't have much of an answer (3, Interesting)

Evets (629327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803982)

Oracle performs better in enterprise environments, hands down. Oracle Clustering is more intelligently implemented than SQL Clustering. PL/SQL scripts are easier to debug than those in MS SQL.

OTOH, SQL Server is extremely simple to install and administer for low volume environments. DTS Provides a nice simple transport mechanism. Enterprise manager, while kludgy, is relatively intuitive.

For fine tuning, Oracle provides finer control - but that's not to say that SQL doesn't provide a lot of control over DB Tuning features.

Then there are the little things that crop up over experienced usage - like the first time you try to take a MS SQL backup from one machine to another and end up perplexed for an hour. Or when you're 6 gig backup file won't copy from one machine to another without 3rd party software (really a windows issue, not SQL Specific). Or when you discover that you can't replicate certain tables or columns, can't copy blobs using sql scripts, etc. Things like that.

A lot of applications treat the database as a storage engine and leave platform specific performance enhancements by the wayside in favor of database-agnostity. Because of this, MySQL is much closer to being a legitimate competitor than you would think. People talk about "ACID Compliance", but really most applications don't need ACID Compliance and just because you can't do something one particular way doesn't mean it can't be done.

Re:Oracle Sucks (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804066)

I don't have enough MS SQL 2005 experience, but MS SQL 2000 didn't scale very well. The implementation of "shared locks" and "lock escalation" in MSSQL meant that many readers + one big writer = near total database deadlock. The readers would be locked-out every time the writer touched a page they were reading. Oracle, PostGreSQL, and SQL 2005 support a system where readers never interfere with writers.

I know that there are big database features in Oracle that are way over my head and I can't go into. Some Google searches will give you some opinions. This comparison [wisdomforce.com] looks very well written.

Re:Oracle Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17804460)

primarily that (a) it's a mature product that scales up in actual real-world examples (b) It doesn't require windows and will run on stable platforms like Solaris.

You won't understand that, because Windows fanatics rarely do understand why people don't want to use Windows for everything.

Nonetheless, it's true.

Re:Oracle Sucks (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806120)

Who are these Windows fanatics, outside of Microsoft? I notice a lot of Linux fanatics, and a lot of Mac fanatics, and a cute little group of BSD fanatics, but I only ever see marketing material from Microsoft, no real zealotry. I think you're setting up paper enemies to have a quick win.

writers don't block readers, nor readers writers (1, Informative)

emil (695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804684)

Microsoft SQL Server (which is Sybase in diguise) has an in-memory lock structure; if your transaction acquires too many row locks, your locks are escalated (to page locks or table locks). While these rows are locked, readers are blocked.

Because of this, your are encouraged to keep your SQL Server transactions as short as possible. By default, isql DML commits after every statement, and you must use a BEGIN TRANSACTION/COMMIT if this is not what you want.

Oracle does not use a memory structure for row locks, and Oracle never escalates a lock (although lock types can be converted). Oracle records a pre-DML image of the row in a "rollback" or "undo" area, and any SELECTS against uncommitted DML will silently pull from the old version.

This has a few important implications... you can have long-running transactions and still query the tables safely; transaction volumes are limited not by memory but by disk space; unlike isql, sqlplus requires a "commit" for DML by default; and the "rollback" mechanism has been improved with "undo" segments to allow you to time-travel the database (i.e. show me the contents of this table 3 hours ago).

Synopsis: if you need simultaneous, non-blocking access to the database, steer away from SQL Server (and probably DB2 as well, if I've read correctly).

Re:Oracle Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805570)

why is Oracle considered so much better that SQL Server?

'cause you can't run SQL Server on a unix (linux/solaris) system (and even if you could, I wouldn't trust it---for a long while). And installing Windows on a 32 processor box with 128gigs of ram, and 30T of disk space, would just be a waste of resources.

On Windows, SQL Server is likely more robust (and faster) than Oracle. But then you limit your options by sticking to MS products in general. I have no love for Oracle either, but for a commercial DB for a -large- installation, they do a pretty damn impressive job.

In any case, for small stuff (which covers 99% of databases out there), MySQL or PostgreSQL is -way- nicer than either oracle or sql server.

Re:Oracle Sucks (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805648)

To be honest, if said person only knew one DBMS and not the other, they're not qualified to answer those questions anyway.

Re:Oracle Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17801742)

Exaggerate much?

