IOUG President Andrew Flower on Oracle MySQL

SearchOracle.com was able to catch up with IOUG president Andrew Flower, who shared his views on Oracle's treatment and stewardship of the MySQL database it acquired along with Sun Microsystems in January, 2010.


Read the full transcript from this video below:

IOUG President Andrew Flower on Oracle MySQL

Andrew Flower: I think it has been fine. I don't think that it has been
completely transparent. I am not a MySQL expert, but those that are,
say that the quality of version 5.5 was outstanding, so that was great.
They told us this morning that they have got their development milestone,
version 5.6, is available for folks to play with.

In terms of being a steward of the code base and sharing it with the
customers and the community has been fairly good. There have been
some communication challenges, most of it born out of really, I think,
two things. There were gag orders associated with EU approving the Sun
acquisition, so there was a vacuum of communication where Oracle,
and in particular, those that owned the MySQL part of the Sun acquisition
and Oracle not really communicating with the community all that well.

Of course, the other thing is that the community already was predisposed
to some fear, uncertainty, and doubt about a corporation of the likes of
Oracle getting involved in MySQL. Those two things sort of, I think,
fed off each other, but that is improving, and that is something that IOUG
has taken an active role in working on. We have established our MySQL
council, and they are positioning themselves, and we are helping them do
that, to be a conduit of transparency and productive conversations with Oracle
and the community, and I think that that is going to continue. I guess that is a
fair enough introduction of where things are.

Good product, good stewardship of the product. We need to continue to
improve communicating with the user community and that is where we see
ourselves pointed at.

SearchOracle.com: One question I had from watching that session was how Tomas was
talking about GPL version and the commercially licensed version. I know you
are new to MySQL, but from what you are hearing from the advisory council,
is there any concern that overtime Oracle is going to put more resources into
that commercially licensed version, and the GPL version is just going to kind
of be left in the wake?

Andrew Flower: I do not know, and it would be unfair for me to say, but we were
given a couple glimpses of things. I think at its core, the MySQL database will
continue to get just as much attention through the GPL, as well as the commercial.
It is all the other add-ons, some that Tomas listed, integration with other Oracle
products, and things like that, that will not be available. I do not know that those
that are getting the GPL version are all that concerned about integrating with
Enterprise Manager and things like that.

There were a few other things that Oracle sounded like they were
going to add, some bells and whistles that will only be available to
the commercial customers. Again, they were productivity tools and things
like that, that make it easier for a customer to use the product and things
like that. If you look at the people that are on the outside of that, the GPL,
that is kind of what they are building anyway. They do not like some of that
glossy stuff; they would rather get their hands in the guts and play with the database
as it is, so to speak. There is always going to be that sort of, ‘Oracle is going to
do more for the people that are paying for it,’ but I do not know that that's
really wrong. As long as they continue to make the core, the kernel of the
database available, I do not know that that is a huge problem. Oracle is going to
invest in adding value to the product.

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