Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Oracle on the move

My last few years at Microsoft, the XML team has been reporting under SQL Server. That meant that at division all-hands meetings and such, I got to hear all sorts of hoopla about SQL Server vs Oracle, etc.. It also lead to some interesting hallway discussions about the threat of LAMP, MySQL, etc..

So first Oracle goes and buys InnoDB, the provider of the transaction-safe storage engine for MySQL. That sure puts MySQL at a disadvantage. InnoDB was key to their 'I'm a grownup' story. Sure, they still have access to the source-code, but with Oracle pulling the strings, I doubt they can expect much investment in the public release.

Oracle has acquired Sleepycat! I can't think how may placed I've used BerkeleyDB back before I joined Microsoft, and was working on web apps. Now, Sleepycat has been working on a number of things beyond the basic library of yore, and it may be that these higher layers are why Oracle bought them. Or it may be that BerkeleyDB is at the kernel of so many things, including apparently other parts of MySQL!! (Sorry, I can't seem to find the link that indicated that.)

The final part that interests me the most about this, is that by weakening MySQL, Oracle is also giving Microsoft a leg up. SQL Server grew mostly by building a strong small-business base, where Oracle was almost non-existent. MySQL was a serious threat to that business. With SQL-Express and MySQL on less stabile footing, Microsoft is in a pretty good position. Now all we need are some good persistence layers for .Net... Java has them fall out of it's ears. Are there some that I'm missing? I don't follow this space much, as most of my programming is lower-level than that.

2 Comments:

Blogger Aristotle said...

First, it’s not just Sleepycat, they’re also talking with JBoss and Zend (the “enterprise PHP” guys). So I’d say the fact that Sleepycat is remotely related to MySQL is more coincidental than strategy. I think there’s something much greater going on – Jeremy Zawodny has it right if you ask me, and it’s hinted at in the Businessweek online article:

Oracle’s Ellison girded investors for an open-source push at a Feb. 8 conference in Santa Monica, Calif., saying, “We are moving aggressively into open source. We are embracing it. We are not going to fight this trend. We think if we’re clever, we can make it work to our advantage.”

Ellison wants to become businesses’ most important software provider and turn customers into one-stop-shop subscribers. Subscriptions are a huge shift from a model where the name of the game is getting huge upfront payments from corporate customers. In the case of open-source and on-demand software, companies pay little to nothing upfront, instead paying a monthly fee for hosting, support, or maintenance.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oracle is trying to put the squeeze on MySQL- this isn't about Oracle moving into open source so that it can sell mickey mouse open source licenses at the expense of it's massive Oracle margins.

Postgres may be the biggest winner from this turn of events.

10:45 AM  

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