Most people who are using oracle wouldn't be better of using MS Access, the products serve very different purposes. Some people using oracle would be better off using mysql or MS SQL Server (or postgresql or some other database) and some people using those products would be better off using oracle.

Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreakable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17801586)

Why would anyone pay ( through the nose ) for Oracle's database when Oracle itself claims that MySQL is unbreakable ?

Re:Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreaka (3, Informative)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801892)

They're not aimed at the same markets. I haven't followed this too closely, but I assume the reason Oracle is interested in MySQL at all is that they're somewhat complimentary products. MySQL is great if you want a lightweight, fast database that doesn't need to be terribly robust.

I doubt MySQL is ever going to have the sort of PL/SQL support Oracle does, and you're not likely to see things like enterprise-class clustering, data partitioning, replication, and so forth. If you added all that to MySQL, it'd wind up just like Oracle - big, complex, and expensive. They occupy opposite ends of the spectrum.

And for what it's worth, I've got an Oracle database on a modest single-processor AMD server with a single hard drive handling about 20 inserts per second with R-tree spatial indexing and it keeps up just fine, with a bit of tuning. Given a real server with multiple drives I'd be able to optimize things much better, but it's just a testbed.

Comparing MySQL to Oracle is a little like comparing a high-performance motorcycle to an M1A2 tank. They'll both get you from point A to point B, but with different levels of cost and safety.

Re:Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreaka (3, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802082)

I doubt MySQL is ever going to have the sort of PL/SQL support Oracle does, and you're not likely to see things like enterprise-class clustering, data partitioning, replication, and so forth. If you added all that to MySQL, it'd wind up just like Oracle - big, complex, and expensive. They occupy opposite ends of the spectrum.

And that heaven for that! Look, most of us want a database system we can use for our own limited but still important purposes. We don't need a lot of enterprise-level crud bogging us down. I'd never think of using MySQL on the large scale, but then that's what I have Oracle for. Oracle is over-muscled for a lot of simple stuff; MySQL is better for a medium-weight application.

And as an aside, the reason that Oracle is doing this is to get their name in the small-to-middle size market. Oracle's been dominating larger firms for years now, but that means there's little room for growth. If they can try to reach smaller markets and spread their name around, when some of these smaller companies outgrow their MySQL set-ups, Oracle will be ready to step in with their enterprise apps.

Re:Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreaka (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802210)

> Look, most of us want a database system we can use for our
> own limited but still important purposes. We don't need a
> lot of enterprise-level crud bogging us down.

So true. I'm running a small database (only 20 million records) [blogs.com] , and PostgreSQL [postgresql.org] is more than sufficient. We use it in production, too [getindi.com] , and it's quite solid.

Maybe someday when we get up to 100 TB or so we'll think about something else, but by then PostgreSQL will probably be capable of handling that load as well...

Re:Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreaka (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806730)

The ability to handle large loads isn't the only feature people are looking for when they choose Oracle.

I've had very little experience with PostgreSQL but I have heard lots of good things, but the fact is when a large company chooses Oracle over it it's not a comparison of the databases that's the reason, it's names, support contracts, insurance, guarantees, someone to sue.

Re:Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreaka (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807590)

> it's not a comparison of the databases that's the
> reason, it's names, support contracts, insurance,
> guarantees, someone to sue.

Yup, I bet you're right. Gives folks a warm fuzzy... even though the chances of actually winning a lawsuit against Oracle over some sort of database problem are approximately nil.

Re:Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreaka (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17802120)

Comparing MySQL to Oracle is a little like comparing a high-performance motorcycle to an M1A2 tank. They'll both get you from point A to point B, but with different levels of cost and safety.

More like comparing a scooter to M1A2 tank. You can use a innodb powered gas scooter, but it runs slower.

Re: Motorcycles and Tanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17802744)

Comparing MySQL to Oracle is a little like comparing a high-performance motorcycle to an M1A2 tank. They'll both get you from point A to point B, but with different levels of cost and safety.
And speed. (If you have paved roads)

Re:Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreaka (2, Interesting)

martenmickos (467191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803574)

Rorschach1,

Indeed we view MySQL competing in different markets from the legacy closed source databases. We have focused on new applications, often web-based systems, ecommerce, reporting, analysis and so on, rather than traditional ERP applications. There are many features that DB2 and Oracle have of which they are very proud. And we are also proud *not* to have all of the complexity of those features. Our focus is not on features, but on reliability, ease of use and performance.

