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MySQL Official Emphasizes GPL, Improvements

MySQL, the open source database now property of Oracle, has stayed the same in such aspects as its availability under the GPL, but some traits will change under its new management. For example, Oracle will be more tight-lipped about product plans, a MySQL official said Thursday.

Devotees of the database also can expect continued improvements in areas such as performance and a stronger emphasis on Windows, said Kaj Arno, vice president of the MySQL community for the still-functioning Sun Microsystems branch in Munich. ( Oracle's Sun acquisition has not been completed yet in Germany.)

[ Also on InfoWorld: Oracle took over Sun Java technologies, but Java developers are mostly OK with Oracle so far. ]

By acquiring Sun, Oracle took charge of the MySQL database Sun itself had bought in 2008. Arno's presentation, at the O'Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo in Santa Clara, Calif., intended to focus on the state of the MySQL community but diverged into other topics, including the direction of the product.

"There is still a huge base of MySQL users out there. They have economic interests that are independent of whoever owns MySQL," Arno said.

"MySQL is still licensed under the GPL," Arno stressed.

"We have seen strong, firm, clear statements from Oracle that GPL will continue," he said. Also, a huge talent pool of MySQL experts remain at Oracle and Oracle has its own database talent, such as Vice President Andy Mendelsohn, Arno said.

But MySQL's once free-speaking ways when it came to upcoming products will end.

"The bigger the company, the more care you need to take to follow things like Sarbanes-Oxley," said Arno. "There are going to be stronger corporate controls about what we can say."

Previous predictions, however, were not all that useful anyway, with forecasts of timeliness going unfulfilled, Arno explained.

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