February 15, 2006 3:36 PM PST

Oracle tried to buy open-source MySQL

SAN FRANCISCO--Oracle tried to acquire open-source database maker MySQL, an indication of the profound changes the software giant is willing to make as it adapts to the increasingly significant collaborative programming philosophy.

MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos confirmed the acquisition attempt in an interview at the Open Source Business Conference here but wouldn't provide details such as when the approach was made or how much money Oracle offered.

He did, however, say why he turned down Oracle's offer: the desire to keep his company's independence. "We will be part of a larger company, but it will be called MySQL," Mickos said.

Oracle didn't immediately comment on the acquisition offer.

Though it is increasingly diversified, Oracle's primary business is selling its own proprietary database software. MySQL, in contrast, is a leader among several companies trying to commercialize rival open-source products.

The acquisition would have been a smart move for Oracle, said Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady.

"It all comes back to the question of cannibalizing an existing business," O'Grady said. "If you determine that to some extent it's inevitable, wouldn't you prefer that you do it, instead of your competitors?"

O'Grady said Oracle could benefit from MySQL in the way that IBM has from its acquisition of Gluecode, a company that commercializes the open-source Geronimo Java application server software and competed with IBM's own proprietary WebSphere product. IBM now offers Gluecode's software as a free product called WebSphere community edition.

"They could position it as a lower-end alternative, much as IBM has done with WebSphere CE, recognizing that their larger accounts aren't likely to switch from the enterprise-class database anyhow," O'Grady said. At the same time, buying MySQL could "open up a very sizable new market for themselves."

The database market is in the midst of major changes. IBM now offers a lower-end version of its DB2 product for free, following similar moves by Microsoft and Oracle. At the same time, companies such as Ingres and EnterpriseDB are trying to build high-end open-source database packages.

MySQL, based in Sweden and Cupertino, Calif., announced in January that it's been profitable for two quarters. But it's not turning down outside money. MySQL announced Monday it raised $18.5 million in a third round of funding from Institutional Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Red Hat, SAP Ventures and Sumitomo's Presidio STX investment subsidiary.

Oracle's financial moves, however, are orders of magnitude grander. Its major buying spree resulted in the acquisitions of Siebel Systems for $5.8 billion and PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion.

Oracle already has bought two small open-source database companies--Sleepycat on Tuesday and InnoDB in 2005. But its open-source ambitions clearly are larger; for example, BusinessWeek reported that Oracle is expected to acquire open-source application server maker JBoss.

Mickos and other executives eagerly note that the MySQL database is gradually maturing with higher-end features, but they deny they've got Oracle in their crosshairs. Oracle is often used in back-end databases that power complex, massive software such as enterprise resource planning packages (ERP) from SAP or PeopleSoft.

"We are not used in all the ERP stuff. We are adding those features, but we are not going to be running PeopleSoft applications any time," Mickos said. Instead, MySQL is aiming for next-generation applications at companies such as Workday, a software-as-a-service start-up being launched by PeopleSoft co0founder Dave Duffield.

In reality, the MySQL and Oracle do compete. "They're obviously entrenched in different areas of the market--Oracle at the high end, MySQL in the higher-volume, lower-end space," O'Grady said. "But is there overlap in the middle? Sure."

See more CNET content tagged:
Stephen O'Grady, MySQL, Oracle Corp., PeopleSoft Inc., IBM WebSphere

37 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
next up .....
Oracle is going to buy everyone, Larry is out of control

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.otherthingsnow.blogspot.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.otherthingsnow.blogspot.com/</a>
Posted by SqlserverCode (165 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And then they will start to raise their prices like they did this past summer, who would have guessed! The costs are about 20% higher now for the same licenses.

Oracle License Advisory
http://oracle.ioresource.scom
Posted by zynis (1 comment )
Link Flag
next up .....
Oracle is going to buy everyone, Larry is out of control

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.otherthingsnow.blogspot.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.otherthingsnow.blogspot.com/</a>
Posted by SqlserverCode (165 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not for sale
My SQL is not for sale. Glad they didn't sell out
Posted by hkwkejfkw (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not for sale
My SQL is not for sale. Glad they didn't sell out
Posted by hkwkejfkw (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Everything has a price
And it's amatter of time before you give in. No harm in playing hard to get though.

anyways question is why Oracle should continue to chase MySQL. WHY? well answer is clear.
SAP is working too close with MySQL. Reason enough. but seriously the bid to move in aggressively into the SMB market. MySQL has got to be the buy Oracle is waiting for. With the plans to buy Jboss, it already will have a good light weight App server and with a good light db server which will/should be tipped "Oracle lite" (eventually).

So a little late in the game (IMO they should have done this long ago!)but still not worth giving up!!