Charles Phillips of Oracle remarked at a conference I was speaking at that Oracle and MySQL are both in the transportation business, but Oracle is the 747 and MySQL is the Toyota. I think that is a very apt analogy. But if you prefer the M1A2 tank, so be it. :-) In either case, we get very good gas mileage by comparison!

-Marten Mickos, MySQL AB

Re:Isn't Oracle's database supposed to be unbreaka (0, Flamebait)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803692)

MySQL is great if you want a lightweight, fast database that doesn't need to be terribly robust.

That isn't quite right. Let me fix that for you...

MySQL is great if you want a lightweight, fast database with lousy data integrity that doesn't need to be terribly robust.

There. Much, much better.

Someone just threw alot of money away (1)

bostons1337 (1025584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801654)

This will so come back to bite them in the ass!

Typical support call (3, Funny)

Sweetshark (696449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801712)

Customer: XYZ doesnt work. Help me!
Oracle: MySQLs XYZ is crap - you better buy a real DBMS. As a support customer we can offer you Oracle 10g Enterprise at a reasonable prize!

Re:Typical support call (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801906)

If you don't know why you need Oracle, you don't need Oracle.

Oracle makes it's money primarily by selling support and service, not by selling licenses, so while they may try to sell you a license, they're not going to go out of their way to snag an itty-bitty fish that's not going to be able to afford support.

And frankly, if you're big enough to afford support, you probably DO need Oracle...mySQL is a good tool, but I'd be really hesitant about setting up a big accounting system on mySQL.

Re:Typical support call (1, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802288)

And frankly, if you're big enough to afford support, you probably DO need Oracle...mySQL is a good tool, but I'd be really hesitant about setting up a big accounting system on mySQL.
That's what PostgreSQL is for.

Re:Typical support call (4, Informative)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802930)

On the other hand, Oracle 10g is overkill for many shops. MySQL is a great solution for many small databases, and Oracle Support now offers some more legitimacy to the product.

I've seen a number of shops with a situation like this:

Customer: "We're a small shop. We need an RDMBS. We can't afford a DBA. The sales rep said the Oracle Installer is easy to use, and I can install Oracle on my own.

But to install the Oracle *client* , I need to download 3 ISOs, install Xwindows on the server, tunnel Xwindows over SSH. While installing the Oracle Server, the installer crashed out halfway through due to some Java bug. When I tried the installer a second time, the installer refuses to proceed and says that this database already exists.

I called your support line urgently for help, and was transferred not once, not twice but SIX times before they threw my case over over to some department called 'Customer Care' because of a problem with my 'entitlement'. This is my first time calling Oracle Support, so forgive me if I don't understand your byzantine phone support.

I opened this case last Thursday. Today is Tuesday, and I only just heard back from the entitlement department--- I called Saturday, but was told I had to call back Monday (I thought I said this was urgent)--- they finally got back to me with the proper license.

Now that I have the license, can someone please help me with the problem I ran into 5 days ago?

While I was waiting for this problem, my friend came over, installed MySQL in 5 minutes, and created a basic data model in 30 minutes. I can do basic data changes with phpMyAdmin. THIS is what I need. Please tell me why I need to spend $10K on some Oracle 10g Support Licenses?"

Re:Typical support call (1)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805038)

I would love to know if you could install mysql by yourself and not hit any issues? Maybe the problem here isn't the software..?

I know plenty of people who have installed Oracle by themselves, with 10g its pretty simple. I've installed Oracle on many systems and i've never had to do what you've described.

Sounds like you need to spend money on support because your going to need it sooner or later... You may want to be a bit proactive and go buy some support from mysql right now.

Re:Typical support call (2, Interesting)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806832)

I once did a "developer usability study" for some uni class, was told to basically get on the net, and set up the computer to be a development environment for developing a small dynamic webpage with a db backend.
Having never done web dev before I went with the biggest target, MySQL backend with apache/php front, literally took me 5 minutes to download and install MySQL with its nice developer tools, and maybe another 10 minutes to have a reasonable understanding of how those tools work.

Now, I've never installed the Oracle server or Client at home, but I have had to install the Client on my work machine and others, and the process here is... arcane, you run some bat script off a network drive which spawns a process that's invisible for all intents and purposes except in the process list, and you know it's done when it dissapears. Takes about two hours, you then have to check a log file to see if it was successful or not.
Then you fire up their oracle product installation thingammy with all its horrid slowness, and try and figure out which (badly labelled) buttons you click on to make it download the developer client.

