In deciding to buy MySQL last month, Sun was attracted to the open source database company's very rapid growth rate and its revenue model, Sun president/CEO Jonathan Schwartz said in a keynote presentation Wednesday at SugarCRM's SugarCon 2008 conference in San Jose, Calif.
MySQL was driving real value, innovation, and choice, Schwartz said. Sun agreed to buy the company in a $1 billion deal.
"What was attractive was how profound their distribution was," Schwartz said. MySQL offers access to about 11 million deployments around the world, and Sun began to see MySQL delivering real value, innovation, and choice, he said. MySQL sells services and support for its database.
Asked if Sun planned to scale the MySQL database to compete with Oracle, Schwartz said Sun will not compete with Oracle but "will scale MySQL to extraordinary heights."
The future lies in open source, innovation, and freedom of choice, according to Schwartz. Open source, he said, represents choice for CIOs. Developers, meanwhile, are making decisions about what runs in datacenters, something that used to be the sole domain of the CIO, said Schwartz.
Schwartz also stressed the importance of communities. "With every mainstream asset at Sun, we're investing to create a community," of developers and users regardless of whether they pay any money, he said.
Schwartz's being a keynote presenter at the conference presents a bit of irony in that the open source SugarCRM package is written in PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) rather than the Java language created and promoted by Sun. But Schwartz noted the Java Virtual Machine is being expanded to accommodate other languages. The JVM enables Java applications to run on platforms supporting the JVM.
"I think what you'll see from Sun is that we're just going to take the 'J' off the 'JVM' and just make it a 'VM'," Schwartz said. He cited Sun's Da Vinci Machine project, which is an effort to expand language coverage of the JVM.
In other developments at the conference, SugarCRM laid out a road map of Sugar product releases planned for 2008.
Due in April or May, the 5.1 edition of Sugar focuses on SMBs. It will feature improvements in reporting, including about 20 precanned reports, as well as a new systems management console via the company's DCE (Data Center Edition) 1.0.
Wireless and tracker enhancements also are planned. The tracker will be able to tell who and how many users are online. Also, it will reveal the CRM usage level for a particular team and what modules are being used the most.
The 5.2 edition, expected in July, is to feature real-time and global grid capabilities.
A Java layer in version 6.0 will link Sugar to other applications, such as the Lucene search engine. DCE 2.0 will debut with advanced resource and systems management.
In a morning keynote presentation, SugarCRM co-founder and CEO John Roberts touted a new era in "commercial open source."