Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, is a quotable man this week. Oracle saw to that by acquiring Sleepycat, on the heels of its prior acquisition of Innobase. Basically, his message is rah-rah open source, he really truly can compete with Oracle on functionality, but of course as a practical matter Oracle probably is locking in its application customers to its DBMS, including customers from the Siebel and Peoplesoft acquisitions. That makes sense. It’s consistent with what I’ve been hearing from SAP. I now think that the quotes elsewhere suggesting he wasn’t serious about powering ERP software at all were misunderstandings. He just recognizes that the ERP software MySQL will power will largely be SAP’s.
As I’ve previously noted, the expectation is that MySQL will wind up getting share in SAP’s customer base. At least, the expectation is that their technology will be good enough to do so. The business reasons for SAP to favor this outcome are of course pretty obvious. Almost the only remaining question is whether SAP will back MySQL with great force, or whether it will divide its love between MySQL and its own inhouse DBMS product MaxDB.