John Sequeira


Monday, October 10, 2005

Oracle acquires InnoDB.

It's easy not to like the limitations of MySQL if you're used to more comprehensive db platforms, but you do have to respect its ubiquity, ease-of-use, and suitability to WORM tasks (write once, read many times).

When it comes time to pick a database for a project, I like it just fine in the right circumstances ( esp. for ISP-hosted applications). The biggest reasons I don't like to recommend it for non-hosted projects have been:

  • MySQL AB's somewhat aggressive interpretation of GPL (if you make $$$, we make $$$)

  • that such core functionality as a transactional persistence engine was a bolt on, and not even owned by MySQL AB.

I didn't actually know that Innobase was a separate company, just that its storage engines are pluggable. Other people view that as a feature, but it has always seemed like a good way to introduce subtle bugs and inconsistencies to code that otherwise claims to support 'MySQL'.

But with the most strategic storage engine now owned by a enormous competitor, one who wouldn't feel too bad if, in the interests of supporting open source, InnoDB was released GPL-only and MySQL's product revenue flatlined, it's easy to say I'm even less likely to pick MySQL for a behind-the-firewall application.

Josh Berkus has an interesting writeup of how the Postgresql team dodged this bullet once, and consequently now has a more distributed, highly available, fault tolerant employment strategy. :-)

Aside: The Oracle press release is an good example of surreal business doublespeak -- replace s/Oracle/Microsoft/ and s/innodb/ext3/ and see if you find it as amusing as I did.

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