23 October 2007

Oracle Users (Heart) MySQL

The Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) recently surveyed their members about open source and has now published their findings. A few highlights:
-More than one third of the respondents reported that they have deployed an open source database in production, which is a higher rate than for open source tools, frameworks or applications.
-Nearly three-quarters of that group have MySQL installed

Three-quarters? Wow. Bear in mind that MySQL, just like Linux before it, will become more powerful, nudging Oracle from underneath. Classic Innovator's Dilemma stuff. Maybe time to worry a little, eh Larry?


Shlomi Fish said...

A few notes:

1. It doesn't mean a lot. Many open-source applications depend exclusively on MySQL, and won't work with anything else. My friend who works for the Israeli Open University send me an email urging me to vote for this Bugzilla bug so it will support Oracle instead of just MySQL, because they'd rather not support another database server.

So if it had been a less tight organisation, they would have installed MySQL as well, just to get bugzilla going.

2. Remember that it is three-quarters of the third who said they installed any other open-source database. Not three-quarters of all surveyed IOUG members. (And it was the only members that belong to IOUG and those who answered the survey).

3. Like it or not, there isn't an open source offering that is even close to the Oracle RDBMS at present, especially not MySQL. At least not in most respects that matter. And Oracle Corp employs a lot of developers and has a lot of resources at its disposal.

I'm not saying an open-source RDBMS will not always be adequate, but Oracle is still better in most respects, and is a very impressive product.

4. MySQL has its own share of problems, and has a bad reputation. I started collecting a list of links which speak against MySQL , and would appreciate any additions. (It's still very small, but more links can be found by searching the web).

So MySQL of all FOSS RDBMSes is in the least position to threaten Oracle. Most of its popularity is attributed to inertia, back when it emerged as an alternative to MiniSQL. At the moment, MySQL is available on every el-cheapo PHP+MySQL host so it will sustain this inertia for the while. But it is by no means the most superior alternative.

Glyn Moody said...

Well, every program has its problems (some of course - no names - have rather more....).

But when you get companies like, ooh, say, Google, running MySQL as one of their main open source programs (as Chris DiBona told me recently) and presumably rather happy with it, I don't think the situation is quite as dire as you paint.