Wednesday, January 16, 2008

MySQL and Sun - my thoughts

OK, I'm a database guy, I work at Sun, I have a blog. I guess I need to say something here about the MySQL acquisition.

Well, OK - Wow. I really got caught off guard by this one. I wasn't paying attention, I guess. I didn't think MySQL was in the market, and I didn't know Sun was looking. I work a lot with the folks who must have been involved in the due diligence with this deal, but not a word. A very well kept secret.

That said, here are my thoughts.

Let The Community In

You have heard me criticize an open source product that is controlled solely by a single company. "This is my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the position of the company I work for", but I hope that, as part of Sun, that changes for MySQL.

I would like to see us allowing external contributors become committers to MySQL. I think it behooves us to make it clear that MySQL is ultimately owned by the global community, not by Sun. But that's just my manifesto, I'll leave it to the execs to make the Big Important Decisions around this.

Make It Free

I also think it's time to throw out the dual-licensing model, and, just like our other software, make it free to deploy and embed, and charge at the point of value: support and services.

What About Sun's Investment in PostgreSQL?

Well, as far as I can tell, it's pretty much "stay on course" for this. Josh Berkus still has a job. I think PostgreSQL has features and a community that is focused more on the IT data center and data warehousing environments. PostgreSQL and Sun's hardware are a very good pair.

MySQL has an affinity for the Internet, web-facing, fast-changing, fast-paced application environments.

Yes, it's a little fuzzy, and I'm sure we'll get questions about what to use when, but I personally see no reason to throw PostgreSQL out the window just because we acquired MySQL.

What About the Database Team?

Hey, why have a blog if I can't do wild speculation?

I can see Marten Mickos reporting to Rich Green, and aligning all database technology under him. I just hope he can let go of (or ignore) any MySQL biases he may have and make sure he serves all of our database technology products/projects (Java DB, PostgreSQL, MySQL) equally.

I can see some of the MySQL database tools staying under the database group (the migration and admin tools) and others migrating over to NetBeans over time (the Query Designer and MySQL Workbench). And I think you'll see all of these tools becoming free - charging for tools has not historically been Sun's strategy. But I could be wrong...

Check back with me in a year and we'll see how wildly off I was with these predictions.

How Does It Affect Me?

I'm not sure yet. I can imagine me flying to Germany to meet the MySQL tools team (stopping by in London to see my new niece) and discussing strategy and future plans. I can see the database team under NetBeans getting a bit bigger (right now, in case you didn't know this, it's just me). I can see me downloading and playing with the MySQL tools (thank goodness for VMWare Fusion, otherwise I'd need to borrow a Windows box to run MySQL Workbench).

I don't know, what do you think? What should we be doing with NetBeans and tooling in light of this acquisition? Any ideas?

One final thought: now that I know MySQL was on the market, I'm very glad Oracle didn't buy them. That would have had a sobering effect on the open source community. I guess they were busy with other deals. Thanks, BEA! :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like your way of thinking. It's because Sun has people like you that it is a really appreciated and respected company focusing on delivering quality products and not taking money from customers and making them hostages of their products.