MySQL, Oracle sign multiyear deal on InnoDB

MySQL AB has signed a multiyear agreement with Oracle Corp. to renew its licensing of the InnoDB database storage engine, according to a MySQL executive. The move resolves confusion in the market about the likely effect on MySQL of Oracle’s purchase last year of the maker of InnoDB, Innobase OY.

Prior to Oracle’s acquisition of Innobase last October, open-source database player MySQL had an agreement in place with the Finnish software company to bundle InnoDB with MySQL. After Oracle acquired Innobase in November, speculation was rife as to whether Oracle, which competes with MySQL, would renew the agreement with the open-source database company.

The agreement is “on existing terms,” Zach Urlocker, vice president of marketing at MySQL, told IDG News Service Thursday at the LinuxWorld conference in Boston. “It’s a very good agreement,” he said. “We’re comfortable with it.” The two companies are not releasing the financial terms of the contract or how many years the agreement will span.

Between 30 percent to 40 per cent of MySQL users are using InnoDB for online transactional processing, according to Urlocker.

When Oracle made the decision to buy Innobase, Oracle President Charles Phillips called MySQL and said it was Oracle’s intention to renew the InnoDB agreement, Urlocker said. The message from Phillips to MySQL was “We’re not going to shut you down,” Urlocker added.

After buying Innobase, Oracle went on to acquire another open-source database company, Sleepycat Software Inc., in February. That move hasn’t really affected MySQL since the company didn’t license Sleepycat’s Berkeley DB transactional engine and only about 1 percent of MySQL users are using that database, Urlocker said.

MySQL will formally announce the signing of the agreement with Oracle at the open-source database company’s upcoming user conference in Santa Clara, California, from April 24 to April 27, according to Urlocker.

The unveiling of a transaction database developed by Jim Starkey, a noted database software architect, is also expected at the user conference. He joined MySQL when the company acquired his Web application technology business, Netfrastructure Inc., in February, Urlocker said.

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