Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Refining MySQL Community Server

Back in October 2006, we introduced MySQL Community Server. Since then, we've learnt a thing or two, spent many man hours discussing how to improve our processes, and are now refining the concept. We feel that we've come up with some good middle-ground that fulfils not only our company interests but fosters community use and growth as well.



The changes are in the areas of release policy and stability of MySQL Community Server and in the availability of MySQL Enterprise Server.

The changes start from the question: "How can we better target MySQL Community Server to the community and MySQL Enterprise Server to the paying customers?". Many of them originate from our ongoing discussions with the Linux Distributions, some of whom have been distributing MySQL Enterprise Server to their user base, since MySQL Community Server hasn't conformed to their needs of feature stability and release schedule.

Our intention is for MySQL Community Server to be very good, and for MySQL Enterprise Server to provide further value on top of that. The five changes, in short, are:



  1. New features and community contributions will go into the next development tree. The new features will not be applied to a current GA release, ensuring stability for the Community Server. At the time of writing, the development tree is MySQL 5.2.


  2. There will be at least two yearly “mature GA” (currently MySQL 5.0) binary builds. They aren't scheduled, but usually triggered by grave security vulnerabilities.


  3. When a version of MySQL initially goes GA (as 5.1 soon will), the company will release binary builds of the new GA product every month for a period of several months until it reaches a point of suitable stability/maturity to be considered a "mature GA" release -- as described above.


  4. There will be four yearly “mature GA” (currently MySQL 5.0) source releases, predictably scheduled, to be released once every quarter. These will be ideal for use by distributions shipping MySQL.


  5. The current Enterprise source tarballs will be removed from ftp.mysql.com. These will move to enterprise.mysql.com, and will be available for our paying subscribers only.



Let me expand upon the first and the last items.

Community contributions: As I know this is a topic important to our contributors and potential contributors, let me provide an example. I confess: We've been bad at incorporating new features. We haven't entered much more significant than SHOW PROFILE, and it took many months and several builds to mature. And we cannot continue with this practice of applying patches to a stable release, because new features will destabilise the release. That's what we've been hearing from both distributions and contributors. We're listening, and we're learning. By no longer going for the impossible (adding features to a feature frozen release), we hope to change this dynamic for the better.

Enterprise source code availability: I expect three questions, "Why?", "Does this conform with the GPL?" and "What keeps a paying customer from building and posting Enterprise binaries?". The rationale is to underline the positioning goal of "Community Server for community users, Enterprise Server for paying users". And the GPL requires us (like anybody else) to hand out the code to those whom we give the binaries, which in the case of MySQL Enterprise Server is just the customers. So it does conform to the GPL, something that we've verified with the FSF to eliminate any doubt. And as for the third expected question, the answer is "Nothing". Still, we feel that most business users will see the value of a MySQL Enterprise subscription that offers regularly-reliable software updates directly from the 'source', along with premium 24x7 technical support and proactive monitoring/advisory tools.

To finish off, let me repeat a number of basic facts which stay unchanged:


  1. both the Enterprise Server and the Community Server remain licensed under the GPLv2


  2. MySQL Enterprise Server has Monthly Rapid Updates (MRUs) and Quarterly Service Packs (QSPs), i.e. binaries delivered to our customers; building these binaries is a service for paying customers only


  3. bugs are first fixed in MySQL Enterprise Server builds, and while updates are delivered quicker and more frequently to paying customers, bug fixes are also added to the next source and binary builds of MySQL Community Server as stated above


  4. when scheduled, we build Community binaries for all platforms


  5. community binaries and sources are still available for download at dev.mysql.com/downloads


  6. all source trees are still available via BitKeeper


  7. the Enterprise Server is close to a full subset of the Community Server



With these changes that are intended to simplify life for the Linux Distributions that distribute MySQL, we hope to better serve the MySQL user base, while continuing to provide additional value to our paying customers in the form of more frequent, scheduled binary bug fix releases.

If you have any questions with regards to this, please do not hesitate to reply via email to community@mysql.com.

28 comments:

  1. [...] YouTube Contact the Webmaster Link to Article linux Refining MySQL Community Server » Posted at Kaj Arnö’s blog on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 Back in October 2006, we introduced MySQL Community Server ... originate from our ongoing discussions with the Linux Distributions, some of whom View Original Article » [...]

    ReplyDelete
  2. [...] But, according to the new changes to the release policy in the availability of both MySQL community and enterprise editions, MySQL will no longer make the source tar balls available to regular community releases, instead available to enterprise paying customers and there will be four yearly source tar balls available for community releases. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  3. [...] Mike Kruckenberg, well-respected community member recently blogged about MySQL taking another step (away from open source, and I’d like to refute some of his worries. In fact, this is really more to drive away from what some within the community think is not kosher, i.e. change #5 in Kaj’s blog entry. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  4. [...] Current clarification of Enterprise/Community split http://www.planetmysql.org/kaj/?p=123 [...]

    ReplyDelete
  5. [...] Mike Kruckenberg, well-respected community member recently blogged about MySQL taking another step (away from open source, and I’d like to refute some of his worries. In fact, this is really more to drive away from what some within the community think is not kosher, i.e. change #5 in Kaj’s blog entry. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  6. Refining MySQL Community Server

    Different things can be said about
    Kaj Arno's , Refining MySQL Community Server but given the fact that the source will continue to be freely available from Bitkeeper I see no issues apart from a possible growth in real community MySQL with real...

