In January we blogged about Oracle giving the cold shoulder to the IBM i world by announcing they would no longer be supplying a compiled IBM i version of MySQL. Today we have an update on that subject, at long last.
MySQL became popular among IBM i shops because of the popularity of PHP on i. While PHP certainly doesn't require MySQL, many open-source PHP applications that have caught on in IBM i shop (e.g., Joomla, Drupal and SugarCRM) are written to use it. Indeed SugarCRM has become so popular among i shops that they have produced an IBM i specific version. The availability of the DB2 for i Storage Engine for MySQL also made it easier to integrate those applications with more traditional IBM i applications and databases.
Back in January, we speculated that IBM and Zend were in discussions about a potential solution to the uncertainty caused by Oracle's actions. Now, we finally have an answer. Zend has agreed to step up to creating, maintaining and shipping compiled versions of the MySQL code to run on IBM i.
Zend has decided to call this distribution Zend DBi--we don't understand why, really. But not to worry, the intention is that the code that runs on IBM i coming from Zend will be the same as MySQL on other platforms. Zend will simply be compiling and packaging the pieces. Required code changes will be made available to the MySQL open-source project as required under the terms of the GNU GPL license.
Zend will distribute the new Zend DBi code as part of Zend Server and will also make it available for download by IBM i shops as a stand-alone package, much as we had downloaded MySQL from the Oracle in the past. And the storage engine that helps to integrate MySQL with DB2 for i will continue to be supported and made available by the DB2 for i folks in Rochester.
So it came to pass as we predicted it would; it just took a little longer than we had thought it might. Hmmm, it seems the idea was conceived in January and arrived in October. That's about the right gestation period. Welcome to the world, Zend DBi!