MySQL users who were once nervous that Oracle would let the popular database wither and die now have a new cause for concern: Oracle recently warned customers of unspecific price hikes in the near future as well as plans to eliminate the two lower-tier, less-expensive licensing plans for the database that were suited for smaller organizations with tighter budgets. Those changes alone could slap an organization with a 400 percent increase in annual licensing fees.
In an email reportedly sent to customers, Oracle sales minions vaguely caution, "We're being told that "there will be changes to MYSQL's pricing and possibly pricing model soon and wanted to let you know."
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The message notes that MySQL license fees haven't increased in six years, yet another of Sun's business-culture quirks that hasn't survived the assimilation. Indeed, Oracle's move further signals the company's general rejection of Sun's open source legacy as it moves to cash in on the technologies -- such as Java and OpenSolaris -- that customers have grown accustomed to using inexpensively or for free.
Whereas Oracle hasn't been forthright yet in its pricing plans, it has made one decision clear: It's eliminating the Basic- and Silver-level licensing plans for MySQL, options that are seemingly tailored and priced to meet the needs of smaller businesses.