Cheers
Tarry
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://tarrysingh.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://tarrysingh.blogspot.com</a>
Posted by TarrySingh (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Flood Gates Are Open
Any efforts to stymie the OpenSource community will fail. Everything may have a price, but no single entity will control the net. The flood gates are open. If OpenSource developers need a free tool, they will create one.
Posted by rjlucas (6 comments )
Link Flag
Everything has a price
And it's amatter of time before you give in. No harm in playing hard to get though.

anyways question is why Oracle should continue to chase MySQL. WHY? well answer is clear.
SAP is working too close with MySQL. Reason enough. but seriously the bid to move in aggressively into the SMB market. MySQL has got to be the buy Oracle is waiting for. With the plans to buy Jboss, it already will have a good light weight App server and with a good light db server which will/should be tipped "Oracle lite" (eventually).

So a little late in the game (IMO they should have done this long ago!)but still not worth giving up!!

Cheers
Tarry
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://tarrysingh.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://tarrysingh.blogspot.com</a>
Posted by TarrySingh (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Flood Gates Are Open
Any efforts to stymie the OpenSource community will fail. Everything may have a price, but no single entity will control the net. The flood gates are open. If OpenSource developers need a free tool, they will create one.
Posted by rjlucas (6 comments )
Link Flag
ORACLE would be crazy
...to buy MySQL as it just isn't their field. Sure, maybe in the 'locked in' 90s where everything had a price they could buy it, strip it, and repackage it in a redundant bloat-ware scheme leading to vaporware virus ridden nightmares, but not now as it would be too costly to fool customers the second time around.

What's interesting I think is how MySQL has seemed to create a newer industry for the mid-database market here so they can have staying power. message boards etc.
In the 90s I think we had too much bloated software I think for databasing. Was difficult to do mid market stuff then. It was just expensive.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Isn't there field?
You should leave the computer industry. NOW!
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Link Flag
ORACLE would be crazy
...to buy MySQL as it just isn't their field. Sure, maybe in the 'locked in' 90s where everything had a price they could buy it, strip it, and repackage it in a redundant bloat-ware scheme leading to vaporware virus ridden nightmares, but not now as it would be too costly to fool customers the second time around.

What's interesting I think is how MySQL has seemed to create a newer industry for the mid-database market here so they can have staying power. message boards etc.
In the 90s I think we had too much bloated software I think for databasing. Was difficult to do mid market stuff then. It was just expensive.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Isn't there field?
You should leave the computer industry. NOW!
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Link Flag
ARE YOU FRICK'N CRAZY
If MySQL sells out to Oracle they would have single handedly
F'ed up the internet and data-basing as a whole.

Oracle is a for profit company that will destroy MySQL and what
it's used and stands for. Lets not forget what PHP/MySQL stands
for:
OPEN SOURCE, FREE, OPEN, FREE.

Who the F'K does Oracle think they are. Are they trying to create
a Monopoly in the Database world. This acquisition would
confirm a TRUE Monopoly.

I would strongly disagree and let it be known if you use PHP or
MySQL in anyway. You know, like I use it for
www.TechViewsToday.US as well as a host of other bulletin
board services that I don't get paid for and in turn saves my
clients thousands and thousands of dollars years.

Small business clients will be affected by this acquisition the
most. If you run a web service or your company uses the net in a
database way this WILL AFFECT YOU.

Do not believe the smoke that will be blown by Oracle. There
only out for the money and they will KILL MySQL. If you don't
believe me as your Webmaster or Web Developer how this could
affect you web presence as a whole.

"This acquisition CAN'T happen!"
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, Not a monopoly..
But a damned huge DB company. There is still Postgres DB ( which has a few more features than MySQL does ). There is still DB2 from IBM. So not a monopoly but they could get scrwed from an anti-trust standpoint ( for buying up all their competiters ).
Posted by Sir Geek (114 comments )
Link Flag
ARE YOU FRICK'N CRAZY
If MySQL sells out to Oracle they would have single handedly
F'ed up the internet and data-basing as a whole.

Oracle is a for profit company that will destroy MySQL and what
it's used and stands for. Lets not forget what PHP/MySQL stands
for:
OPEN SOURCE, FREE, OPEN, FREE.

Who the F'K does Oracle think they are. Are they trying to create
a Monopoly in the Database world. This acquisition would
confirm a TRUE Monopoly.

I would strongly disagree and let it be known if you use PHP or
MySQL in anyway. You know, like I use it for
www.TechViewsToday.US as well as a host of other bulletin
board services that I don't get paid for and in turn saves my
clients thousands and thousands of dollars years.

Small business clients will be affected by this acquisition the
most. If you run a web service or your company uses the net in a
database way this WILL AFFECT YOU.

