Helping MySQL and Oracle Get Along

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Smart Spending: Oracle's 2010 Acquisitions

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.



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Mar 30, 2011 5:30 AM Richard Wallman Richard Wallman  says:

Even from when I first heard that Oracle were going to be the owners of the MySQL database server, I thought that it had a lot of potential.

Oracle purchased Innobase Oy quite some time ago, putting the (then) only transactional database engine available to MySQL in the hands of "the enemy". Now, there's no friction - everything belongs to the one company.

The greatest potential, however, is with Oracle smoothing the upgrade path from MySQL to the Oracle DB server. Let's face it - quite a number of projects start on MySQL, and with growth comes a dependency on the database system being used. There will come a point when a project may consider moving to a "serious" database server (no-one can deny that the Oracle DB is not serious!) but that requires a certain amount of re-engineering of core code, which is never greeted with smiles. If Oracle smooths the upgrade path between the two systems, they can control projects from initial implementation on the community editions of MySQL, through the enterprise support phase, and into the full Oracle DB server - all strong "brand loyalty" for Oracle and money in their pocket (in the last two, at least). I'm not saying that every project will go that way, but IMHO it makes sense to lower the hurdles for any projects considering it.

Oracle can/should also start looking at their training and certification offerings as well - I'm a certified MySQL DBA, and have considered Oracle certification in the past as well. If Oracle offered a training/certification track "Oracle for MySQL DBAs" (and even "MySQL for Oracle DBAs"!) they get further brand buy-in and could attract devs/DBAs to Oracle via their existing MySQL certifications.

I've got nothing to do with Oracle or MySQL, but that's what I would do.

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