MySQL to remain as open source

Sun Microsystems, which purchased MySQL this year for over $1 billion, ephasizes that the database will remain open source despite what critics say.

Sun has faced critism from the MySQL community after Sun suggested that some high-end features due to arrive in MySQL 6 would be available only to paying customers.

Critics condemned this potential decision and assused Sun and MySQL of betraying the community that has graciously helped make it successful.

Marten Mickos, former CEO at MySQL and now senior vice president of Sun’s database group, backed off the statement, saying that Sun has not made an official decision.

Mickos explained that the company has developed high-end add-ons such as encryption, native storage engine-specific drivers, that we will deliver to customers in the MySQL Enterprise product only. Sun has not decided under what license they will release the new add-ons. Mickos stated, “MySQL isn’t going closed source.”

However, even the high end tools aren’t necessarily going to be proprietary. Such a move might be bad news for paying customers as well, since it would mean the tools they pay for wouldn’t enjoy the widespread community testing that ensures they are usable and secure.

Even if Sun ultimately does end up making some MySQL tools proprietary, it’s very unlikely to affect the average user. The core database components would remain free and open source, only the extra tools would be affected.