SAP signs open-source database deal

Business applications supplier SAP is partnering with open source database maker MySQL, which could, ultimately, allow enterprise...

Business applications supplier SAP is partnering with open source database maker MySQL, which could, ultimately, allow enterprise resource application customers to deploy Linux and similar technology as the choice for their databases.

"MySQL will have stewardship of the product," said Faheem Ahmed, director of market strategy and collaborative solutions at SAP. That means MySQL development and management tools will be able to work with SAP, ultimately helping to cut down on the cost of administration.

SAP will continue to support existing and new SAP DB installations, and MySQL will assist in future tasks such as developing application programming interfaces and testing SAP DB to ensure that it remains true to industry standards.

According to Martin Mickos, chief executive officer of MySQL, SAP DB will be renamed and marketed by his company by the third quarter of the year, and both products will interoperate.

He said the changes will also allow MySQL to exploit some of SAP DB's technologies and slash the time to market for features in the MySQL product.

In terms of open-source support, SAP is putting itself ahead of rivals such as PeopleSoft, which recently announced Linux support for its product line, said Stacey Quandt, an analyst at Forrester Research.

The deal allow MySQL to support features already familiar to SAP users and give customers more choices when selecting a database to support their ERP applications, said Quandt.

For instance, rather than going with Oracle's more expensive database, they can use Linux. This also builds on SAP's commitment to open-source, which has been in place since 1999.

Marc L Songini writes for IDG News Service

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