Do not believe the smoke that will be blown by Oracle. There
only out for the money and they will KILL MySQL. If you don't
believe me as your Webmaster or Web Developer how this could
affect you web presence as a whole.

"This acquisition CAN'T happen!"
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, Not a monopoly..
But a damned huge DB company. There is still Postgres DB ( which has a few more features than MySQL does ). There is still DB2 from IBM. So not a monopoly but they could get scrwed from an anti-trust standpoint ( for buying up all their competiters ).
Posted by Sir Geek (114 comments )
Link Flag
Isn't there field!
You should really get out the computer business!
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Isn't there field!
You should really get out the computer business!
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
why to buy others
to buy others these people want to Monopolize the market which is not good at all.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://maair.net" target="_newWindow">http://maair.net</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://mannan.zabvision.edu.pk" target="_newWindow">http://mannan.zabvision.edu.pk</a>
Posted by itsmani1 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
why to buy others
to buy others these people want to Monopolize the market which is not good at all.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://maair.net" target="_newWindow">http://maair.net</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://mannan.zabvision.edu.pk" target="_newWindow">http://mannan.zabvision.edu.pk</a>
Posted by itsmani1 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MySQL must be GPLd always, then aquiring is OK
Whether it may be ORACLE trying to acquire MySQL or trying to ACQUIRE JBoss , they can do it but the products like MySQL, JBoss, etc should remain GPLd or BSD Licensed or any equivalent license to have a better community.
Posted by sathishmls (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MySQL must be GPLd always, then aquiring is OK
Whether it may be ORACLE trying to acquire MySQL or trying to ACQUIRE JBoss , they can do it but the products like MySQL, JBoss, etc should remain GPLd or BSD Licensed or any equivalent license to have a better community.
Posted by sathishmls (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Proves how evil Silicon Valley is.
1st, Oracle vs MySQL shows the level of Hoax that surrounds us in regard to IT business.
I mean here you have government organizations, either US government or governments
under US control, paying 10Mill to 100Mill contracts to Oracle for Oracle SQL DB
when they can get the same SQL DB form MySQL for free or a tiny fraction of that amount.
Why!
Why is it that the companies worldwide use MySQL for their DB needs and do just fine, while
some Govs and Fortune 1000 give Oracle $10 to $100Mill payments for Oracle software
license when the same software license via MySQL is Free!
And of course would then this not give Oracle every incentive to buy and take out
of (real) competition MySQL which is providing the people (small businesses) with
a much lower cost of SQL DB compared to Oracle!
Only a blind man would not see how "evil" this take over would be.

Here are my predictions as to some tectonic movements in the IT business:
MySQL will replace Oracle more and more.
Linux will replace Windows more and more.
AnooX will replace Google &#38; Yahoo more and more.
ORSN will replace ICANN more and more.
Specially in regard to companies/usage outside of USA.

Now watch out for Silicon Valley mafia, who have access to Billions of dollars, to try to
take out these companies that are providing us, the people world wide with choice &#38;
freedom, and lower costs, in these critical areas of the IT business.
Can we do anything about it?
I am not sure, the people have proven themselves be a patsies too often.
But maybe this time, people will be able to see through the smoke &#38; mirrors and
see that it is not good for us at all to have so much of our lifes controlled by a handful
of companies, people, from Silicon Valley or USA in general.
Posted by free_people (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree about anoox, mysql, linux parts
I agree with your comments that these open source based options will more and more replace the big media/corporate alternatives of them, but I am not sure about Silicon valley being evil per say.
They are just very greedy, and as that famous American "gordon geko" said: "greed is good" :)

BTW, what is ORSN?
Sorry if this is a naive question.
Posted by 207495111267145837975635436522 (58 comments )
Link Flag
Think again
First, there isn't a single intelligent government agency on this planet, looking for an open source database to standardize on, unless it is for the public. There has to be a focal point for the vendor, and a myriad of other reasons.

Second, msSQL, mySql, Oracle, Postgre, and many many others do not compare to the database solutions provided by IBM. Any "serious" use of a database, that a goverment would need, would far exceed the previously mentioned databases. Those databases are more like extravagant toys. Yes, flame on if you must, but there is a reason why two IT positions emerged over the past 15 years (Database Administrator, and DB analyst). This positions are necessary BECAUSE of those products.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Proves how evil Silicon Valley is.
1st, Oracle vs MySQL shows the level of Hoax that surrounds us in regard to IT business.
I mean here you have government organizations, either US government or governments
under US control, paying 10Mill to 100Mill contracts to Oracle for Oracle SQL DB
when they can get the same SQL DB form MySQL for free or a tiny fraction of that amount.
Why!
Why is it that the companies worldwide use MySQL for their DB needs and do just fine, while
some Govs and Fortune 1000 give Oracle $10 to $100Mill payments for Oracle software
license when the same software license via MySQL is Free!
And of course would then this not give Oracle every incentive to buy and take out
of (real) competition MySQL which is providing the people (small businesses) with
a much lower cost of SQL DB compared to Oracle!
Only a blind man would not see how "evil" this take over would be.

