DigitalFriend Blog

January 2008

Analyse this: SUN buys MySQL for $1 Billion

Thu, 17 Jan 2008 18:13:51 +1100

By: gosh'at' (Steve Goschnick)

This has been coming for some time (e.g. see the April'07 entry: SQL Engine is now standard in Java). SUN has been shy of relational database systems since the OO mantra in the early 1990's that claimed 'all shall be made object-oriented', but the success of Web 2.0 companies that rose from the ashes of the crash on the back of RDBMS, has slowly focused SUN on the reality and value of data, particular well-structured data. IBM's maneuvre via the donation of Derby via Apache, rebadged as Java DB, wasn't enough to keep SUN out of the database market in the era of Web 2.0. Predictions in our industry are always fraught with danger, but here's my 2-cents worth anyway:

What will it mean from SUN? a). Better java tools that support and enhance Web 2. b). Improved Web 2 development tools from SUN in 'languages other than' Java, e.g. from within C/C++ and Ruby, for starters - e.g. look at NetBeans language support activity for language directions. c). Providing a professional transactional engine for MySQL, which was made a big issue for MySQL users by Oracle's purchase of the previous third party transactional engine (InnoDB, in Oct 2005) used in MySQL V5, for it to compete at the top end of the database market. d). The ability for SUN to deliver new synergies between their internet serving hardware and services, that are tuned specifically for MySQL Web 2 applications... [2008-01-19: I saw somebody write: "Didn't they (SUN) know they could download a copy for free?" :) ]

What will it mean for MySQL users? a). Not much change for 12 months (apart from paid support options), as SUN soothes Open Source developers and users with the message that its 'business as usual'. After that, MySQL will evolve rapidly - there is the feature list from two newer SQL standards (SQL:2003, SQL:2007) which are yet to find there way into MySQL, which is more than ample excuse/reason for SUN to evolve the platform rapidly, which will have a big flow-on into SUNs support revenues. [2008-01-19: On second thoughts: expect MySQL to become more object-oriented sooner e.g. an extended relational database (ORDBMS) system - but not an Object-oriented DBMS (OODBMS) - while proceeding with less haste on its transactional ability beyond the existing InnoDB engine and Falcon engine activity - that would: abide by the newer SQL standards, be compatible with SUNs inherant biase and expertise regarding OO, and even help appease residual relationships with Oracle and IBM, all whilst most MySQL users would be none-the-wiser]. b). Money changing hands towards SUN, for transactional database capability in future versions of MySQL. c). Money changing hands towards SUN for networked GUI tools/applications that use MySQL and which operate 'outside' of the standard Web Browser, particularly for mobile phones. d). Serious exploration of other Open Source relational SQL DBMS. e). Smaller MySQL User Conferences after 2008 - well, at least a significant change in the profile of attendees, so they can put up the registration fee in 2009.

What will it mean for Open Source developers? a). Frenetic activity to enhance or build other relational DBMSs, up to the level that MySQL has attained. b). There is now a precedent for commercial companies paying $1 billion+ for Open Source companies, if their product and market share is competitive enough, so what surety does anybody have here on in, that an open source product will remain so indefinitely ... but does it matter, if we can use and enhance the earlier versions anyway?

What will it mean from Oracle? a). Oracle will get less Java-friendly and move further towards creating/enhancing its own useful proprietry web2-friendly languages - particularly with workflow and orchestration language features. b). Oracle (and the other DBMS vendors) will have to upgrade their offerings to the full SQL:2007 standard as soon as possible, to keep pace with the new developments at SUN... and that will be a lot of extra work for inhouse/outsourced C/C++ codecutters all over the shop.

What will it mean from Microsoft? a). No change in their technology, but may affect their pricing. The machinations will largely be between the Java-embracing tool vendors, IBM, Oracle, Google, Apple, etc.

Home | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2007 Solid Software Pty Ltd