Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Sun acquires MySQL

This morning, Sun Microsystems announced plans to acquire MySQL AB.



After all the industry speculation about MySQL being a "hot 2008 IPO", this probably takes most of us by surprise -- users, community members, customers, partners, and employees. And for all of these stakeholders, it may take some time to digest what this means. Depending on one's relationship to MySQL, the immediate reaction upon hearing the news may be a mixture of various feelings, including excitement, pride, disbelief and satisfaction, but also anxiety.

Being part of the group planning this announcement for the last few weeks, I have had the fortune to contemplate the consequences during several partially sleepless nights (I usually sleep like a log). And over the coming days and weeks, I'll provide a series of blogs with various viewpoints of the deal.

First of all, let's point out a couple of facts about Sun Microsystems -- since all MySQL stakeholders may not be fully up to speed about Sun.

Facts on Sun Microsystems



  • Founded 1982 by Andreas von Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla, Bill Joy and Scott McNealy

  • 34.200 employees worldwide, 13.9 billion dollars (9.4 billion euros) in revenues FY 2007, market cap (total value of all Sun shares) about the same as yearly revenues

  • Grew astronomically with the Web, suffered from the Web bubble, now profitable over the last four quarters

  • Lead by Scott McNealy until 2006, now by Jonathan Schwartz (a prolific blogger)

  • The world's biggest contributor to Open Source: Open Office, Java (now under GPL), GlassFish, NetBeans -- and soon MySQL

  • Environmentally friendly; large numbers of distributed employees working at least partially from home

  • Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, just south of Cupertino (MySQL's North American headquarters)

  • Counts some of the worlds most brilliant innovators amongst its current and past employees


For me personally, I'm excited to get the opportunity to actively contribute to the successful integration of MySQL into Sun. I want to make an impact in merging our corporate cultures, and I look forward to making that a bi-directional process. Since I am based outside the US, I am particularly excited about meeting the many Sun engineers located in Hamburg (Germany), Grenoble (France), Prague (Czech Republic), St Petersburg (Russia), Beijing (China) and Bangalore (India).

But let me now turn to the more general planned implications of Sun's acquisition of MySQL AB.

What does the acquisition of MySQL by Sun mean for MySQL users?


Given Sun's proven track record as the largest contributor to Open Source, I think MySQL users have plenty of reason to feel happy about the acquisition. There are many companies that attempt to ride the wave of positive attention towards Open Source, but in my judgement, Sun gets it right. Sun gets Open Source. Java has been released under the GPL. There's the OpenSolaris operating system. There's Open Office / Star Office. There's the GlassFish application server. There's the NetBeans IDE tool. And more.

Sun's track record is embodied by individuals with a solid set of FOSS values, such as Simon Phipps (Sun's Chief Open Source Officer), Ian Murdock (Debian founder, now Sun's Chief OS Strategist), and Josh Berkus (PostgreSQL lead). I've met all three in various FOSS arenas, I respect their work, and I am looking forward to be working closely with them.

Anxiety on the part of MySQL users may stem from Sun's success with Java and Solaris. Will MySQL's support for other programming languages and operating systems now be given less attention?

Absolutely not. MySQL is still being managed by the same people, and the charter is still the same. There is no need for reducing the set of platforms or languages. It only makes sense for us to continue to support defacto Web development standards like LAMP, as well as emerging ones like Ruby and Eclipse. This deal is about addition, not subtraction.

But let's dwell on the topic of Solaris a bit. Solaris has a special position in the heart of MySQL, as it was the first platform under which MySQL was developed. Linux came second. Internally, code coverage tests were long performed just on Sun. And with the DTrace probes planned as part of 6.0, some types of optimisation of MySQL applications are the easiest on Solaris.

I would expect that having access to the topmost Solaris and Java experts within the same company will accelerate our development for the benefit of MySQL users on the Solaris platform, and in the Java environment, respectively.

