22 February 2006

MySQL buys InterBase fork-ish?

The ibFirebird people are speculating about MySQL’s acquisition of 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.

So... looks like some new toys under the hood for MySQL over the next year or so. From where I stand, it looks like a match made in heaven. The features of MySQL and Firebird seem to complement each other reasonably well across the board, so if Jim has improved Firebird, he can undoubtedly boost MySQL along similar lines.

One other snippet from the article surprised me:

Market researcher Evans reported early in 2005 that MySQL was used by 40% of developers, immediately followed by Firebird with 39%.

I guess Firebird’s PR department is a little smaller than MySQL’s?

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