Tuesday, 6 May 2008

MySQL Server is Open Source, even Backup extensions

As reported yesterday from CommunityOne:

  • MySQL Server is and will always remain fully functional and open source,

  • so will the MySQL Connectors, and

  • so will the main storage engines we ship.

In addition:

  • MySQL 6.0's pending backup functionality will be open source,

  • the MyISAM driver for MySQL Backup will be open source, and

  • the encryption and compression backup features will be open source,

where the last item is a change of direction from what we were considering before.


The change comes from MySQL now being part of Sun Microsystems. Our initial plans were made for a company considering an IPO, but made less sense in the context of Sun, a large company with a whole family of complementary open source software and hardware products.

I'd like to shed some light on the big picture, in two different ways -- openness, and the business model.

MySQL's openness manifests itself in three ways:

  • MySQL's code is open.

  • MySQL's APIs are open.

  • MySQL's data formats are open.

These form a foundation around the MySQL Server and its connectors on which we (Sun), our partners, and the community can all freely build upon. And through this openness, we will always provide a means for our users to easily export their data from MySQL.

Then for MySQL's business model. To financially support MySQL's free and open source platform, we have a business model which allows both community and commercial add-ons, and we remain committed to it. We believe the model to be useful for both those who spend money to save time, and those who spend time to save money.

As MÃ¥rten mentioned yesterday in the CommunityOne panel, expect Sun/MySQL to continue experimenting with the business model, and with what's offered for the community and what's offered commercial-only. We won't always know the right answer from the beginning, but we want MySQL to be the most popular database for both paying and non-paying users.


  1. Hi Kai,

    Personally, I think this is great news!!!

    Is there any particular reason for the gist of the initial announcement being reverted? Was it for example because of the quite massive negative receivement of the news in blogs, or is there another business reason for not venturing here?

  2. the11thplague6 May 2008 at 23:20

    Nice news: MySQL is used by so many sites that this decision represents a strong move to keep net freedom !

  3. The MySQL rainbow shines brighter than ever!!!

  4. I think many are still sceptic ;) however for me, the one aspect which I find logical was this:

    "Our initial plans were made for a company considering an IPO"

    And I think everyone will agree that a big company like Sun simply has other needs (and thus another agenda) than a much smaller "standalone" one.

  5. A critical part of MySQL remains closed-source, the documentation. A program like MySQL is not much good without documentation, so this means that even though the MySQL code is open the MySQL software cannot be forked. So users remain at the mercy of the MySQL owners.

  6. Kaj,

    Thanks for commenting on this decision--and for the decision itself.

    I'm continually impressed by the candor and direct nature of comments by MySQL's top brass. You're an example of how leaders from more companies should act and speak. Thank you.

    I wish you the best.

  7. Good move on your end, I see it as the right one. Was a bit worried in the beginning of the merger with Sun, but things seem to be clearing up.

    Thanks for clearing up the recent buzz.

  8. Mechanism, not Policy...

    Das X-Window-System ist nun 24 Jahre alt und immer noch die Grundlage jeder grafischen Benutzungsoberfläche in Unix und Linux (mit Ausnahme der Spalter von Apple). Das ist so, weil einer der Grundsätze von X11 war Provide mechanism rather than poli...

  9. EnterpriseDB is riding the wave of dissent over MySQL's last mis-step where Sun announced charge-only items for major MySQL features -- EnterpriseDB started a Google AdWords campaign to ask users why they use PostgreSQL. I've used PostgreSQL and they stay fairly ANSI-92 with the core set of commands, extend upon those very adequately with more commands, the database scales well against MySQL, and if it weren't for the fact that most web hosting providers have MySQL instead of PostgreSQL, I don't see anything stopping PostgreSQL from taking the marketshare. What does MySQL have that PostgreSQL doesn't besides marketshare? And how does Sun's announcement of charge-only items help MySQL instead of hurting it?

  10. Not much to say, just

    MANY MANY THANKS to mySQL and SUN !!!