But I don't expect that in any way to be at the cost of other popular operating systems (Linux, Windows, Mac OS/X, other Unixes etc.) or development environments (PHP, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, ODBC, C++, C#, VB etc.). MySQL grew with LAMP and MySQL without LAMP at its core is simply unimaginable. It was MySQLs part of LAMP that interested Sun in the first place. Hence I don't see Sun having a platform migration strategy, but to continue to be an integral part of the dot in .com.

So while the news may be especially good for MySQL users on Solaris and/or Java, the news is definitely good irrespective of environment: As part of Sun, the MySQL database will have immediate access to technical, marketing, OSS developer relations and sales rescources that would have taken us years to build as an independent company.

What does the acquisition of MySQL by Sun mean for the core MySQL community?


I'd like to think that the acquisition of MySQL by Sun will be seen as good news also by the core group of users who form the active MySQL community. This is because Sun is a safe haven for MySQL. Sun knows Open Source, and to the extent things change, I expect Sun to add value to our community. I don't expect huge change, though. We continue to work with our quality contributors, we continue to provide our MySQL Forums, the Planet MySQL blog aggregator, we remain on the #mysql-dev and #mysql channels on Freenode, we provide MySQL University lessons, we meet at the MySQL Users Conference. We'll put effort into connecting the many FOSS enthusiasts and experts at Sun -- whom we will now learn to know better -- with our active user community.

What does the acquisition of MySQL by Sun mean for the MySQL employees?


Admittedly, this blog is not directed at MySQL employees. We have a different, internal blog called "Village MySQL" for that purpose (as opposed to "Planet MySQL"). But many of our users, community members, customers, and partners have close relationships with MySQL employees -- and you may be interested in what Sun's acquisition of MySQL means for the employees.

For employees, Sun's acquisition means continuity. MÃ¥rten Mickos will continue to lead us, and our executives and key engineering leads plan to join Sun. In addition, our existing engineering staff will be invited to come over as well. Sun executives have made us feel very welcomed and valued.

Very important for our employees is the fact that we can continue to work on Free and Open Source software. We can continue to work from home (as most of us do, including myself). Titles, reporting structures, and long-term goals may change, but as acquisition goes, the Sun culture as I've experienced it so far seems fairly similar to ours.

And -- whether it's destiny, divinity or just good luck -- we get the opportunity to digest all of this together, during the MySQL All-Company Meeting here in Orlando. It goes on this week until Saturday 19 Jan.

Being acquired by Sun is unique for all of us MySQLers. But for two very special employees, it's something even more. I'm thinking of our founders, Michael "Monty" Widenius and David Axmark. I'm very happy for them. Sure, the transaction has a financial impact on them, and it's positive. But we're humble Scandinavians, so we don't flash money, nor even talk about it. More importantly, I can see their heritage being in good hands at Sun. They didn't develop MySQL in order to Get Rich Quick; in fact, they rejected offers that would have accomplished that goal during the Bubble. They developed MySQL in order to have a positive impact on the world of computing. And as a step in that direction, they took in venture financing.

VCs are more motivated by money than our founders, and obviously look for a return on their investment. That involves either an IPO or a trade sale. Of all candidates to acquire MySQL, I cannot imagine a more ideal buyer from a founder perspective than Sun Microsystems. If I know our founders right (and I've known Monty since the late 1970s and David since the 1980s), they will use this deal as an opportunity to accomplish even more within the space of Open Source and Sun Microsystems.

Congratulations, Monty and David! And congratulations, MySQL users, community members, customers, partners and employees!

P.S. I promise more later!

103 comments:

  1. The first link to the release (on mysql.com) appears to be broken; here's a link to the release on sun's site:

    http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/pr/2008-01/sunflash.20080116.1.xml

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  2. What does this mean for the .NET MySQL connector and other things MySQL was working with Microsoft on? I love the connector and it has allowed me to use MySQL as the backend in my .NET projects. I've been hoping for a LINQ to MySQL extension as well. I just hope that this does not deter the work with MS.