Now, I'm not sure if it's always like that, this is quite likely just a torture process thought up by someone in our ITS department, but that is my experience with installing anything oracle related.

Re:Typical support call (1)

ednopantz (467288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806046)

installed MySQL in 5 minutes, and created a basic data model in 30 minutes ...and six months later we realized that none of our data integrity checks had actually been enforced.

Re:Typical support call (1)

Electrum (94638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806328)

But to install the Oracle *client* , I need to download 3 ISOs, install Xwindows on the server, tunnel Xwindows over SSH.

Installing the Instant Client [oracle.com] involves merely unzipping a file.

MySQL still sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17801718)

Please, the "open source" parts of MySQL are and are still crap. The only parts that made it even palatable were 3rd party. You want a good open source database? Run PostgreSQL.

Oracle distributing MySQL? (2, Insightful)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801744)

..and is already distributing the open source database
Oracle distributing MySQL? Now, there's a sound business decision if I ever saw one. 80%(*) of Oracle's customers are there for buzzwords compliance - now they can get the database they actually need, and Oracle stays synonymous with databases in the enterprise.

The rest of us can push MySQL saying "this is what Oracle recommends, just free".

(*) I just pulled that number from clear air.

Re:Oracle distributing MySQL? (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801810)

(*) I just pulled that number from clear air.
As a highly-trained professional business analyst at the top of my field, I'll thank you to stop muscling in on my freaking scam.

Re:Oracle distributing MySQL? (1)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803634)

As a highly-trained professional business analyst at the top of my field, I'll thank you to stop muscling in on my freaking scam.
Would you like him to stop borrowing from your material? As I understand, you get your data from darker places, while his is allegedly from clean air! :)

Re:Oracle distributing MySQL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17802156)

(*) I just pulled that number from clear air.
You can get accurate statistical data from clear air? Where can I get some of this clear air? Are there any distributors in the Greater Toronto Area? I haven't seen any in months.

Re:Oracle distributing MySQL? (4, Interesting)

martenmickos (467191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802798)


Thanks everyone for the interesting comments. It's a good discussion and I think there have been some good points made. I see Oracle and MySQL serving two distinct markets, so in most cases we are not competitors.

One point of clarification: I never said that Oracle has threatened MySQL. (I think this may have been the writer's editorial comment.) Instead, I view it as a positive thing that Oracle distributes MySQL. I have often suggested that Oracle should distribute MySQL and I've made the same suggestion to Microsoft. Perhaps Oracle, Microsoft or IBM will provide support for MySQL and that could be good for open source in general. (And note that Red Hat, HP and others already do so.)

If people want to buy support for MySQL from Oracle, that's great. And of course, if they want to buy it from us, we are fine with that also.

-Marten Mickos, MySQL AB

No, Oracle taking revenue (1)

kpharmer (452893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807706)

Ah, I don't think Oracle wants to provide MySQL support for any of the following reasons:
    - because there is a lot of money to be made
    - because they think it is a better product than oracle
    - because they want to "endorse" mysql

No, why would Larry Ellison want to provide support for mysql?

Really, just one reason: to further injure MySQL AB.

Look, he already bought InnoDB and Sleepycat out from under MySQL which robs them of important persistence layers (oh sure, but MySQL AB can spend a couple of years and millions of dollars to develop their own backends just proves the point). And now he's going straight for their income stream.

Oracle clearly sees MySQL as a revenue threat that they want to eliminate. This doesn't mean it is a great product - just a revenue threat. And this strategy doesn't apply to postgresql (and EnterpriseDB, etc) - but that's ok for now. Postgresql is probably 2+ years away from being the revenue threat that MySQL AB is today.

Not support! (1, Informative)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801826)

Oh man, how low can you go? Providing support? How DARE they!

Really though, I think people will see it as an endorsement (and more so, people might think that Oracle is losing faith in its flagship product). It's one thing to provide support for Linux, but MySQL is directly competing with Oracle (to a degree). I really don't know what message they're trying to send here, but if it's that people should buy Oracle, I really don't see how this will help.

Anyway, competition is good. If Oracle thinks it can provide better service than MySQL for, well, MySQL, let them! It'll only foster better service on both sides.

interesting (1, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801836)

postgresql is a more oracle-like (eg, plpgsql) and BSD licensed. Of course, postgres could cannibalize oracle sales; mysql is like sqlite, but with less features.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803016)

Ha ha! The MySQL fanboys tagged you Flaimbait even though your post is 100% correct. The only advantage of MySQL over SQLite is that SQLite doesn't have built in network support.

