Opensource Transaction support
MySQL is one of the first DBMS I’ve ever used. I really can’t recall what I was using it for, though I was and still impressed by MySQL’s:
* ease of setup
* opensource license
And after working in commercial environments with Informix and Oracle, you really start to appreciate MySQL’s quality. No strange quirks or odd behaviour like my Oracle experiences. It works like you expect it to and with Debian packages it is an absolute breeze to maintain/update/upgrade.
The legendary feature that MySQL missed, the feature that seperated the boys from the men a.k.a. Oracle, was Transaction support. It was only recently I discovered that MySQL has in fact transaction support with InnoDB and big players like Wikipedia and Slashdot uses it.
Though now Oracle has acquired InnoDB. Yikes!
* Slashdot coverage
* Webmaster world forum discussion.
So what could this mean? I’m taking quite a pessimistic approach here as why should Oracle fund development of a product that basically competes with the Oracle Database product? That would be like Microsoft competing as a Web application platform and undermining its core Win32 platform. DOH!
# Infeasibly they could get each developer to change the licensing to something non-Opensource. I think you are allowed to “revoke” the Opensource license (or any license), though I don’t think it’s practical.
# The future Opensource licensed versions of InnoDB are in doubt
# InnoDB goes “professionally” unsupported
# The developers get bought out to not do any work on InnoDB and instead work on something else or go on a long holiday. It only takes a buy out of a couple of core programmers it some projects to absolutely ruin a product. Remember Borland?
# An opensource company/project is founded which works from InnoDB opensource base. I haven’t looked at the source code, but this is always hard to do. Some people from the community would have to super motivated to do a good job here, though the potential rewards are high. The DBMS market is worth a lot.
# People use Postgres instead. Some people on WebmasterWorld have justified this move by citing MySQL licensing issues and some other concerns with drivers. I’ve used Postgres and I’m not going there again.
I think option 5 will be realized despite the difficulties in finding the right people, because the potential gains are so high. Even if just to be bought out again. ;)
Conclusion: Just a bump in the road towards opensource domination.