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  3. the important part of that quote: “We will be part of a larger company, but it will be called MySQL,” Mickos said. ”

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  4. These are very lovely news!!!! Thumbs up for the Guys :) Keep it going!

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  5. Bye Bye Mysql, hope you remain free and open source. Congratulations SUN, you've made a big deal.

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  6. ok,

    Good luck with this project, lets hope it will bring even better mysql!

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  7. I have only one question - why MySQL as a company needs this acquisition?

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  8. wow, didn't see this coming, but if there is anyone I'm ok with acquiring MySQL, it's Sun.

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  9. I have used mySQL for webdevelopment for years. It is 1st rate. We also develop for the desktop market and will soon rollout a PostGres offering as the licensing for mySQL commercial for say 15 users or less is too prohibitive. $900 per annum per site for 2-15 users is prohibitive. Hope SUN looks at the commercial licensing on the small end to compete again Microsoft free offerings in this space. Would like to stay with mySQL.

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  10. It’s official… Sun Microsystems bought MySQL...

    Although this has been rumored for quite a long time now… as of today, Jan. 16 2008, Sun Microsystems has purchased MySQL.
    I’ve been a MySQL user since 2000. And I’d really hate it if MySQL changes its open source policy. However, Kaj...

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  11. This is interesting news. I share your excitement and also your anxiety. I hope this means good things for MySQL.

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  12. I am just getting into web technologies and have seen that the most scalable systems have easy to use glassfish and java involvement. I know this buyout will do good in the future for the involvement of connectivity from application server to database. not to mention top-link which is a great tool to use.

    hope the stock rises!!!!

    dave

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  13. Congratulations and big cheers to Sun and MySQL for this bold move. This day will be remembered for a while as a landmark in IT history. Great job guys!

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  14. Congratulations guys! This is great news.

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  15. Only time will tell if this acquisition turns out to be positive. MySQL is the most important database because most webservers are using MySQL. Let's see how Sun will profit from it.

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  16. I think if you could have gone for an IPO. you must have got more money and Market cap. but this is a good deal though.

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  17. This is one of the web's most interesting stories on Wed 16th Jan 2008...

    These are the web's most talked about URLs on Wed 16th Jan 2008. The current winner is .....

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  18. This is huge, looking forward to seeing some positive changes.

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  19. You forgot to mention this fact about Sun: 2007 bankruptcy. Left all of us stockholders with nothing. I hope this purchase goes poorly for them.

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  20. Sun buys Mysql...

    This story has been submitted to Stirrdup. Your support can help it become hot....

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  21. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

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  22. This news saddens me. MySQL is about more than open source or the dot-com bubble. MySQL is about alternatives to closed systems like Oracle and Sybase. I can't see why a company like Sun would like to upset the Sun/Oracle ecosystem when it accounts for so much of their critical customer's application needs. This merger makes no sense.

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  23. Wow - cool! Nice move, Sun!

    Alastair (Sun alumni).

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  24. I wonder if they'll rename it to something that helps them with promotion via name recognition; either Solaris or Sun.

    Other than that, I enjoy the free nature of MySQL and if this changes - it will create alot of problems for thousands of users.

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  25. Sun Buys MySQL...

    After all the industry speculation about MySQL being a “hot 2008 IPO”, this probably takes most of us by surprise — users, community members, customers, partners, and employees. And for all of these stakeholders, it may take some time to digest w...

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  26. Hey Schwartz Just stop it already with the hairdo and big T shirts. Everyone gets it, you're way too hip to dress like a typical CEO. On the other hand, maybe we can hang out sometime?

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  27. Congratulations Kaj and everyone at MySQL/Sun. This is really exciting news!
    Frank

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  28. Sun Acquires MySQL...

