October 08, 2005
Oracle buys InnoDB
Blimey. According to AP Oracle has bought Innobase OY, the company behind the InnoDB storage engine used by MySQL.
Surely this is just a spoiling tactic as there isn't a need for that kind of technology in Oracle's database. Not to mention the fact that the code is GPL'ed anyway so including it in the Oracle database would make the whole thing fall under the GPL. Larry must have done this just to sort out the upstarts. I don't believe that Oracle are interested in open source software, they just saw an opportunity to undermine a rival (because regardless of the licensing model MySQL is in the database business) and took it, probably for the equivalent of the spare change in Larry's pocket.
Courtesy of Jeremy Zawodny who has some interesting analysis of the situation.
Posted by Andy Todd at October 08, 2005 09:26 PM
Assuming it wasn't built on a separate GPL project, or includes a great deal of code from outside interests without getting them to sign over the copyright then the GPL won't stop the original copyright holders (or a company that buys them out) from doing anything they want with their code.
Innobase code was dual licensed - Commercial and GPL. Since Oracle now owns Innobase, it has rights to the commercial codebase.
Strategically, Innobase adds a lot of value of MySQL, and is the main reason how MySQL threatens the value of Oracle in the Enterprise space. Without InnoDB, MySQL is only a nice toy for web projects. By making the future of InnoDB support uncertain, Oracle may succeed in persuading companies not to develop against InnoDB tomorrow.
"I don't believe that Oracle are interested in open source software"
I don't think that's quite fair - they're truly, madly, deeply in love with Apache and Linux, for example. Now, open source DATABASE software - that, I agree, is another story. There, they're as "interested" as Hitler was in the Sudetenland.