Eye on Oracle

May 5 2009   1:03PM GMT

‘MySQL is not going to die,’ Collaborate speaker claims

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

One question has been on everyone’s minds since Oracle announced its acquisition of Sun Microsystems:

What is the future of MySQL now that it’s in the hands of Oracle?

This question about the highly popular open source database is being debated in the Oracle and Sun communities — some are insistent that Oracle won’t kill MySQL, but other open source executives are split. Some point out that this is Oracle’s chance to innovate and prove it’s serious about open source; however, the software giant has not shown a commitment in the past to open source even as it’s grown in popularity, according to the ZDNet article.

Collaborate ’09 presenter and Oracle and MySQL DBA George Trujillo addressed the question Monday at the conference in his session, “What Every Oracle Professional Needs to Know about MySQL.” Trujillo said he could not say exactly what was going to happen with Oracle and Sun, but he did know one thing:

“I will tell you MySQL is not going to die,” he said.

Trujillo said because of the simple fact that MySQL is an open source database — a free source code available to anyone — it will continue on no matter what Oracle decides to do with it.

So, maybe MySQL is not as much in the hands of Oracle as we are think it is.

“It’s open source — if we wanted to get together tonight to get the source code and create our own version to start selling tomorrow, we could do that,” Trujillo told session attendees.  He said what’s more important is that whoever is the leader of open source has to be innovative.

Trujillo also discussed common misconceptions users have about MySQL, one being that the database can be compared with Oracle. He said comparing MySQL to Oracle is like comparing a fast speedboat to an aircraft carrier — if you bought one, it was probably for a reason, and you won’t be happy switching to the other.

So, maybe the real question is not will Oracle keep MySQL, but what will the software giant choose to do with it? How innovative will they be? Is there anything you would like to see Oracle do with the open source database? How do you think, or would like to see, Oracle will market itself to the open source community?

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