    [...]After all the industry speculation about MySQL being a “hot 2008 IPO”, this probably takes most of us by surprise — users, community members, customers, partners, and employees. And for all of these stakeholders, it may take some time to dig...

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  29. I'm very excited about this merger.

    However, I can't wait for the fist-to-fist salutation fad to end.

    "Wonder geek powers, activate!"

    Please stop the madness.

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  30. Congrats for this huge deal!

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  31. Must be one of the scariest bit of IT news this year.

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  32. and Oracle buy BEA. Incredible. The software world is crazy. I don understand.. or i dont want understand..

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  33. I'm glad for you and the folks at MySQL for the exit... but honestly, this is a kiss of death. Sun sets the bar for poorly intergrating acquisitions.

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  34. wow!! that's amazing news.. Congrat to MySQL!!!

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  35. BRAVO!!!!!


    just wanna say that word...

    : )

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  36. Thats a great news ! What happens to Derby ?

    Hope this acquistions does something good for SUN!

    -Ganesh
    Hyderabad INDIA

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  37. I am not sure what this means to me as a LAMP developer in the long run..

    I was more comfortable with MySQL being an independent entity...

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  38. ...I just hope Sun doesn't bork MySQL like they have with everything else they touch.

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  39. Brighter Days for MySQL, The Sun Rises Over MySQL...

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Sun Microsystems Inc (JAVA.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday it would buy Swedish open-source developer MySQL AB for about $1 billion to expand into the $15 billion database market, and that preliminary quarterly ...

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  40. Well as long this keep the way it is right now all right... i hope Sun does not messes up with the Code. and start changing the basic features of the MySQL Nucleus. Long Life to open Source!

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  41. Will the free software community please stand up... please stand up ...

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  42. I interviewed recently at MySQL but decided against continuing with the interview process. Luckily I did, otherwise I would have become a Sun employee :-(

    Seriously though, this not only spells disaster for MySQL but also for the wider LAMP stack which Sun is clearly targeting in my opinion. Time to get the Postgres book out of storage...

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  43. Congratulation for MySQL Team ... you deserve it .

    what could we expect of such union (Best of Java Experts + B.O. Sun experts + B.O . MySql experts ...)

    Amazing ...!

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  44. SUN compra MySQL...

    SUN hace una nueva apuesta por el software libre comprendo la conocida base de datos MySQL. Qué pasará ahora? Han de empezar a temblar las bases de datos comerciales?...

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  45. SUN compra MySQL...

    Vota este post en teknear.com...

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  46. This news doesn't inspire me with confidence. :(

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  47. That`s great news , congrats !

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  48. Awesome. I really don't like Oracle. Competition is good.

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  49. Por 1000 millones de dolares ¿Quien no se vendería? :P

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  50. Sun acquires Mysql, Sun adquiere Mysql...

    Se acaba de anunciar un bombazo. Finalmente Sun ha adquirido la compañia que ha creado quizas la bd más utilizada en el mundo, MySQL. After all the industry speculation about MySQL being a “hot 2008 IPO”, this probably takes m...

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  51. This is one of the better moves Sun has made in some time.

    - Shelon Padmore

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  52. So is Sun hiring hardcode deep database internal folks?

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  53. well I'll start as from tomorrow to evaluate FIREBIRD as a possible replacement of our mysql database.

    bye bye MySql, Hello Firebird.

    My only regret is that I didn't evaluate Firebird earlier.

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  54. This is a GREAT NEWS for OpenSource Community..

    Hope, mysql will be the greatest Database ever!

    --daily-log--

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  55. MySQL AB :: Kaj Arn...

    [...][...]...

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  56. Marialberto Mensa18 January 2008 at 12:37

    Well, you guys are doing really an excellent work at MySQL and if this acquisition will bring you and your projects forward, thats is great!
    As a user (my application is a text information management system in the 300Million records / 10Gb area) and occasional developer of open source software, I just hope SUN will let you do as good as you have done up to now!
    Very frankly, this new makes me a bit anxious...

