I had a debate a few weeks back with a Microsoft value-added reseller. We were discussing the merits (or the lack thereof) of open source software in the business world. The general consensus on one side was that businesses need Microsoft and the VARs because open source software is undependable, and businesses need the support. My contention was a number of OS products are in fact quite dependable, and support is readily available. “What is a company going to do if their data processing system crashes?” was met with “If a company has a complicated system, won’t they have a sys admin and a DBA?”.
I’ve always been a fan of open source – I don’t buy into the FUD. And I’m glad others see value in the excellent projects that have come out of the concept. The latest “others” means Sun, who is now buying MySQL for a cool billion.
I use MySQL on the server which powers this blog. I also use it right on my OS X-powered notebook, for the purpose of performing data crunching/analysis tasks that a spreadsheet just can’t handle. A small pile of MySQL and third-party tools make working with it a snap. Neither are particularly good representation of scalable, reliable use in business, but then again I’m no DBA either. Hence, I’d love to hear of some super-sized applications the MySQL database is being used in, and would be particularly interested if anyone is using it in process intensive application like ERP.
I’m also hoping for another thing – that Sun keeps MySQL free.
UPDATE: Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, has more.