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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Colin's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

We're only 16 days into the new year and already two important acquisitions have occurred: Oracle acquired BEA for $7.85 billion and Sun acquired MySQL for $1 billion.

The Oracle acquisition of BEA is no surprise. The battle for the infrastructure market is now clearly between Oracle and IBM, with Microsoft, SAP and Sun watching from the sidelines. One interesting aspect of the BEA acquisition is that Oracle now has four portal products. I am glad I'm not an Oracle salesperson!

Sun's proposed acquisition of open source database vendor MySQL was more of a surprise. To date, Sun has not been a database player. MySQL is the most popular open source database products on the market, and it is used by several major Web players including Google and Facebook. MySQL claims that 100 million copies of the product has been downloaded and that an additional 50,000 copies are downloaded daily.

The risk for any open source user is that the software can be acquired by a commercial company. The open source license usually ensures that the product source code remains freely available up to the development level at the time of acquisition. Sun says they will continue to develop the product on multiple platforms including Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and OpenSolaris. Given Sun's commitment to open source (e.g., OpenSolaris, Java System Portal Server/OpenPortal, Glassfish application server) there is no reason to disbelieve them.

One interesting aspect of the MySQL acquisition is that Oracle owns InnoDB, which is a storage engine for MySQL. InnoDB is not a standalone product: it is distributed with MySQL. InnoDB has a contractual relationship with MySQL. It will be interesting to see what happens here.

Posted January 16, 2008 8:02 AM
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