  11. MySQL kodu tomēr ciet nevēršot...

    Sun tomēr nav prātu zaudējuši un ir likuši MySQL AB apdomāties, kā rezultātā pretēji iepriekš plānotajam, MySQL kodu ciet nevēršot. Tas priecē!...

  12. MySQL kodu tomēr ciet nevēršot...

    Sun tomēr nav prātu zaudējuši un ir likuši MySQL AB apdomāties, kā rezultātā pretēji iepriekš plānotajam, MySQL kodu ciet nevēršot. Tas priecē!Birkas: atvērtais kods, mysql, sun. Šis ieraksts ir pārpublicēts nekur.lv ...

  13. In view of the current market condition, we regretfully have to end the open source model for mySQL, we thanks you for the support, we hope you you continue to support us by purchasing a license for use of mySql,

  14. I believe I speak for the whole open source community and all of the businesses that build on the MySQL RDBMS when I say that I appreciate everything MySQL does for us. Thanks for all your hard work and keeping it open!

  15. That's what I like, when everyone else leaves you alone, generate your own FUD! :(

  16. That's good news. I was already looking for an alternative to MySQL before this announcement was made. I'm glad this will allow me to remain a LAMP developer.

    Now if only Zend would change their business model to stop selling a proprietary PHP optimizer... They should just charge more money for consulting!

  17. > Is there any particular reason for the gist of the initial announcement being reverted?

    Yeah, they realise the freeloaders that use it will fork it and desert them in droves rather than pay....

  18. Looks like good! I think SUN is very good ;)

  19. he said: "MySQL Server is and will always remain fully functional and open source."

    open source but nothing about remaining free.

  20. How to configure MySQL to run with Solaris Management Facility (SMF)

  21. That Does Not Compute8 May 2008 at 19:11

    Welcome, MySQL, to the disfunctional world of Sun Microsystems.

  22. I think that MÃ¥rten's and the CEO's points were different from the beginning. MÃ¥rten never accepted anything else except total open source. He's also doing his best to sell the open source ideology more for the Sun as well. He's target is to try to make Sun "the open source company".

    Suns higher management finally started to support MÃ¥rtens ideas, they saw the light. Kaj just had to change his course as well.

    Good work MÃ¥rten!

  23. MySQL seguira siendo Opensource [ingles]...

    Hace varios dias trascendio que Sun cerraria el codigo de MySQL y de ciertos elementos disponibles solo para usuarios de paga, en un blog de MySQL se anuncia que continuara siendo completamente opensource, asi como sus conectores, extensiones de respal...

  24. MySQL seguirá siendo Opensource [inglés]...

    Vota este post en teknear.com...

  25. Log Buffer #96: a Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs...

    This is the 96th edition of the weekly review of database blogs, Log Buffer......

  26. Wordpress no blog do MySQL...

    Que o Wordpress é uma excelente ferramenta de blog, isso é indiscutivel.
    Agora que o Blog do Kaj Arnö da MySQL usava Wordpress eu me surpreendi.
    Me surpreendi mais ainda quando eu tentei assinar o feed deles e dei de cara com uma página de login, n...

  27. Ништяяяяк! Отличная новость! Sun молодца!

  28. To Balzac: Maybe you should consider switching to SAMP development, considering it was Sun that brought the good news. Solaris rules.

  29. "Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."
    -- Howard Aiken

    Well, this looks good and I'm sure everybody including me is very happy about it.

    Further, I would like to see more ways in which community can be involved.

  30. It's great news for us thank you

  31. he said: “MySQL Server is and will always remain fully functional and open source.”

    open source but nothing about remaining free ?

  32. Yup! I'm totally dependent on mysql and it's support! All my profits come from my websites :)

  33. [...] A porre fine alle dicerie è stato direttamente uno dei dirigenti di MySQL AB: Kaj Arno ha infatti confermato sul suo blog che i sorgenti dei sistemi di backup/compressione/cifratura di MySQL 6.0 e del driver MyISAM [...]