Hungry for acquisitions and in the same timeframe that Oracle successfully bought out Sleepycat, the company behind the BerkeleyDB database engine used on many open source platforms, news yesterday was that Oracle made a bid to also buy out MySQL, but the bid was rejected.
MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos said that he wanted to keep the independence of his company.
So what does this mean for Oracle and the Open Source database market? Does Oracle consider Open Source databases it’s largest threat to it’s own business, and being unable to compete the only way to stay in the game is to buy them out? Their current buyouts seem pretty focused on aquiring anything MySQL related, including the database engines that it uses under the covers – last year the first surprise was the buyout of InnoDB, the most widely used of the database engines used by MySQL. Now they also have BerkeleyDB from Sleepycat, and now we hear they are also gunning for MySQL itself. This cannot be a good thing – chances are if Oracle consumes all these companies and their technologies, sure they may stay around in one form or another, but I think the spirit of OPen Source with these products will be gone. And chances are they will be rolled into an exisiting or a new product with an Oracle badge, meaning the end of the original products. This is not good for users of the original products, who were most likely using them because they were open source.