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January 18, 2011


Bruce Guetzkow

Although MySQL isn't a requirement for PHP, much of the open source software out there uses or requires MySQL as the database. This announcement isn't a show-stopper, but it will give some pause. If Zend (or someone) can make the binaries available or provide decent documentation for us to roll our own, then it will be no more than a bump in the road. This seems to go hand-in-hand with an earlier decision related to Java (Aaron Bartell had a blog entry about it). Maybe IBM should have tried one more bid for Sun when it was available?

Scott Klement

See, the thing about open source is... *anyone* can take that code, produce binaries, and serve them off of their web site. Unlike commercial offerings, it doesn't have to be Oracle!

If this were commercial software, and Oracle made this decision, you'd be out of luck. There'd be nothing you could do.

But since this is open source, you can make your own binaries. You can host it yourself. You can support it yourself. You are given that freedom because it's open source!

Granted, Oracle can try to make it hard for you. Future versions might be released non-open-source (requiring you to make your own "fork" from the originals). They can make lots of changes, making it difficult for you to keep the IBM i part up-to-date. Open source is not a panacea!

But at least you have a chance. If this were proprietary, you'd have none.

Dan Devoe

I remember being at a local user's group conference when the announcement of ZendCore / MySQL was made.

There was quite a buzz around the room.

At the time, MySQL was not owned by Oracle.

I truly believe the statement 'Could it be the letters “IBM?”' is the primary reason why the product is being "dropped".

To help validate the statement above - we are in the process of an ERP evaluation. JDE (now owned by Oracle) is/was a leading candidate.

We in IT are concerned, because reading between the lines, they essentially came out & stated that they will be slowly be phasing out support for the JDE product on the i -- but also told us not to worry, because they have a migration path to an Oracle server...

In my mind, the only saving grace of MySQL being gobbled up by Oracle is at least it wasn't MS, because then it would quickly become "closed source".

With any luck, the MySQL division of Oracle will become "non-strategic", and they'll put it up for sale (where hopefully IBM would scoop it up), or it would become its own entity again.


A fork of MySQL has already happened. Check out , maybe these folks would be interested in providing binaries for the IBM Power System platform?

Dan Devoe

I received an e-mail from Zend, which contained the following link

Ryan Allaby

Jeez! I just had a meeting yesterday were we discussed the viability for a linux-based Drupal installation to write data to our iSeries DB2 database. IBMDB2i was the answer.

Now I am unsure if we should proceed given the recent announcement from Oracle.

Quite disappointing news indeed.


Not so apparent from this article and others s the general feeling of dread that exists in the entire open source community over MySQL being owned by Oracle. If what many people fear comes to pass, IBM is just the first causality. One thing is for sure: Oracle has little motivation to maintain MySQL and it is already making that known with this move.

As Scott said though, it is open source. My guess is a major MySQL fork is likely to emerge if Oracle keeps this up. Whether it will ever see light of day on IBM i is another story.

Jon Paris

@Scott - Yes it is Open Source and that is great comfort for those who have already adopted it. But it was Open Source before pre-compiled binaries for the IBM i were available for it - and yet few used it. In fact it was the advent of Zend including it as part of the base install process that ramped up its popularity. Not surprising really considering how the i community loves it when everything is pre-packaged by IBM.

It is the people who haven't yet adopted it that I'm concerned about and why I hope that Zend and IBM can come up with a solution.

The point of the post was to highlight that the storage engine is not (thank goodness) owned by Oracle but by IBM and so some of the earlier fears that the Oracle announcement was the death of the storage engine were unfounded.

I really wish (as I know you do) that the IBM i community would more readily adopt Open Source without a big company blessing, but so far that still doesn't seem to be happening.

Scott Klement

@Jon: I understand why Oracle discontinuing the binaries is a problem, even though it's open source. I really do. And I'm not saying "everything is okay, we can just compile it ourselves." I'm not saying that at all.

My point is that it would've been a lot *worse*, had it not been open source.

With it being open source, Zend and/or IBM have a _chance_ to provide the binaries. If this were a commercial product, there'd be no chance. We'd all be high and dry.

I bring that up because people in this community seem to think that open source is the same as "freeware" (or even more absurd, "shareware.")

They seem to think that a commercial package is somehow more likely to be around in the future than an open source one -- and quite the opposite is true!

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