Is it ‘Sun’set for MySQL, courtesy Oracle? Hope not..

IBM has been in ‘failed’ acquisition talks with Sun for the past few weeks. Oracle has struck the deal to acquire Sun for $7.4b which works out to $5.6 billion net of Sun’s cash and debt.

You will find many blog postings related to this acquisition. There is one line item that directly effects us at Oneindia.in and Click.inMySQL. I have been using MySQL since late 1990s. It is definitely one of the most popular OpenSource databases (the other one being Postgres).Mysql

Sun acquired MySQL for a whopping $1B in 2008. It was MySQL’s rapidly growing installed base of 11 million deployments that attracted Sun, not its technology. MySQL founder, Michael ‘Monty’ Widenius left Sun and started his own community branch of MySQL, MariaDB. We haven’t used MariaDB, so I cannot say how good it is, since it is a branch of MySQL my guess is that it ought to be good.

Future of MySQL

What will happen to MySQL? Will Oracle, a competitor and leader in the database world kill MySQL?

Experts feel Oracle would not be that bothered or worried about MySQL as the current sales of MySQL is too small for Oracle to even look into. MySQL is largely used by portals, SMBs who will need to move to a sophisticated database like Oracle down the road.

In India, MySQL has a very good and strong following amongst developers. Sun has many opensource products – MySQL, GlassFish, NetBeans and JavaFX. Whereas Oracle doesn’t have any opensource products. So a huge cutlure gap exists between the two companies.

After few years will Oracle loose interest in MySQL and sell it back to the original founder? At least happened with StumbleUpon (acquired by eBay in May 2007 for $75m, sold back to StumbleUpon founders Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith in April 2009)  and possibly could happen with Skype (bought by eBay for $3.1b and may be sold to Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis for $1.7b).

In the short term (that is few years!) I don’t see anything drastically changing in MySQL. So until then we will relax and continue to use MySQL.

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