MySQL is promoting its open source database as a viable, more affordable alternative to products from Oracle, IBM and the other top database suppliers.
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The Swedish company boasts 4 million installations of its product worldwide, many of which are at small businesses and government agencies that have downloaded the software for free. It claims to have 4,000 paying customers, including such names as Google, Yahoo and Cisco Systems, which has embedded MySQL in some of its networking products.
MySQL has what it calls a dual licensing strategy. Customers can download its software for free, in which case they are required to make any improvements they make freely available to others, in a traditional open source model. If they pay for the software, they can keep their modifications private.
Its goals for the coming year are to evolve its database with new features and better performance, to partner with more applications and tools suppliers to expand the ecosystem around MySQL, and to add new support, training and certification services for customers, said Marten Mickos, the company's chief executive officer.
"Performance is always number one. MySQL is and shall be the fastest performing database. We'll always keep that our number one priority," he said.
The product lacks many features found in products from the leading database suppliers and it sees a role for itself alongside databases from those suppliers in what are already heterogeneous database environments.
"It's analogous to what's happening with Linux. Everybody says they're switching to Linux, but the reality is that most companies run it in a mixed environment where they also have mainframes and they also have Windows and Unix," Mickos said.