Former MySQL CEO cites good fortune for Oracle

Marten Mickos believes the acquisition is a good move, but others at conference worry about what the acquisition plan could mean for MySQL

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Another attendee was not distressed about the merger and its effects on MySQL.

"I don't think it's the end of the world," said Justin Swanhart, senior consulting engineer at Kickfire, a sponsor of the conference offering an appliance that works with MySQL data warehouses. "There's two different parts of the marketplace. MySQL plays really well at the low end, Oracle typically is at the higher end."

The two can coexist in the marketplace, said Swanhart, who also noted he was expressing his own views, not his employer's. He said he did not believe Oracle chairman Larry Ellison would shut down MySQL.

At search giant Google, the company already uses MySQL in an enterprise application, said keynote speaker Mark Callaghan, lead of the MySQL engineering team for Google.

"It's a large, important enterprise deployment. Trust me," Callaghan said.

Google uses MySQL for transaction processing applications, not search.

A Sun employee, Zack Urlocker, vice president of lifecycle marketing at Sun, had high hopes for MySQL under Oracle jurisdiction. "I think that Oracle understands open source and [its] disruptive power maybe more than most people people give them credit [for], and I think it fits perfectly with Oracle's' strategy," said Urlocker. He had served as executive vice president of products at MySQL when it was still a separate company.

During a keynote presentation Tuesday, Karen Tegan Padir, vice president of MySQL and software infrastructure at Sun, attempted to reassure the audience. Oracle, she said, has been working with Sun on the GlassFish application server project. "They have really stepped up and gone the extra mile to make that relationship work," she said.

"MySQL's ubiquity transcends whoever is the steward of that technology," she said.

Separately from the conference, an industry observer pondered whether Oracle ownership of MySQL might raise possible anti-trust red flags.

Alfresco's Matt Asay, vice president of development, said he believes there is just no way Oracle is going to allow MySQL to compete with it in the enterprise. This situation, he said, "begs an antitrust question." But he added he did not think an antitrust action was likely.

A press release pertaining to the Sun acquisition on Oracle's Web site Monday did not mention MySQL.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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