Re:interesting (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806900)

Ah... for a database that sounds like a pretty big fucking advantage.

Forgive the stupid question ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801866)

... but what good does this do for Oracle?

Stop or I'll shoot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17801890)

> "Oracle has threatened to provide support for MySQL and is already distributing the open source database."

The statement seems a bit like holding the gun to your own head and say, "I'll shoot!"

Re:Stop or I'll shoot (1)

quahaug (409357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804202)

Blazzing Saddles (I think)

Oracle (4, Informative)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17801940)

Actually buying their products was an out-and-out nightmare, as the rules changed every six months. You never got a consistent sales rep dedicated to your account, and they were always bringing in someone new who couldn't explain what was going on especially well. You had to keep buying new releases, because support for old versions died out, quicker and quicker over time.

As for Oracle support, it was the main thing we looked forward to at first (this was the mid-90's); but it, too, got worse over time. I would not trust Oracle to properly support MySQL, especially since they have no motivation to push it, and they are not the developers (and in fact are in competition with them).

Re:Oracle (4, Insightful)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802962)

You're obviously using the wrong channels. I've never had any trouble obtaining Oracle licenses. The streamlined acquisition process goes like this:

1. Government agency your company works for pays $90 million for Oracle licenses
2. Larry Ellison gives your congressman a nice campaign contribution
3. Government agency happily hands over license certificates by the wheelbarrow load to show that they were needed in the first place

Never once had to deal with a sales rep.

Re:Oracle (1)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806946)

Too bad "only" buying $25,000 worth of licenses every six months doesn't get you good service.

Re:Oracle (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803838)

Except Oracle doesn't have a product competing with MySQL. There are a few earlier comments detailing this. For a real world comparison, consider this: I use UGS Teamcenter Engineering with an Oracle 9i backend, and run pretty little websites with MySQL backends. Teamcenter has enormous amounts of data going through it all the time, but Oracle (although sometimes slowly) handles everything without fail. On the other hand, MySQL will periodically crash if I get too much web traffic...I'm not saying MySQL is bad, it just has its place. So does Oracle. They should not try to do each other's jobs.

Re:Oracle (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17807246)

How about 10g Express [oracle.com] ? Runs on Linux and Windows, and as long as you're not setting up a cluster or anything it probably gives you everything you need. I think the price is right, too, at $free, although it only handles up to 4GB of data. Of course, for the vast majority of small sites, that's plenty.

It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17802158)

This has less to do with support or endorsement than with having a foot in the door and generating leads for their flagship products.

Oracle "Support" (0, Troll)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802272)

sucks donkey nuts. The only reason we have it is because they won't let us have the source code. Not a problem with MySQL! ;-)

Upgrade Pathing (3, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802286)

I am sure this is just an effort on Oracle's part to capture as much of the low end database market as they can, then offer a seemless, supported upgrade to Oracle's DBMS for those who reach the limits of mysql or who start needing requirements that mysql can't support. This lets them continue to bombard customers with reasons to upgrade, while still getting support contract money from them. If the mysql community benefits from this, I am sure its just an accidental byproduct of a marketing and sales effort and nothing more.

...lets play nice... (1)

Grinin (1050028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802344)

I just think that all of these big name companies are tired of getting asked about their thoughts on the open source community, so they are all teaming up, partnering with, or simply trying to support open source technologies... Microsoft and Novell, and now Oracle with RedHat and MySQL... I think its just to say "we can play nice with the other guys..."

Whether or not it is good or bad for the community, only time will really tell us that.

mod do3n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17802504)

USER. 'NOW THAT percent of 7he *BSD

How Can Oracle Support MySQL (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802542)

. . . when they can't even support their own products?

Signed,

Another Oracle "Fusion Middleware" (or whatever they're calling that abortion of an application server this week) User.

It will lower their costs (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802604)

While many people are commenting that Oracle's motivation is to gather sales for their own DB, I can see another motivation here. Oracle maintenance can be a nightmare for unexperienced DBAs. If they can move their lesser customers to MySQL that could mean less support costs for Oracle, while keeping the paying customer.


