Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Feb 2006 18:42 UTC, submitted by Dubbayoo
Databases Oracle tried to acquire open-source database maker MySQL, an indication of the profound changes the software giant is willing to make as it adapts to the increasingly significant collaborative programming philosophy. 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.
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Not hard to believe
by saterdaies on Thu 16th Feb 2006 19:17 UTC
saterdaies
Member since:
2005-07-07

Oracle has already bought the company behind InnoDB (the storage engine I personally use in mySQL and the one that provides mySQL with things like foreign key constraints) and the company behind BerkeleyDB.

Oracle is essentially buying their competition. While they can't stop mySQL and other GPL software from being distributed, they can stop the funding train for new development. The fact is that mySQL has gotten to the point that it is very useful for tons of projects. As companies look to replace legacy products they are faced with the option of either upgrading a product relying on Oracle and paying to upgrade Oracle with it or replacing it with something based on mySQL. I'm not saying that mySQL is always the right choice, but as it becomes more mature, it cuts further into Oracle's profits.

By buying mySQL, they could cut off support for it (something businesses need because they need someone to yell at if something goes wrong), they could halt sponsored development and patching (another killer issue for businesses) and suggest that customers move to Oracle (or buy a more expensive mySQL license from Oracle).

If your product is becoming less and less relavant, it becomes a wise idea to buy your competition.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not hard to believe
by Adurbe on Thu 16th Feb 2006 19:32 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

i doubt they would kill support for a popular product especially when they can sell it to you!

lets face it mySql does not compete with Oracles cash cow databases. Its a different league

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not hard to believe
by segedunum on Thu 16th Feb 2006 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Not hard to believe"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

lets face it mySql does not compete with Oracles cash cow databases. Its a different league

No it isn't actually. There are a lot of companies out there who are using Oracle absolutely needlessly.

Reply Score: 3

No Actually
by segedunum on Thu 16th Feb 2006 19:46 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Oracle tried to acquire open-source database maker MySQL, an indication of the profound changes the software giant is willing to make

Well no actually, they wanted to buy out the competition as companies realise they've been paying Oracle for nothing all these years.

Reply Score: 3

MySQL is not ANSI SQL compliance
by Babi Asu on Thu 16th Feb 2006 19:59 UTC
Babi Asu
Member since:
2006-02-11

Rather than buying MySQL, buying PostgreSQL or FireBird is a better move I think. If one used to use Oracle, if he migrates to MySQL, he'll miss many, e.g. sub-select, procedure, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE: MySQL is not ANSI SQL compliance
by DevL on Fri 17th Feb 2006 10:56 UTC in reply to "MySQL is not ANSI SQL compliance"
DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

Thing is Oracle isn't out shopping for a competent DDMS -they already got that. They're out shopping for MySQL's customers one way or the other. If Oracles recent acquisitions would prove to halt MySQLs development, there's always PostgreSQL to fall back as an Open SOurce DBMS.

Reply Score: 1

fyracle Member since:
2006-02-17

Yes, but it is not possible to buy PostgreSQL or Firebird!!! ;-)
Some competitors have argued that not being owned by a single company is a weakness for Firebird. It is actually it greatest strength.

Reply Score: 1

This is diversification
by AndrewZ on Thu 16th Feb 2006 20:27 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

Oracle is most likely not trying to buy to competition, but is rather trying to diversify it's business while the options are cheap. It bought InnoDB not to put MySQL out of business but because this gave it contact information for all the customers who wanted the enterprise roll-back capability not normally found in MySQL.

SleepyCat, recently bought by Oracle, doesn't compete with Oracle. The SleepyCat database product doesn't even process SQL commands. it is designed for embedded database in things like routers and phone switches.

Oracle is acting in anticipation of the day when it cannot make huge profit margins on its Oracle database products, currently it's cash cow. That's why it bought PeopleSoft, to diversify. That's the reason for the buying spree. To diversify.

