Sun buys MySQL

Hamilton, Bermuda

I suspect that you will be seeing a number of headlines like this around in the next couple of days. It is big news in both the open source and enterprise communities.

Sun Microsystems, the creator and distributor of the venerable Java language and application environment, has disclosed it will be acquiring the open source database vendor for one billion dollars sometime at the end of their fiscal third quarter of 2008. MySQL AB, of Sweden, is the creator of the world’s most popular open source database system, MySQL. MySQL has headquarters in the US and Sweden, and their database system is used by some of the largest players on the Internet including Google, Facebook,, and Anyone who has ever done any work related to the web has heard of MySQL, and most have likely used it in some capacity.

While MySQL has offered an enterprise package for a number of years, it is suspected that Sun’s current enterprise-quality offerings will help position the database for a more prominent role in that market. Currently it competes with giants like Oracle, DB2, and SQL Server. Unfortunately it suffers from a bizarre affliction among enterprise users that open source and freely available software is bad. “Apparently” software must cost a fortune in order for it to be “good”. Ironic, since it is the closed, proprietary software which is most likely to be poorly written, probably the reason that the support contracts are so expensive.

As you may recall, I mentioned installing MySQL myself on my laptop in my most recent post. I have been using it for six years and this site, and all of my other websites, are driven by data stored in a MySQL database. It will be interesting to see what happens next as Sun strengthens its open source lineup. I suspect that we will see MySQL integrated into some of their application server products like GlassFish, and perhaps a tighter integration with Java. I think the SoHo web development community need not worry about the MySQL Community Edition disappearing anytime soon. Sun has been providing us with more and more open source, freely available solutions lately, even opening up Solaris and their UltraSparc architecture. I see this as a positive step in promoting good solid products available without significant cost which will continue to power the Internet.