I doubt very much that most DBAs that have a support contract with Oracle and move to MySQL will say "OK, now we don't need that contract anymore". They will keep it as insurance for who knows if MySQL will work as expected? They feel they may need to move back to Oracle in the future. After all, if they had felt at ease with MySQL to begin with, they wouldn't need Oracle to tell them how good it is.

"Unbreakable" Linux... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802766)

From the company that censors [argeniss.com] people pointing out how shoddy their in-house software is?

support? (1)

louzerr (97449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802804)

Yeah, so they'll offer the same mess of convoluted support that they do for their Oracle database. Big Deal.

I can provide Oracle support on a two-headed coin: Side A - you must have a typo somewhere; Side B - you'll need to find a work-around.

And, of course there'll be another user forum of everyone asking for the same help that you are (with very few useful answers).

The real plan (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17802824)

(I'm writing anonymously but not because I am connected with Oracle)

Two things are very important for Oracle:
  1. For its platform to be the only one with real, honest-to-goodness atomic commits.
  2. For its platform to be the only one that's unbreakable ("can't break it; can't break in").
MySQL has not, and will not be a threat to Oracle on the first point, (Postgres, the only other threat on the first point, was nullified with Oracle's acquisition of the only backend to it with atomic commits), and the second point bears very close scrutiny. What does "unbreakable" mean? For one thing, it means 100% uptime. For another, it means that you the admin, can't easily break it either. Anything can be rolled back, or you can just stop using the (unbroken) database.

Now when we hear "unbreakable MySQL" we have to ask ourselves: what does Oracle mean by unbreakable, and is it an offer to give MySQL all of the features that traditionally correspond with Oracle's image ("can't break it, can't break in")? No, they do not.

By "unbreakable MySQL" they mean one thing and one thing only: MySQL frozen solid.

Oracle's idea of unbreakable MySQL is a three-pronged approach:

  • Transactions. A single transaction should be like a TCP/IP handshake. High overhead, high error tolerance and correction, high processing needs. MySQL now is like UDP. Oracle is like your EIDE bus. The transactions Oracle wants MySQL to use are the exact ones you couldn't imagine going on inside your computer, on any fast bus. When you realize there are database engines that handle a hundred million concurrent connections you'll realize how significant this is.
  • Fault tolerance. Oracle's idea of fault tolerance for MySQL is RAID-1. Neither more, nor less. (Look at the specs.)
  • Journaling. Oracle's idea of journaled MySQL is distributed MySQL, with each node being further out of sync than the last. This is hard to believe, but it's true.
That's about it. Beware the wolf who wants to guard your sheep, people!

Oracle acquired what? (1)

wieck (215181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803386)

Postgres, the only other threat on the first point, was nullified with Oracle's acquisition of the only backend to it with atomic commits

What Postgres backend did Oracle acquire?


Jan

Re:Oracle acquired what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803616)

try this article [slashdot.org] , or the wikipedia article. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Oracle acquired what? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804362)

Uh, perhaps you missed the typo in the OP. Postgres has never used InnoDB or any other kind of "pluggable backend".

Re:The real plan (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803540)

Postgres ... was nullified with Oracle's acquisition of the only backend to it with atomic commits

Did I miss something, what part of Postgres did Oracle buy ?

A quick Google(tm) for 'oracle aquisition postgres' and all I found was this http://www.postgresqlfr.org/files/oracle.html [postgresqlfr.org] which probably isn't what you meant :-)

Re:The real plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17805832)

maybe if you knew how to spell "acquisition"...

second hit on your (properly spelled) search [sql-info.de] :

From there:

Oracle's Acquisition of InnoDB: What does it mean?
Recently Oracle acquired a small Finnish software company, Innobase. This has attracted far more attention than transactions of this size usually do, and for good reason: this directly affects MySQL, which styles itself as "the world's most popular open source database".

What is InnoDB and why is it important?
MySQL has the ability to use different database "storage engines" (modular code which can be "plugged in") in the database server to actually do the nitty-gritty work of storing and retrieving data in the underlying tables.

The most widely used engine is "MyISAM", which is also the default engine. It is fast, but is missing many features which are considered a standard part of "enterprise level" database software, such as transactions amd foreign key support. This means MyISAM does not provide much in the way of facilities for maintaining data integrity, which is essential for all but the most trivial of database applications.

However, if MySQL is to establish itself as a serious competitor in the enterprise database market- not just as a nifty backend for web-based forum systems and the like - it needs a "heavyweight" database engine which can guarantee data integrity and is reliable enough to, say, run an accounting system on.