Reply Score: 4

Can't buy PostGres
by AndrewZ on Thu 16th Feb 2006 20:31 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

And FYI, no company can buy PostGres. PostGres is not a company, it is a project. Any company can adopt, use, sell the source code. But since Postgres is not a company, it can't be bought.

In the past PostGres has been adopted as a product by Great Bridge (now out of business), By Red Hat (dropped after pressure from Oracle), and recently adopted by Sun for Solaris.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Can't buy PostGres
by unoengborg on Thu 16th Feb 2006 22:25 UTC in reply to "Can't buy PostGres"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

They can't buy Postgresql, but they certainly could hire the most talanted postgresql developers. By doing that they could slow down its development process.

Of course, some of them may be hard to buy, as they allready have good jobs e.g. at Sun, that resntly announced that they would support Postgresql and bundle it with Solaris 10.

Reply Score: 2

Boycott Oracle
by SEJeff on Fri 17th Feb 2006 00:26 UTC
SEJeff
Member since:
2005-11-05

Some code straight from the Oracle playbook:

eat() {
buy $1
deprecate $1
sell oracle
}

while [ $competitor = true ]; do
eat $competitor
done

Innobase, PeopleSoft, Siebel, sleepycat, possibly Jboss, attempted mysql... Then next thing they know, they are going to bite off more than they can chew and have to spit some of it out. Predatory business practices like this should seriously be illegal.

Reply Score: 2

of course they are buying competition
by JoeBuck on Fri 17th Feb 2006 00:35 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

Oracle has a long history of buying and destroying competing products. That is a key part of their business model.

Their CEO pictures himself as that guy in "Highlander" with the sword. Cut off their heads, take their power. "There can be only one".

Reply Score: 5

MySQL and InnoDB are Free
by JohnMG on Fri 17th Feb 2006 02:33 UTC
JohnMG
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm just glad MySQL and InnoDB are free -- as in GPL. No matter what happens to the respective companies, the code's still free. So, if the worst happens, at least the community can still pick them up and continue development.

The root of the problem MySQL seems to be facing, I think, is related to the dual-licensing. AFAIK, InnoDB is licensed the same as MySQL: GPL, but they'll sell the code to you under a different license if you like. To do this, it seems to me that they (both MySQL and Innobase, respectively) must retain full copyright over the code. This obviously makes both projects less popular as the sort of project a hacker might want to work on -- since they'd probably have to assign copyright to MySQL/Innobase for any code they contribute.

So now, instead of Innobase owning the copyright for InnoDB, it looks like Oracle does. That means Oracle can decide to raise what they charge for the non-GPL-licensed version. Which means the price increase gets passed down to the MySQL customers. I think this might be the risk you take when you do a dual-licensing scheme.

Even if MySQL forked the InnoDB code, they still wouldn't have fully copyright, and thus still couldn't sell an other-licensed version.

I'm very new to MySQL, so take my analysis with a grain of salt, but what are their options now? I think MaxDB may be copyrighted by SAP AG (dunno), so maybe there's an option for MySQL there...

Reply Score: 2

MySQL and InnoDB are Free
by JohnMG on Fri 17th Feb 2006 02:37 UTC
JohnMG
Member since:
2005-07-06

...or maybe they're working on their own backend storage engine?

Reply Score: 2

gnobuddy
Member since:
2006-01-21

Larry Ellison was interviewed in one of the Linux magazines a couple of years ago. When the interviewer mentioned MySQL, Ellison was derisive, saying it was good for nothing more than "storing a few recipes".

It seems he's changed his mind a little since then. ;)

-Flieslikeabeagle

Reply Score: 1

@ Babi Asu
by dingodog2 on Fri 17th Feb 2006 08:58 UTC
dingodog2
Member since:
2006-02-17

Sorry to dissapoint you but MySQL as of version 5 includes everything from procedures, functions, to transactions to triggers and sequences...etc

The gap between Oracle and MySQL is becoming very very small.

Reply Score: 3