Oracle compra l’engine InnoDB di MySQL ed altri sviluppi emergono a tappare il buco?

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The Truth Comes Out: Oracle Bought InnoDB Without a Clue

”If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger,” Marten Mickos said.

The CEO of MySQL, with whom I was chatting earlier today at this year’s MySQL Users Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., was talking about Oracle’s buy of Innobase and its InnoDB storage engine back in October.

The snag of Innobase was a shocker. The transactional storage engine was and is at the heart of MySQL’s groundbreaking 5.0 release of its open-source database—you know, the version that brought the stored procedures, triggers and views that enterprises insist on having in order to take the database seriously. Yeah, that one, the one that everybody said would catapult MySQL into the enterprise.

Well, it didn’t kill MySQL, and this year’s users conference shows that it has indeed made the company a heck of a lot stronger. Why? Because Oracle’s buy, as it turned out, caused every database company on the planet to give MySQL a buzz, all of them offering to build MySQL a storage engine to replace InnoDB.

Six months later, after yet another Oracle purchase of a crucial MySQL storage engine (Sleepycat’s Berkeley DB), the user conference finds MySQL busting at the seams with storage engines. Solid was the first out of the gate, adopting its OLTP (online transaction processing) storage engine to work with MySQL Server. The prototype, which isn’t open source just yet, is called SolidDB Storage Engine for MySQL. It will ultimately be available under the GNU GPL (General Public License).

There were a mess of other storage engines announced, but the important thing is that MySQL is doing just swell.

It’s interesting, though, to hear, after the fact, how the Innobase deal went down.

As Marten tells it, Oracle President Chuck Phillips called on Oct. 7 and said, “Marten, I want you to know we acquired Innobase. This was an opportunistic move. We don’t know yet what to do with it.”


We don’t know yet what to do with it.

See, I, and I’d say half of the Oracle user and observer universe, go around with the vision of Oracle as, well, a somewhat ruthless, bloodthirsty and voracious predator in the software industry. It’s just so easy to picture the company as Snidely Whiplash and a company such as, say, PeopleSoft as Nell Fenwick.

Imagining Oracle as a ditzy shopper makes the company seem, well, a lot more cuddly.

“We didn’t do it to slow you down,” Phillips told Mickos. “It’s business as usual. We want to renew the contract.”

Good for them, Oracle the Dudley Do-Right of the Canadian Royal Mounties’ Database Companies Division!

And did Mickos trust Oracle?

“Trust, but verify—it’s a Russian saying,” Marten told me.

So how do you verify that the world’s largest software company will do what the world’s largest software company says it will do?

“By sitting down and saying OK, let’s renew the contract,” Mickos said.

And that’s what they did. As we found out at LinuxWorld in Boston a few weeks back, the contract was renewed, unchanged. Hurray Oracle! Hurray MySQL!

But wait.

Did Oracle want to change the contract?

Did Oracle try to change the contract?

Marten stared at me.

Then he looked at his PR handler.

She stared back.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The silence stretched out.

You will forgive me for thinking the answer was yes, Oracle did indeed want to change the license. In what ways, Marten is not saying.

Boy, would I have loved to be a fly on the wall during the contract negotiations.

posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:18 AM by Lisa Vaas