It's no secret that ever since Oracle moved to buy MySQL some folks in the database community have been less than comfortable. But what many folks don't realize is that within the database community, that uneasiness cuts both ways.
Certainly there are concerns that Oracle will try to stunt the growth of MySQL. Right now, MySQL is pretty much limited in terms of the amount of data it can handle and the overall performance of the environment. But there are people working on that problem so there's no reason why MySQL shouldn't be able to scale over time. And within the overall Oracle community, there may be no avoiding MySQL. IT organizations are under pressure to cut costs, so in many instances Oracle was forced to sit idly by while it watched applications being moved to either MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server to save money. In the end, Oracle decided that if it was going to watch Oracle databases be cannibalized, it might as well own it rather than be an entity from Redmond.
For the upcoming Collaborate 2011 conference, Andy Flower, president of the Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG), says a lot of the focus is going to be on getting the traditional Oracle database community and the open source MySQL community to better understand each other's value proposition. Flower is certain that the two camps have a lot more to gain by working cooperatively with each other. So rather than continuing to view each other with suspicion, he hopes both camps will attend Collaborate in order to find ways to extend the overall value of both database systems.
Obviously, that's going to take a little time to happen. But chances are the two camps will be more likely to exchange ideas in a relatively neutral location that isn't overly dominated by Oracle employees.