What, in addition to the resignations from Sun of Marten Mickos and Monty Widenius, are the changes in the works for the MySQL Database, many are wondering. Brian Prince sheds some light on the subject in a recent eWeek.com article, where he writes that Sun remains confident in the wake of the release of MySQL 5.1, bugs and all.
In yet another restructuring exercise, Sun is combining its software infrastructure organization with its database group to form a unified open-source product group under the direction of Karen Tegan Padir, VP of MySQL.
According to Prince, the idea is to put MySQL into the mainstream of software at Sun and position the company to leverage MySQL, GlassFish and Identity Manager by tightly linking its software products together.
The charter of the combined organization will be to deliver open platforms for Web-oriented architecture, spanning identity, applications servers, databases and application integration, Padir said. With the unification of teams, Sun's strategy remains the same to achieve ubiquitous distribution of innovative, easy-to-use, highly scalable, open-source-based application platforms to gain both market share and drive software revenue growth.
When MySQL's release was pushed back for several months, and when its release included a number of troublesome bugs that prompted complaints from Widenius, the picture darkened a bit.
It is going to take a lot of hard work for Sun to focus peoples attention on building and growing momentum behind MySQL, which didnt have the best first year under Sun thanks to delays to MySQL 5.1 and disputes about its quality, said Matt Aslett, an analyst with The 451 Group. There are indications that changes are already under way to make the development process more open and ensure that delays are not repeated.
Sun responded with the contention that not everyone in the MySQL community shared Widenius view, and that the bugs were being worked on. Sun officials pointed out that there have been 2 million downloads of MySQL 5.1 since its general availability, and that a recent update included fixes for dozens of bugs, Prince writes.
We respect and share Monty's desire to be very conservative in not shipping a product before it's ready.
To be fair, however, we had stringent requirements and tests for the quality of this release, and many different people both inside and outside Sun agreed that MySQL 5.1 was ready to ship, said an anonymous company spokesman.
Prince observes that the pay off of the $1 billion investment is still up for debate and the answers depend on whom you ask.
There was no clear strategy that showed how MySQL will be integrated with the overall Sun strategy or how to approach the enterprise market, said Noel Yuhanna, an analyst with Forrester Research. Although, Sun has never been a database company, the expectations were set high. I believe that MySQL got buried among the other offerings from Sun.
On the other hand, Gartner analyst Donald Feinberg comments that, There has been an increase in the number of developers, and 5.1 has some very strong features, he said. The core engine [OS distro] is getting better and increasing adoption. So I am not so sure that a couple of people leaving is so bad.
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