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  57. This is the death of mysql.
    First they're going to rewrite the tools in java. After that the server, after that the API's. And after that they'll remove all support for not-OO languages what will kill mysql. Have fun, I'm out of here and going to start using Postgre and Oracle again.

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  58. Holy Crap - 32.200 employees between 13.9 billion. That can't be right. You have to mean 32 THOUSAND 2 HUNDRED, yes/no?

    Otherwise, say hello to the worlds upper 1%!!

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  59. hi
    so this popular opensource database is not open source any more?

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  60. chio MySql. I for one am opposed to this buyout. Sun does not have the cleanest record when it comes to managing the many different systems that they have.

    Also one person made a comment about looking at Firebird. My suggestion is don't. It is terrible. It seems to me that Postgres is now the way to go. I also need to dust off those manuals.

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  61. Sun and MySQL - What will be the future...

    ’d like to think that the acquisition of MySQL by Sun will be seen as good news also by the core group of users who form the active MySQL community. This is because Sun is a safe haven for MySQL. Sun knows Open Source, and to the extent things change...

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  62. It's shocking to hear about this today, Well Garfsfield!? I think you are right about Sun's management record on the different systems they have, And I wonder what happens to developers how work hard to keep most open source web development/projects going. I think PostgreSQL is now the way to go.

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  63. Wow silly doomsayers.
    Sun is not so stupid as to kill the cow.

    If you change DBMS because of this then wow - you are really silly people. Talk about kneejerk reaction.

    Sun, like many older corporatations has mixed OSS support. However, they have changed dramatically in last few years in their outlook and have put their money where their mouth is. IMHO this is good for the ENTERPRISE adoption of MySql. Will it change significantly the MySql we know? Maybe, time will tell. Will it be for the worse? Unlikely. But changing your DBMS to Oracle? Wow, talk about calling the kettle black!
    Postgres? Ok, loose functionality.
    And as for changing to a Java db. Why would they they already have one Derby. Microsoft support? Do you not follow the news? Sun has signed several agreements with M$. Including OEM support! Stop being Chicken Littles. The sky is NOT falling!

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  64. Well I've only just got to grips with MySQL and .php in the last couple of years. I would hope that acquisition of MySQL by Sun would only enhance the further developements of the MySQL base.

    My biggest fear is that one day our websites will suddenly stop working because Sun re-wrote the code...

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  65. Quote from Jonathan Schwartz:

    "But the biggest news of the day is... we're putting a billion dollars behind the M in LAMP"

    Watch out Oracle, here comes MySQL!

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  66. Congratulation for MySQL team. I hope with this acquisition MySQL support to the community will be more better.

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  67. Good for SUN because SUN will bundle JAVA with MySQL DB. Everytime you install MySQL DB, you will install JAVA too. Since I don't use JAVA, I don't want it happen

    *Dohhhh Bad English...

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  68. Does it mean that the users will have to pay for downloading and using the MySQL for their study/commercial use?

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  69. Ejimofor Kenneth Nwoye24 January 2008 at 16:32

    MySQL AB, represents a strategic acquisition by SUN. But what happens to the delicate business and 'special' relationship with Oracle and for that matter, the recent posturing of PostgreSQL as the alternative 'open source' RDBMS of choice, by SUN?

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  70. I just hope that this MySql still be free forever..
    Can you figure out how much money did Sun spend to acquire MySQL, how does Sun will get it back?
    FindAsianJobs.com

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  71. Big deal, but I'm worring that MySQL can lost in progress.

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  72. That's very nice that sun acquire the mysql so what will be the next step will sun develop RAD applications for mysql like forms and reports for mysql for fast development of desktop and web applications. Really i'm very happy after this big step of sun to acquire the mysql. i hope it will be a very strong combination in open source.

