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18 April 2008, 15:18

MySQL drops features from GPL version

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MySQL, which was acquired by Sun Microsystems at the beginning of the year, plans to discontinue development of a number of features for the free version; these features will only be available in the Enterprise version, for which a fee is charged. Up to now, the free community version was identical to the Enterprise version. MySQL is moving away from its current dual-licensing strategy in favour of a model similar to the one practised by other open source vendors, such as SugarCRM and Zimbra: the basic version of the software is open source and free, but a number of enterprise features have to be paid for – things like online backup, encryption, and special drivers for particular storage engines.

Marten Mickos, former CEO at MySQL AB now a member of the executive board at Sun, says the decision for this new strategy had been reached before the company was taken over by Sun. He argues that MySQL has to find a way to finance the development of open source software, and various approaches are being tested. This distinction between the Enterprise and Community version is to take effect starting with MySQL 6.0.


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