Sun Acquires MySQL

Jonathan Schwartz’s Blog: Helping Dolphins Fly, in which Sun buys MySQL for a billion dollars. A bargain! I think this is a good thing.

37 thoughts on “Sun Acquires MySQL

  1. Notwithstanding that the Java-story is a spotty open source saga, Sun’s stewardship of MySQL promises to be empowering, facilitating, and certainly important.

    I am intrigued by the best-for-last delivery given to the soon-to-be-announced Sun investment in academia. Hmm. Will watch the blog…

  2. Well, having worked with the latest incarnation of Sun for the last five years (where the prior twenty years they were cool), I can’t help but think that this may be the end of MySQL… They simply aren’t the same company these days.

  3. I’m not too sure with this acquisition but hey, it isn’t nearly as bad as when AOL bought Netscape to then virtually close it down, a few years later.

    Sun is a mixed blessing for “open sourcers” since it hasn’t embraced open source in real life as much as it has promoted it in its speeches (and sales pitches).

    I know Sun needs to keep on making money but I fail to see what the Santa Clara giant brings to MySQL, technologywise — of course, the billion dollars in fresh money will surely make a few coders (at MySQL AB) very, very happy.

  4. Every time I hear that a tool that I rely on is being acquired by a corporate entity, I begin to worry. SUN does at least have a history with Open Source projects so I am hopeful that this will be a good thing for MySQL.

  5. It was the availability of a quality, open-source DBMS like MySQL that prompted me to learn SQL when I was first getting into programming with PHP. Without something like that, I might never have become interested in web development.

    Kudos to MySQL; though some might think the price is quite high for a company whose main software components are “open source”, I think they deserve it.

  6. The nice thing about OS software is that if its vendor screws it up, for example after an acquisition, the community (or another company!) can just fork it. All its users are protected. I’m not worried at all, in fact I’m more hopeful than before that long-standing bugs will get fixed and performance improved in ways that will impact WordPress.

  7. Better Sun, then Oracle(i have some friends there, hope they forgive me). =O)
    Matt, you are right – should Sun “kill it” (craziest thing after you spend a billion), people will just continue forking it – because the license permits it.
    I have hopes, that Sun will help it in corporate environment hence promoting more and giving it a chance in the cases where it can be of a better use then heavyweight Oracle or SQL Server.

  8. Man, I cannot say with confidence whether this really is a good thing for us developers and MySQL users or not, but I hope it is.

    If Sun keeps MySQL open source and free (the version that is open source and free for individual use), then it will most certainly be a good thing for MySQL, but in case Sun plans on commercializing it for good, it may not be a good omen for any of us…

  9. For those uneasy about Sun doing something stupid with MySQL, I think our best insurance & assurance, comes from what MySQL is, what it is doing, and who is using it, for what.

    Check it out. The Matrix substantially runs on MySQL. Around 50% of all servers are LAMP. That’s a package: ISPs sell that package to clients. Clients don’t what to see some flavor-of-the-month database instead of MySQL. Over a span of years, they have gotten comfy with the setup. ISPs don’t want to go experimenting. In a nutshell – this is the Web.

    Sun gets fresh with MySQL, they lose. ISPs et al are going to continue using MySQL. Sun does a nice job with it, fine. Sun gets silly, the Net just takes it away from them. They can, and they will.

    Here’s my theory. There are mega-markets out there (bigger than all the existing ‘Net combined). Some of them have ‘command & control’ concerns. Some of them have flat-out terrorist concerns. These issues are handled on the government-to-major-corporation level. Whoever holds the big cards in LAMP, has a serious piece of leverage with global players. And there are other mega-considerations. This ain’t charity for the MySQL geeks … or a ploy to gut MySQL.

    I’ll grant ya, there can be scenarios where a company (such as a Sun, or maybe an AOL, fer instance) will involve themselves with an OSS product, possibly at considerable outlay, and then cleverly arrange for it to go bye-bye. It can happen.

    But in the case of MySQL; it is too deeply ingrained into too much, with too many competent players, and there are multiple obvious opportunities to turn a serious advantage with it.

  10. Here is MySql’s licensing page. Check it out for yourself. Matt is right in being optimistic. The GPL is designed as such that the source and derivatives have to remain free, which means IMO that Sun’s input can only be a good thing.

  11. What does this mean to WordPress that uses Mysql as its official database? I’m not so happy about this – big companies laying their hands on Open Source community projects.

  12. It’s a bad thing. Sun has a lousy reputation. It’s corrupt and dishonest corporation that doesn’t care about the end user. It has no ethics.. and it will damage the security of mysql. You can tell me I was right when it’s too late.

  13. I dont really see the big deal about this, there are other free open source databases out there, and PHP5’s PDO lets you connect to more databases than just MySQL. But then again I cant say if any of the other databases have decent tools like MySQL does, their GUI tools and the command line make it very easy to work with.

  14. Thanks for all comments. We are very excited about joining Sun, for a number of reasons:

    * Sun is today the world’s biggest open source vendor
    * Sun is today committed to working with other languages, platforms and technologies than their own (PHP, Perl, Python, Linux, Windows, x86 etc.)
    * Sun has technology and experts who can help us accelerate the MySQL roadmap and improve scalability further
    * Sun has a massive field force that can reach into more paying customers faster

    So in summary I believe this will be good news for WordPress users and MySQL users in general. We will remain committed to open source and the “architecture of participation” (as Tim O’Reilly calls it).

    To learn more, check out the blog of Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun ( And please join us for the MySQL Conference in April to see for yourself (

    I welcome your comments, questions and feedback (my email address is easy to guess).

    Marten Mickos, CEO, MySQL AB

  15. I have been around BIG business far too long to believe in them being altruistic, sympathetic or even very caring except when there’s a dollar sign in front of it. Sun is no different.

    “* Sun has a massive field force that can reach into more paying customers faster”

    All the rest is spin ;-))