When Oracle chief architect Edward Screven gave the keynote talk yesterday at a MySQL conference, he emphasized Oracle's financial, philosophical, and strategic commitments to the open-source database product. While actions will ultimately provide the strongest proof, Screven could not have been more unwavering in delivering Oracle's spoken commitment to MySQL technologies, products, and openness.
I suspect that no matter what Oracle does or says, some hardcore MySQL diehards will always grouse and grumble about the cosmic unfairness of it all: a pure and angelic ideal like MySQL snatched up in the grimy, gritty paws of Oracle, among whose many character flaws the worst of all is that it's a for-profit enterprise. Oh, the angst!!
But for those less-tormented people who evaluate, purchase, deploy and manage technology to drive business value—that would be CIOs and their teams—Screven's endorsements give them even greater confidence that Oracle will not only allow MySQL to survive but will indeed continue to invest heavily in it as a vital and important new extension of Oracle's database family.
With its superb track record at helping to run high-volume web sites, MySQL gives Oracle both an entre' to new market opportunities and also new capabilities to offer to existing customers. Oracle has been 100% consistent on its intentions for MySQL, and while over the past year some MySQL zealots here and abroad along with the statists in the European Commission have raised every possible doomsday scenario for the open-source database, Larry Ellison and his team have consistently and unwaveringly said MySQL is a great product with a great future inside Oracle.
As my colleague Charlie Babcock wrote earlier this week after an interview with Screven:
In an interview Monday, Screven said he intended to tell the user base "why MySQL matters to Oracle." The open source system is so distinct from the Oracle 11g database system that there is little concern that MySQL impinges on future Oracle sales.
Several months ago, in a public interview with Ed Zander at the Churchill Club in the Bay Area before the EC ninnies approved Oracle's acquisition of Sun, here's how Ellison framed Oracle's intentions toward MySQL as we wrote about in Global CIO: Why Oracle's Larry Ellison Will Tell The EU To Pound Sand:
"We're a big fan of open source—in fact, we've had the major transaction engine to MySQL—it's something Oracle bought years ago and has invested in it to a higher level than it was invested in before. We believe in open source, we're a huge supporter of Linux. MySQL and Oracle do not compete—at all . . . . There's a long list of database machines and database software we compete against—we never compete against MySQL. They're both called databases, they address very different markets—furthermore, it's open source."
Zander asks, "If they ask you to spin it off, will you?"
Rapid-fire, Zander asks, "If they told you to spin it off, would you?"
Ellison: "No. We're not gonna spin it off. The U.S. government cleared this, we think the Europeans are gonna clear this, and we are not going to spin anything off."
And then there were Oracle's 10 commitments to MySQL and the MySQL community, which the company made in December and include license commitments; a commitment to enhance MySQL under the GPL; voluntary support; increased investments; and the formation of a MySQL Customer Advisory Board.
So this week, Screven's comments in the Charlie Babcock article noted above fall right in line with those promises: