MySQL Counters Oracle With A Purchase

    February 20, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

MySQL AB, the company behind the popular open source database, has acquired Netfrastructure Inc and gets a database guru in the deal.

Feeling the tightening grip of Oracle around its throat, MySQL has responded in classic fashion, with a sharp knee to the groin of its antagonist.

Jim Starkey, well-known in database circles for his creation of the InterBase database and his work on the subsequent Firebird project, announced to Firebird’s developers that his company has been purchased by MySQL AB. It is expected that MySQL will tap Starkey’s expertise to create a transactional engine for MySQL that will allow them to replace the existing InnoDB engine.

Oracle picked up InnoDB last year, and followed that with its recent purchase of Sleepycat Software. Those purchases appeared to leave MySQL’s enterprise customers vulnerable to potential requests for license fees for using the InnoDB technology present in MySQL.

Companies like Google and Hewlett Packard, and federal agencies NASA and the Census Bureau, use MySQL. Though publicly MySQL was not overly concerned with Oracle’s purchase of InnoDB, its customers may have had concerns and quietly voiced them to the company.

Starkey brings some extra expertise to the MySQL ranks. Database Journal scribe Ian Gilfillan blogged how MySQL’s first order to Starkey will be to build that “long-overdue” transaction engine:

MySQL are certainly not rolling over and waiting for Oracle to buy them, or squash them. With the purchase of Netfrastructure, they’re finally making a committment to build a high-quality engine themselves, one that is not vulnerable to outside shenanigans.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.