Today it became generally known that MySQL has aquired a company called Netfrastructure. This company offers a product which is a reimplementation of the Firebird database architecture, combined with a web-based application server front end. It was designed by Jim Starkey in the late nineties and combines a database, a custom java virtual machine and a web server. Jim Starkey is also the principal author of Datatrieve, Rdb/ELN and InterBase, which became Firebird after being open-sourced in 2000.
Since the aquisition of InnoDB, by Oracle, MySQL has been in a difficult position: InnoDB was the centre piece of its 5.0 release. It has been discussed extensively in the Firebird community that MySQL should make a strategic move and use Firebird as its enterprise level relational/transactional engine.
MySQL chose this path — in a round-about sort of way — by making the aquisition of Netfrastructure and hiring Jim Starky, owner of Netfrastructure. Jim had recently been contributing to the Firebird project, under contract by one of the project’s sponsoring companies.
This move by MySQL validates that Firebird has the most mature and featured full open source code base and seems to indicate that the MySQL database product will be moving in similar paths from now on. MySQL also stands a lot to gain from the fact that the Firebird project has about 50 developers working on this architecture and helping to drive it into the future. The Firebird project gains from a well-known name and large sales force introducing its technology to customers world-wide.
Market researcher Evans reported early in 2005 that MySQL was used by 40% of developers, immediately followed by Firebird with 39%. The acquisition means that the Firebird architecture will be the most popular on the planet with a very large margin.
A lot of work will probably need to go into getting MySQL and the technology behind Netfrastructure to work together. A lot of testing will also be needed since, due to the low number of deployments of Netfrastructure, its finesses remain largely unproven.
It will be interesting to see how MySQL clients will react to this move and the eventual downgrade of InnoDB support. Will they wait until MySQL completes the Netfrastructure port, or will they choose to move to Firebird directly?
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Jim Starkey, the original creator of InterBase which became Firebird, just made it publicly known that he now works for MySQL AB.
My company, Netfrastructure, Inc., has been acquired by MySQL, AB. As
part of the agreement, I will be working full time for MySQL. I expect
to lurk on the architecture list from time to time and may contribute
the occasional wolf-o-gram, but I will not be taking an active part in
Firebird development. Although Ann will work for MySQL, part time,
translating from wolf to English, she will continue to be active in the
My decision to join MySQL has almost nothing to do with Firebird and everything to do with Netfrastructure. The Netfrastructure platform represents what I feel about contemporary computing hardware and future application requirements, and has been the center of my technical heart and soul for six year. Some aspects of Netfrastructure technology have already been contributed to the Vulcan project, but Firebird and Netfrastructure are architecturally incompatible. An attempt to integrate the technologies would be unlikely to meet the goals of either project.
MySQL and Firebird have never seen each other as competitors and I doubt this will change in the future. The projects have different open source philosophies, different technologies, different customer bases, and different sweet spots. The ideas behind the two projects are, happily, public and available to all. If MySQL and Firebird compete, it is only competition in offering the best possible support to their respective customers.
I am pleased to have had the opportunity to finish the Vulcan project. The combination of Vulcan SMP and architecture combined the rich feature set of Firebird 2 will make a solid release and a superb platform for future development.
I wish the Firebird project all the best in years to come. And if you need an opinion, please feel free to call.
Site editor note: Is this your first contact with Firebird? I invite you to read the “Get to know Firebird in 2 minutes” paper and find out why Firebird is so special!
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Real revolutions, the ones that last, are often quiet ones.
They aren’t shocking. They don’t rock the world. They just change the world so slowly that it’s only when you wake up one day and think about it, you realize the world isn’t the same anymore.
SearchOpenSource has an interview with Douglas Levin, CEO of Waltham. Levin has been working behind the scenes with prospective open source vendor buyers and sellers. “I think that Oracle will make other acquisitions through the year, to get into new markets, acquire new customers and acquire technologies that enable them to leverage new technologies in their installed customer base.“
Read more here
“I’m a fan of del.icio.us because it allows me to seamlessly access my bookmars from whichever computer I am currently logged in to. A comment in a posting on this blog some time ago, brought my attention to Scuttle, an Open Source version of del.icio.us written in PHP. Scuttle is currently available in version 0.6.0. The underlying database into which scuttle stores users and bookmarks, can be any of MySQL, Oracle, Postgres, SqLite, DB2, Firebird, and a couple others”
Read more on Jan-Piet’s blog
Upscene Productions is proud to announce the next version of the popular logging/auditing suite for InterBase and Firebird:
IB LogManager supports Borland InterBase ( 5.x – 7.x ) and Firebird ( 1.x, 2.0 )
Main changes in this release:
- Firebird 2.0 support
- Totally revamped GUI
- Improved Prepare-Wizard
- Minor enhancements
- Proper support for newly introduced keywords as object names
More information: http://www.upscene.com/news/20060216.htm
The February edition of the brazilian magazine “Pequenas Empresas/Grandes Negócios” (Small companies/Great business) brings an article in the technology section that gives some tips about choosing a database. Firebird is among the listed options.
As open-source databases have grown in popularity among large enterprises and small and midsize businesses alike, many CIOs have taken a closer look at the savings associated with switching to these noncommercial alternatives.
Despite the attractive prices that are drawing more CIOs to open-source applications such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, traditional software Relevant Products/Services from Insight vendors have not exactly thrown in the towel. Some — including Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM — are fighting back by releasing free, scaled-down versions of their fully featured database products in the hopes that customers might one day upgrade.
But the question remains: Does it make good business sense to pay for a commercial database product when well-established, open-source versions pose enticing alternatives? A growing migration away from commercial software suggests that, for many customers, it does not.
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First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.
by Mahatma Gandhi.
http://xrl.us/j2jd (Link to www.computerweekly.com)