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21 April 2009, 12:05

MySQL founder and ex-CEO react to Oracle/Sun

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Both Monty Widenius, founder of MySQL, and Marten Mickos, former CEO of MySQL and until recently, VP of the Sun database group, have both commented on Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems and MySQL. Observers had noted that Oracle may not be interested in pursuing development of MySQL, despite Oracle's announcement saying MySQL would join the ranks of its other database products.

In his blog post about the acquisition Monty Widenius notes the range of reasons that Oracle would buy Sun, from hardware, storage to virtualisation, cloud computing, OpenSolaris and Java. But he also worries that the options for MySQL were either kill MySQL, sell MySQL to a third party, or embrace MySQL and open source. Widenius hopes that Oracle will take the latter course of action but notes that Oracle do not have the best possible reputation in the open source community. He says that his current company, Monty Program AB, "or close to it" is prepared to maintain the MySQL core developer group by hiring those developers. Widenius finished by inviting Larry Ellison to talk with him about Oracle's MySQL and open source strategy.

In an interview with Forbes, Mikcos pointed to the 12 million strong installed base of MySQL, and how that hasn't "hurt Oracle" in the past. "Oracle might as well cannibalise themselves, than have someone else do it". Mickos doesn't think Oracle will kill the MySQL business, but he does worry that MySQL could be incorporated into the database division at Oracle where a non-open philosophy would clash with MySQL's open philosophy. "There's a risk they give it away as a freebie. One of MySQL's strengths is that it has a business model, but my belief is Oracle's executives understand this".

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