This is where InnoDB comes in. InnoDB is a transaction-safe (ACID compliant) storage engine with foreign key support along with commit, rollback, and crash recovery capabilities.

InnoDB is a product of Innobase Oy, a Finnish company now owned by Oracle. InnoDB was first released as a part of MySQL in 2001. MySQL has a licensing agreement with Innobase which enables it to provide the InnoDB code under a commericial license to paying customers, alongside the distribution as a GPL (open source and free as in beer) product.
now do you get it?

Oracle aquired the MySQL backend not PostGresql (2, Informative)

Marcus Green (34723) | more than 7 years ago | (#17806508)

"Postgres, the only other threat on the first point, was nullified with Oracle's acquisition of the only backend to it with atomic commits"

No, it was the innodb for MySQL that Oracle acquired, this has nothing to do with PostGresQL. Unlike MySQL PostgresQL has always had attomic commits.

Re:Oracle aquired the MySQL backend not PostGresql (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17807192)

heh, obviously I meant "MySQL, has not been, and will not be a threat to Oracle on the first point, (Postgres is the only other threat on the first point), since it was nullified with Oracle's acquisition of the only backend to it with atomic commits". What about the rest of my post?

Welcome MySQL Users! (2, Funny)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802862)

. . . to the Nine Circles of Oracle Support Hell.

From the C_Kode PR Department: V.U.M (3, Funny)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17802928)

C_Kode Software is releasing a new version of the MySQL Database. Very Unbreakable MySQL (V.U.M.) MySQL. This will be based of anything that we like and will prove to be better because I said it was. It will be very fast. We like to call it Vroom VUM! Does your app VUM? If not, shell out $50 a year to me and I will allow you to tell anyone your app VUMs.

Benefits of combining Oracle and MySql (2, Interesting)

managerialslime (739286) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804672)

The thread here seems to question (a) the value of Oracle and (b) why this would be good for Oracle's customers. Here are my 0.0002 cents:

My current client is a large insurance company. (More than $7 billion dollars of policies a year underwritten by a staff of more than 1,200 people.)

We have lots of Oracle, SQL/Server, and MS/Access applications all over the place. The Oracle data is generally available to everyone. We have more than 50 analysts who use a combination of Hyperion (formerly Brio) and SAS to model the data.

Oracle's additional configuration options enable our Oracle servers to support phenomenally more people than comparable gear running Access or SQL/Server. In addition, we have really good SAN devices that are backed up every night.

However, the limited number of Oracle DBA's mean that users must wait (sometimes forever) to get their application written in, or ported to, Oracle.

Where the SQL/Plus Oracle code is controlled, documented, and fully SOX compliant, the same is not always true for the Access and SQL/Server code.

As a result, the individual departments are forced to use Access and SQL/Server. Their applications do not talk to each other. The data in those applications are "hidden" from people in other departments.

SOoooo...... users develop "personal" and "departmental" applications in Access and SQL/Server which we in IT find and port to Oracle when we can.

MySQL apps are generally easier to port to Oracle than SQL/Server or Access. (Never mind the application layer. That is a different discussion for a different time.) I would love to provide MySQL to departments across the board on servers that are supportable by corporate IT. Then users could build their apps on-the fly, expect support from my team on an ongoing basis, and faster conversions to Oracle in the long run.

Wouldn't that be sweet.

Genius way of getting rid of OSS competitors... (1)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804868)

It never occurred to me, but what an inspired, evil way of killing off open source competitors like MySQL. By offering enterprise-level support for MySQL, it will kill the revenue streams that MySQL would normally get, and over time would starve them of money needed to grow. For a small company like MySQL to flourish, they need to increase the amount of money they get from support and services and the enterprise market is usually their best bet. If Oracle blocks them from this, it really throttles MySQL's growth as a company. Genius!

I wonder if Microsoft could potentially do the same thing. If they offered to give support/services for a brand of Linux, like Debian for example, and give low cost/high quality support for it and just swallow the loss like they swallow the loss for X-box, could this be used to kill Red Hat off in a few years?

Re:Genius way of getting rid of OSS competitors... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17805004)

I wonder if Microsoft could potentially do the same thing. If they offered to give support/services for a brand of Linux, like Debian for example, and give low cost/high quality support for it and just swallow the loss like they swallow the loss for X-box, could this be used to kill Red Hat off in a few years?
s/Debian/Novell/
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