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MySQL Acquires SAP's Open-Source Database

By Larry Dignan  |  Posted 2003-05-27 Print this article Print

MySQL AB will take over SAP's open-source database effort, merging the code to create an enterprise edition under a new brand name.

MySQL AB said Tuesday it will take over SAP's open-source database effort, merging the code to create an enterprise edition under a new brand name.

MySQL, an open-source database developer based Sweden, will become a partner of SAP for marketing the technology. MySQL gets the commercial rights to SAP's open-source database, dubbed SAP DB. The SAP DB will be renamed and be provided under the General Public License (GPL). The new name has not been chosen.

Meanwhile, MySQL will offer corporations a commercial license for the SAP DB for companies that may want to resell the database or not comply with the GPL rules. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Given SAP's silence about its open-source database plans, the deal doesn't come as a total surprise. At recent meetings with investors, SAP executives neglected to mention the open-source database. The SAP DB has primarily been used in Europe, but had few customers in the United States.

SAP and MySQL said they will work together to jointly build the next generation of MySQL open-source database. SAP had been developing its open-source database, but customers weren't biting—even if it would theoretically save them money.

MySQL CEO Marten Mikos says he thinks his company will have better luck with enterprise customers, but notes it will take time. According to Mikos, corporate customers have become believers of open source, but still want validation from a major vendor.

"We have a public endorsement from SAP and it only supports four major databases," says Mickos. "We consider ourselves to be the fourth. It's just a matter of time before it reaches the commercial side."

With the SAP DB in the fold, MySQL will broaden its product line. MySQL will offer three database products: MySQL Classic, used primarily for Web sites; MySQL Pro, featuring high performance database transaction support; and the renamed SAP DB, which will be MySQL's SAP-certified database targeting for SAP R/3 customers, generally large enterprises.

MySQL said it will offer the SAP DB under a new name by the fourth quarter of 2003. SAP will support the database initially before evolving to a "tiered" approach with MySQL.

Business Editor
Larry formerly served as the East Coast news editor and Finance Editor at CNET News.com. Prior to that, he was editor of Ziff Davis Inter@ctive Investor, which was, according to Barron's, a Top-10 financial site in the late 1990s. Larry has covered the technology and financial services industry since 1995, publishing articles in WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, The New York Times, and Financial Planning magazine. He's a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.
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