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Oracle News Headlines


Backlash to Oracle's MySQL Offer

Not everyone is happy with the recent overtures by Oracle to purchase the popular open-source MySQL database and JBOSS.

Consider this: This week, (not) coincidentally with the open source conference at the Argent Hotel in San Francisco, Oracle announced the acquisition of Sleepycat, an up and coming open source database; MYSQL said Oracle tried to buy it; and industry insiders are saying the acquisition of JBoss by Oracle is imminent.

In one fell swoop, Oracle has drawn a square around the most active and interesting parts of the open source movement--the databases and tools. These are the platforms for applications. Applications are just skins on the database--if you own the database (Oracle) or access to the data (Net Apps) you are in the sweet spot.

Oracle isn't going to lose its customer base to challengers such as MySQL or Sleepycat. But it will lose some of the new IT business. And there is some new IT business out there--but it is all heading for open source. for example, a very successful shopping comparison web site--all runs on open source. And I cannot tell you how many startups have told me: All our IT is open source we don't pay a penny in license fees to anybody.

IDC analysts predict that the embedded database market will grow to over US$3 billion by 2009, and Forrester Research analyst Noel Yuhanna says that Oracle didn't previously have a presence in that market:

"We haven't seen a great penetration from Oracle in the embedded database market," said Noel Yuhanna, an analyst with Forrester Research. "[The market] has started to catch on and will grow further as more devices store embedded databases."

Last year Oracle purchased Innobase, the company behind the InnoDB backend that is commonly used as a storage engine for MySQL. After the Innobase purchase, market analysts speculated that Oracle may be attempting to buy up critical components on the periphery of MySQL in order to squelch it. The concerns have escalated since MySQL CEO Marten Mickos confirmed rumors that Oracle actually attempted to purchase MySQL. During an interview at OSBC, Mickos explained that he turned down Oracle's offer in order to preserve the independence of his company. Mickos also tried to diffuse concerns by assuring the audience that Oracle's acquisitions would have not have a serious detrimental impact on the popular open source database:

"Trying to kill MySQL by acquiring open source is like trying to kill a dolphin by drinking the ocean."





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