Thursday, April 17, 2008

No, Virginia, MySQL Has Not Gone Closed Source

There's a lot of talk this week, complaining that MySQL is moving away from its open source roots. While I make no bones about wanting to take every one of MySQL's paying customers (because after all, we have a better commercial offering ;-), I have to say in fairness that the talk is not really true or fair.

In actuality, as Dana Blankenhorn points out, MySQL started moving away from pure open source last year, when they created a split between the Community and Enterprise editions, and delivered closed-source software as pay-only services from their web site. This split recognized that they serve two different customer basis (as Zack Urlocker said just today): those who wish to pay, and those who wish not to pay. To my mind, there's nothing wrong with this hybrid approach! Indeed, it's the same approach that we've taken since our inception 3 years ago, and that we refined when we launched Postgres Plus last month.

I do believe it is fair, however, to ask for transparency and clear language. In Zack's blog, he wrote, "...just to be clear: (1) MySQL 6.0 backup capabilities are open source, (2) Add-on modules will be for paying customers." Perhaps I'm splitting hairs, but I'd rather see #2 say "commercially licensed" or "closed source." That's what it is, and there's nothing wrong with it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More Results from the Launch

Since my last post a couple of weeks ago, we’ve continued to see terrific results flow from the March 25 launch of Postgres Plus and the announcement of the IBM investment. This note is just a quick update to keep you informed about our progress.
  • The Wall Street Journal yesterday published an article on open source databases that featured us quite prominently. (Unfortunately, they still charge for access to their site. But if you don't have a subscription, shoot me an email, and we'll send you a PDF.) I'm very pleased to see the recognition of EnterpriseDB as the principal "other" open source database in the market. And it's clearly one of my happiest PR moments since Tom Friedman wrote about us in the New York Times.
  • On Thursday, Donald Feinberg of Gartner published a Research Note Titled “Open Source in Database Management Systems. One of the three “Key Findings” of the report is that “ 2011, at least one open source DBMS, possibly MySQL from Sun Microsystems or Postgres Plus from EnterpriseDB, will become one of the more widely used DBMS engines in production.” stuff.
  • The 451 Group, a leading analyst firm that I respect a great deal (and which focuses a lot on open source), also published a report recently on Open Source Databases, which prominently features EnterpriseDB as a leader in the market.
  • Our “Share of Voice” for January, February, and March was 65%, 73%, and 82%, respectively. This metric is calculated by dividing the number of articles in which we are mentioned by the total number of articles that should have mentioned us, in a perfect world. Trends certainly seem to be moving in the right direction.
  • Finally, our web site and download volumes since the launch have more than doubled. At the end of the day, this is the most important metric of all. Usage is everything.
Thanks to all our supporters, and thanks especially to our colleagues in the PostgreSQL community, which make all of this possible. It's a pleasure to work with one of the few truly independent open source communities in the world.