Though it didn’t seem to get noticed much in the main technical press, the acquisition of Innobase by Oracle is big news in the open source database market. Many of you may recognize Innobase as the company that produced and supports InnoDB (one of the underlying database engines used by MySQL).
This could have dire consequences for the business model of MySQL AB. MySQL AB sells commercial licenses for their MySQL database product along with services and support. The contract regarding inclusion of InnoDB with MySQL is up for renewal next year and with Oracle holding the reigns now the negotiations could be difficult (and costly) for MySQL AB.
The press release by Oracle says they are committed to expanding the product and contributing to the open source community, but if you have seen what is to become of the PeopleSoft and JD Edwards products Oracle recently acquired, you may not be so convinced of their noble intentions.
For the open source crowd, we can take solace in the fact that InnoDB is GPL software, but with Oracle now “owning” the main developers on the product, new features and maintenance could dry up considerably. We’ll just have to wait and see what Oracle’s plans are for the newly acquired company.
In addition to MySQL, there are other alternatives to the high cost databases out there. Some of these are: PostgreSQL, Sybase ASE on Linux (Free for one CPU box, 5 GB max data storage, and 2 GB max RAM), Apache Derby, and FireBird
Here are some of the reactions and reporting from the Blogosphere:
KasLog – OracleÃ‚Â’s Innobase Acquisition; Open Source is Not Necessarily “Free”