Reader Alan Rein has called my attention to Oracle's recent acquisition of Innobase Oy
, an open source developer in Finland. Why is this a big deal? Because Innobase is the primary development organization for InnoDB, which is used as a free component for the open source MySQL
database by users that want high concurrency, row-level locking, and transactions in MySQL.
In other words, if you are running MySQL--an increasingly popular choice for database applications--and you need it for higher end applications, you use InnoDB as the storage engine.
And Oracle, which has been watching MySQL move up the food chain over the past few years, just bought InnoDB.
The open source community is not quite sure how to interpret Oracle's move. Is it a further endorsement of the open source movement? Oracle has been a huge supporter of Linux, an open source operating system. But Oracle doesn't sell operating systems. Oracle sells databases, among other things. And InnoDB is at the heart of the open source database movement.
The more cynical view is that Oracle is buying InnoDB in order to divert its five (yes, just five) developers away from supporting open source development and the MySQL relationship. The InnoDB/MySQL agreement is up for renewal next year, and Oracle's press release says they expect to see it continue. But who knows?Jeremy Zawodny
has a good summary of the situation on his blog. ZDNet
also has a good analysis of Oracle's move. As expected, there's a (ahem) lively debate over on Slashdot
as well. Related postsSoftware buyers turn cheap