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  73. Sun makes a lot of money selling boxes that run Oracle and, as far as I know, these companies do a lot of joint bids for large corporate projects. You have to wonder how Sun can be serious about propping up MySQL while still doing the large Oracle-based deals.

    From my long experience with corporate dealings: this deal is only good for the folks at MySQL getting a bag of cash. While they probably deserve it, there is nothing there for the rest of us, users and customers. There never is.

    P.S.: Citing Staroffice as one of Sun's Open Source credentials is a joke: does anybody besides Scott McNealy really use Staroffice? (His mother doesn't count for an answer.)

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  74. What I understood:
    - the java developers are happy
    - the non-java developers are mad

    I'm happy. :)
    I think Sun plans to:
    - bind JB/JPA to MySQL
    - introduce EJBQL as OO query language
    - introduce java triggers and stored procedures as bridge between java and PHP/Perl via SQL code.

    It would be great!

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  75. And next to Sun, MySQL will not be the "poor brother" as it could be next to Oracle.
    Oracle just wanted to eliminate a competitor. It doesn't have any interests in growing MySQL.
    "Keep close and control" that was the Oracle's idea.

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  76. what was the role of the free software community in the development of mySQL? if it was significant, where does MySQL >the companythe product< to Sun?

    in any case, when upgrades for mysql no longer come via debian, i will move to an alternative. and i'm already researching the alternatives. another thing that would have me leaving is if the deadheads that did the java documentation get hold of the mysql book.

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  77. the editor seems to have garbled the second sentence of the just-previous post. s.b.:

    if it was significant, where does MySQL the company get off selling MySQL the product?

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  78. I am really not happy with this news. Its very bad. The free!dom is gone.

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  79. MYSQL and PHP where always side by side.
    Now sun will focus on Java and mysql.

    we are very mad!!!!!!!!

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  80. That is the great news now mysql is more faster, flexible and more reliable.

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  81. I have a very extensive BI practice set up over MySql and SiSense Prism. I hope the "open source"ness of MySql won't be hurt by this.

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  82. Sun better not mess up mysql for other OS. It was better off being independent.

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  83. This is really exciting news, thanks!

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  84. Good for SUN because SUN will bundle JAVA with MySQL DB.

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  85. This is interesting news. I share your excitement and also your anxiety. I hope this means good things for MySQL.

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  86. Big deal, but I’m worring that MySQL can lost in progress.

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  87. [...] ha acquistato MySQL AB per un miliardo di dollari. Secondo quanto scrive Kaj Arnö, VP Community di MySQL AB, “chi utilizza MySQL non ha nulla da temere da questa acquisizione, [...]

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  88. [...] will build a replica of Lyons [palnet.debian.org] Visualizing Regular Expressions [reddit.com] Sun acquires MySQL [reddit.com] Turn Your $60 Router into a User-Friendly Super-Router with Tomato [digg.com] [...]

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  89. [...] Parece ser que IBM está invirtiendo en una empresa relacionada con PostgreSQL. Resulta dificil evitar pensar que no esté relacionado con la compra de MySQL por parte de Sun. [...]

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  90. [...] MySQL AB :: Kaj Arnö After all the industry speculation about MySQL being a “hot 2008 IPO”, this probably takes most of us by surprise — users, community members, customers, partners, and employees. And for all of these stakeholders, it may take some time to digest what this means. Depending on one’s relationship to MySQL, the immediate reaction upon hearing the news may be a mixture of various feelings, including excitement, pride, disbelief and satisfaction, but also anxiety. [...]

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  91. [...] MySQL AB :: Kaj Arnö After all the industry speculation about MySQL being a “hot 2008 IPO”, this probably takes most of us by surprise — users, community members, customers, partners, and employees. And for all of these stakeholders, it may take some time to digest what this means. Depending on one’s relationship to MySQL, the immediate reaction upon hearing the news may be a mixture of various feelings, including excitement, pride, disbelief and satisfaction, but also anxiety. [...]

    ReplyDelete