We recognise that the needs of the MySQL Community are different from the needs of commercial enterprise customers. After 11 years of producing our software, we can no longer hope that a single offering is the best solution for both Community and Enterprise users. Consequently, we are introducing two different offerings for each distinct target group.
The MySQL Community Server is:
The MySQL Enterprise Server is:
With this differentiation, we aim to better serve both categories of MySQL users -- those who are willing to spend time to save money, and those who are willing to spend money to save time.
If our changes succeed in their objective, both audiences will benefit from a more stable, feature-rich and high-quality database. The open source benefits for each of the audiences mutually reinforce each other:
- Community users get new features at no-cost to them -- funded by paying customers
- Enterprise users get a more stable, reliable and predictably-released product -- thanks to community participation
Each of these components of the virtuous circle of open source contributes to the development and spreading of a better MySQL for everyone.
By the name MySQL Enterprise, we want to make clear that this is the offering we expect business users of MySQL to be interested in: Are you using MySQL in a production enterprise setting? Go for MySQL Enterprise!
We believe the users of MySQL Community Server expect
- early access to MySQL features under development
- that MySQL AB will listen to their input
- timely corrections to bug fixes they report
- help with enhancing MySQL for their particular needs
- channels to communicate with the rest of community for getting assistance
- an easier process for having contributions accepted in MySQL
- commitment to Open Source -- including free, unrestricted availability of source code
and this is what we will continue to deliver.
We're happy to note the growth in contributions flowing into MySQL and its ecosystem. To facilitate these, we have
- launched MySQL Forge (see forge.mysql.com)
- established a Contribution License Agreement (see MySQL_Contributor_License_Agreement on Forge Wiki)
- supported a MySQL Community Camp (see mysqlcamp.org)
- started to Doxygen comment our code for easier understandability (see CommunityDoxygenProject on Forge Wiki)
and this is now showing results:
- 159 Forge projects by 58 distinct contributors
- 44 Forge snippets by 25 distinct contributors
- 361 forge users registered
- 1696 distinct Forge Wiki page titles
- 184 Forge wiki contributors
- MySQL Server kernel contributions accepted, such as Jeremy Cole's
On top of this, we expect to soon launch a competition for voting on the look-and-feel of our new MySQL Community Server logotype and Web site. We will also be establishin a pilot program for MySQL Quality Assurance contributors. Most importantly, we're launching the MySQL Winter of Code program, featuring the Connectors Contest and the Storage Engines Encounters, which I will be telling you about separately next week.
Technically, the MySQL Enterprise Server inherits the current MySQL 5.0.26 code base, as does the MySQL Community Server. However, we will be encouraging and incorporating contributions in the form of minor enhancements and experimental features already into the 5.0 version of MySQL Community Server. This way, contributors don't have to wait until the next major release for their improvements to get into use, and enterprise users can continue using 5.0 without seeing any destabilisation of the code base due to new functionality being introduced.
As part of our differentiation, we will do more frequent binary releases of the MySQL Enterprise Server software than of the MySQL Community Server. However, all of our database software is open source, so we will continue to make all releases available over our BitKeeper tree and as source code tarballs -- even if the MySQL Enterprise Server binaries will not be available for public download but limited to our commercial customers and our core QA contributors.
Finally, we will continue to be active good citizens in the greater Free and Open Source Software world. We're participating in the GPLv3 drafting process, we're supporting the Free Software Foundation as FSF corporate patrons, and we're supporting campaigns against the spread of software patents around the globe.
So: Click here to see today's press releases on MySQL Enterprise, which describes our new flagship commercial offering, directed at paying enterprise customers. It refers to the MySQL Network Monitoring & Advisory Services, which is a commercial only offering we are about to launch. In due course, I'll be sharing more about that with you. Stay tuned, and please give me your feedback on what you think (including private email to k a j at m y s q l . c o m)!