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We’re Putting the (MySQL) Band Back Together

By Craig Buckler

Programming

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MySQL — the world’s most-used relational database — will be 18 next month. The first version was developed by Michael Widenius and David Axmark and released by MySQL AB on May 23, 1995. The open source product rapidly gained traction alongside PHP to become an integral part of the LAMP stack.

Sun Microsystems obtained MySQL for $1 billion in January 2008. 15 months later, Oracle acquired Sun for $7.4 billion and became the owner of Java, VirtualBox, OpenOffice and MySQL. The takeover caused significant controversy since the world’s biggest commercial database provider now controlled a major open source competitor.

Michael Widenius was particularly critical and released his own MySQL fork under the GNU General Public License from his own company, Monty Program AB. MariaDB is designed to maintain compatibility and be a drop-in replacement for MySQL.

Here’s where it gets interesting: Monty Program AB has signed a merger agreement with SkySQL. SkySQL was formed by former MySQL executives — including David Axmark — when Oracle acquired the database from Sun. The MySQL band are back together!

The new company will continue to use the SkySQL name to support and develop MariaDB. Michael Widenius stated:

The MySQL database is named after my first daughter, My. The MariaDB database is named after my second daughter, Maria. With this merger and my own role in the MariaDB Foundation, I’m ensuring that the MariaDB project will remain ‘open source forever’, while knowing that enterprise and community users of both the MySQL and MariaDB databases will benefit from best-in-breed products, services and support provided by SkySQL. And who doesn’t want the best for their children?

MySQL has a stronger rival. It’s reassuring news especially for those with any concerns regarding Oracle’s plans for the open source database.

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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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