    ReplyDelete
  7. [...] Mike Kruckenberg, well-respected community member recently blogged about MySQL taking another step (away from open source, and I’d like to refute some of his worries. In fact, this is really more to drive away from what some within the community think is not kosher, i.e. change #5 in Kaj’s blog entry. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  8. [...] Wie Kaj Arnö, Vizepräsident von MySQL in seinem Blog schreibt, beabsichtigt die Firma MySQL die .tar.gz Dateien mit dem Sourcecode der Enterprise Version der MySQL Datenbank vom FTP Server ftp.mysql.com zu entfernen. Der Sourcode soll in Zukunft nur noch Kunden von MySQL zur Verfügung gestellt werden. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  9. [...] In dem Blogeintrag “Refining MySQL Community Server“, erklärt MySQL-Vizepräsident Kaj Arnö, dass die Quellen des MySQL-Enterprise-Produkts nur noch zahlenden Kunden zur Verfügung stehen werden. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  10. [...] Les annonces faites par Kaj ont secoué un peu la communauté avec des réactions assez forte de ses membres actifs. Je vous laisserez les lire en détails sur son blog. Mais voila l’idée générale: [...]

    ReplyDelete
  11. [...] For the past few months I have been providing “Red Hat”-style RPMs of the newest MySQL versions, including the Enterprise-only releases. Unfortunately it looks like that practice is going to come to an end. The developers of MySQL have decided to change the release policy of the Community version and the availability policy of the Enterprise sources (Source: Refining MySQL Community Server). [...]

    ReplyDelete
  12. [...] Kaj Arnö, the company’s vice president of community relations, wrote that the Enterprise tarballs “will be removed from ftp.mysql.com. These will move to enterprise.mysql.com, and will be available for our paying subscribers only.” Customers will also be able to get the source out of the MySQL BitKeeper repository, but it will no longer be available as a source tarball. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  13. קוד המקור של MySQL Enterprise למנויים בלבד

    חברת MySQL AB, מפתחת מסד הנתונים החופשי MySQL, הודיעה כי קוד המקור של MySQL Enterprise יהיה זמין ללקוחות משלמים בלבד.

    ReplyDelete
  14. [...] Kaj posted an official announcement the other day which changes their Open Source binary distribution model. Back in October 2006, we introduced MySQL Community Server. Since then, we’ve learnt a thing or two, spent many man hours discussing how to improve our processes, and are now refining the concept. We feel that we’ve come up with some good middle-ground that fulfils not only our company interests but fosters community use and growth as well. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  15. [...] Here is the blog link from MySQL’s Kaj Arnö (http://www.planetmysql.org/kaj/?p=123). [...]

    ReplyDelete
  16. [...] Biggest news of the week was change in policies and availability of MySQL products - community server and enterprise server. it all started with Kaj Arnö’s post on his “MySQL AB VP Community Whereabouts in a Nutshell”. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  17. [...] MySQL AB has announced some changes in the way it handles the Community and Enterprise releases of MySQL. From the post: [...]

    ReplyDelete
  18. [...] Kaj Arno, who heads mySQL community efforts, writes this week that Community users will get four updates per year, while paying Enterprise customers get Monthly Rapid Updates (MRUs) and Quarterly Service Packs (QSPs).They will also get bug fixes first. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  19. [...] MySQL AB’s recent changes to the Community/Enterprise split have made people go as far as calling the split a failure. I don’t think it’s working well either, but it could be fixed. Here’s what I think would make Enterprise a compelling offer. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  20. [...] Jump forward to the most recent announcements. Once again we got an early look at the changes, and once again, we voiced our concerns. This time it basically amounted to “Is taking away the Enterprise source supposed to convince people to buy Enterprise?” Their answer was “Yep”. Our only response could be “Uh, good luck with that.” Once again, our concerns mostly centered around whether the Enterprise product made sense, and once again we said that it didn’t. We told them flat out that a single person mirroring the code would nullify all the “force people to buy” effects of their removal of the source, while nullifying none of the good will they lose by hiding it. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  21. [...] http://www.planetmysql.org/kaj/?p=123 [...]

    ReplyDelete
  22. [...] It appears that MySQL is hiding its Enterprise source code. In the article, Kaj Arnö attempts to make clear that the Community Builds (aka free builds) will still be available in all their forms. But, the real key is that the Tarballs, the bundles of code that were easily accessible, are being moved from the public FTP to the enterprise server. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  23. java.org »
    http://javam.org/mysql-kapaniyor/
    MySQL kapanıyor !!!
    MySQL kaynak kodu enterprise’a eklenerek ücretli hale getirildi.
    Özetle:
    * Açık kaynak topluluğu kendi haline bırakılacak
    * Para ödeyen enterprise kullanıcılarına öncelik verilip onların dertleriyle ilgilenilecek...

    ReplyDelete
  24. [...] The Register’s Developer section has a good overview, and MySQL’s own Kaj Arnö explains on his own blog. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  25. [...] Oczywiście kod, który pozostaje na licencji GNU GPLv2, musi być dostępny w postaci źródeł, ale firma przekonuje, że ma ten obowiązek wyłącznie wobec klientów, ponieważ tylko im dostarcza binaria. Dla pozostałych jest wersja Community Server. Firma wprowadziła jeszcze kilka innych zmian w dotychczasowej praktyce, ale kontrowersje wywołało tylko zniknięcie paczek Enterprise z publicznego serwera FTP. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  26. [...] Oczywiście kod, który pozostaje na licencji GNU GPLv2, musi być dostępny w postaci źródeł, ale firma przekonuje, że ma ten obowiązek wyłącznie wobec klientów, ponieważ tylko im dostarcza binaria. Dla pozostałych jest wersja Community Server. Firma wprowadziła jeszcze kilka innych zmian w dotychczasowej praktyce, ale kontrowersje wywołało tylko zniknięcie paczek Enterprise z publicznego serwera FTP. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  27. MySQL AB has announced some changes in the way it handles the Community and Enterprise releases of MySQL.

    ReplyDelete