Here are my predictions as to some tectonic movements in the IT business:
MySQL will replace Oracle more and more.
Linux will replace Windows more and more.
AnooX will replace Google &#38; Yahoo more and more.
ORSN will replace ICANN more and more.
Specially in regard to companies/usage outside of USA.

Now watch out for Silicon Valley mafia, who have access to Billions of dollars, to try to
take out these companies that are providing us, the people world wide with choice &#38;
freedom, and lower costs, in these critical areas of the IT business.
Can we do anything about it?
I am not sure, the people have proven themselves be a patsies too often.
But maybe this time, people will be able to see through the smoke &#38; mirrors and
see that it is not good for us at all to have so much of our lifes controlled by a handful
of companies, people, from Silicon Valley or USA in general.
Posted by free_people (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree about anoox, mysql, linux parts
I agree with your comments that these open source based options will more and more replace the big media/corporate alternatives of them, but I am not sure about Silicon valley being evil per say.
They are just very greedy, and as that famous American "gordon geko" said: "greed is good" :)

BTW, what is ORSN?
Sorry if this is a naive question.
Posted by 207495111267145837975635436522 (58 comments )
Link Flag
Think again
First, there isn't a single intelligent government agency on this planet, looking for an open source database to standardize on, unless it is for the public. There has to be a focal point for the vendor, and a myriad of other reasons.

Second, msSQL, mySql, Oracle, Postgre, and many many others do not compare to the database solutions provided by IBM. Any "serious" use of a database, that a goverment would need, would far exceed the previously mentioned databases. Those databases are more like extravagant toys. Yes, flame on if you must, but there is a reason why two IT positions emerged over the past 15 years (Database Administrator, and DB analyst). This positions are necessary BECAUSE of those products.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
MySQL- Oracle NOT all seeing eye!
Greed seems to cloud Oracles vision of the future of open
source! The more that they position themselves in the market as
open source macrophages the more the IT community will
regard them as a microsoft facsimile. Buying out MySQL and
reducing it to a enterprise bait and lure freebee will only
increase the already growing animosity against them.
Compitition is a healthy economic departure from the 80s &#38; 90s
microsoft philosophy. If Oracle is afraid of a little compitition in
the middleware spectrum of the market and insits on aggressivly
attacking openware they are on the track of producing a less
profitable enterprise. Many consumers, and more recently
businesses, have looked for alternitives to proprietary software
solutions causing a small, but marginal dent in big guys profit
margins. When companies spend all their resources in
attempting to eleminating their competitors rather than
improving their current product they loose their competitive
edge. Look at microsoft! They have been struggling to release a
new version of Windows for how long now? Too much time in
the papermill causes a shortage of cotton! The bigger they are...
the harder they FALL!!!
Posted by wjackson333 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MySQL- Oracle NOT all seeing eye!
Greed seems to cloud Oracles vision of the future of open
source! The more that they position themselves in the market as
open source macrophages the more the IT community will
regard them as a microsoft facsimile. Buying out MySQL and
reducing it to a enterprise bait and lure freebee will only
increase the already growing animosity against them.
Compitition is a healthy economic departure from the 80s &#38; 90s
microsoft philosophy. If Oracle is afraid of a little compitition in
the middleware spectrum of the market and insits on aggressivly
attacking openware they are on the track of producing a less
profitable enterprise. Many consumers, and more recently
businesses, have looked for alternitives to proprietary software
solutions causing a small, but marginal dent in big guys profit
margins. When companies spend all their resources in
attempting to eleminating their competitors rather than
improving their current product they loose their competitive
edge. Look at microsoft! They have been struggling to release a
new version of Windows for how long now? Too much time in
the papermill causes a shortage of cotton! The bigger they are...
the harder they FALL!!!
Posted by wjackson333 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Minus one monopoly
Good news - minus one monopoly.
<a href="#">www.milliondollarhosting.net</a>
Posted by medvegonok (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.milliondollarhosting.net" target="_newWindow">http://www.milliondollarhosting.net</a>
Posted by medvegonok (10 comments )
Link Flag
Minus one monopoly
Good news - minus one monopoly.
<a href="#">www.milliondollarhosting.net</a>
Posted by medvegonok (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.milliondollarhosting.net" target="_newWindow">http://www.milliondollarhosting.net</a>
Posted by medvegonok (10 comments )
Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.