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What an IBM-Sun Merger Might Mean For Java, MySQL, Developers 292

Posted by timothy
from the get-our-your-auguring-tools dept.
An IBM-Sun merger is a tantalyzing possibility; snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister suggests that an IBM/Sun merger could crown Big Blue king of enterprise software development. 'Acquiring Sun would make IBM the clear leader in Java, as it would become the caretaker of the open source reference implementation of the JRE,' which, along with GlassFish, would become entry-level gateways to IBM's WebSphere stack. Moreover, MySQL would give IBM's database division a significant entry-level hook, and NetBeans/Eclipse would unify IBM's front against Visual Studio. 'All in all, this move would solidify IBM's role as "the developer company,"' McAllister writes. 'In other words, if this merger goes through and you're an enterprise developer and you're not an IBM customer now, get ready — because you soon will be. Better bring your wallet.'" And blackbearnh writes with a short interview with Brian Aker (who came to Sun as MySQL's director of architecture, and is now the lead for MySQL fork Drizzle) about what life would be like under Big Blue's control.
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What an IBM-Sun Merger Might Mean For Java, MySQL, Developers

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  • sir. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by unity100 (970058) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:54PM (#27346943) Homepage Journal

    if mysql dies a slow painful death, it would die alongside ibm's reputation and credibility amongst the i.t. community. especially web developers.

    i dont need to remind you that how big a momentum does the new 'online communities' concept that are built on mysql has nowadays, and the domineering place they are gaining in our online social interaction.

    internet is future, 'the people' online are its embodiment, and web developers are their servicemen.

  • Re:Too big to fail. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:03PM (#27347093) Journal

    The problem here isn't Democrat or Republican (after all, it was a Republican president who signed off on the first big money toss), the problem here is that no one has the balls to say what needs to be said "A company that's too big to fail should never be permitted to exist." We need a new generation of trust busters who would be empowered to forcibly bust up companies that got too big.

  • by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:36PM (#27347639) Homepage Journal

    Since 5.0 Netbeans has made tremendous improvements and now the combination of Glassfish and Netbeans is a powerhouse for J2EE development. That is real competition for Websphere Studio which costs a heck of a lot of money.

    With EJB3, using EJB's even for smaller projects, using the full J2EE stack is reasonable. The complexity and performance overhead of EJBs is no longer a problem and it makes it very easy to deploy restful web services.

    There's a great video on the matter from an independent developer at CommunityOne east recently. You can see the video here [sun.com]. When you get to that page click on the link for Video: Netbeans 6.7 and Glassfish v3. It's the third video.

    My favorite quote was about which one is better, Netbeans or Eclipse. The answer was IdeaJ but it's not free :)

  • Horrible article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jonboy X (319895) <jonathan...oexner@@@alum...wpi...edu> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:38PM (#27347685) Journal

    Wow. Just...wow. All IBM gets out of the deal is the Java name. All the other assets are basically bogus, which the market has already figured out.

    1. Glassfish is still pretty much a toy, as far as J2EE app servers go. If users want free, they go with JBoss. If they wanna pay money for scalability and features and support, they already go with IBM's WebSphere.
    2. IDE's don't bring in money for consulting companies. Besides, Eclipse has been the standard for Java development for so long and by such a wide margin that it's barely even a debate except among industry wags. Also...Java IDE's don't compete with Visual Studio. Sheesh!
    3. MySQL is great and all, but if someone's using it, they're probably doing so to *avoid* high consulting and licensing fees.

    InfoWorld hits another high score in tech buzzword bingo, but misses the point completely...

  • Re:Visual Studio? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FishWithAHammer (957772) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:46PM (#27347879)

    I'd love to see a C# plugin for NetBeans, personally. NetBeans 6.5 is the first release I'd call almost as good as Visual Studio (I can't stand Eclipse, personally), and there's not much work left to make it a genuine competitor for what I use it for. I'm already looking at moving my C++ development over to it. Having an .NET plugin would seal the deal for me.

    (It can't be any worse than MonoDevelop...)

  • Re:Pipedream??? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:49PM (#27347923)

    For the most part I don't really understand all the hatred being expressed against IBM. What realistic alternatives are there?

    1. Sun continues its downward spiral into irrelevance and insolvency. Eventually it goes bankrupt and its assets are sold off to the highest bidders.
    Bad for obvious reasons. No one would want to see that.
    2. Sun gets bought out by another company, say HP or Oracle.
    It would be hard to argue that HP or Oracle would be a better owner than IBM, assuming they could even afford it. If Sun is going to get bought out, IBM is probably the best choice. IBM has a much better track record of supporting Open Source than any other old-school company except Sun itself, and heck, IBM already sells Solaris servers [ibm.com], so they would not kill it off for AIX or Linux. Sure they might do something like GPL Solaris technologies in order to get them into Linux, but really who would think this is a bad thing except the zealots?
    3. Sun voluntarily splits itself up into separate companies (Java, Solaris, OpenOffice, MySql, etc).
    Probably the best option for the technologies involved, but it would never happen because the current management would essentially be admitting their own failure. It also might spell bad news for stuff like OpenOffice and OpenSolaris, since they may not end up with a "sugar daddy" to finance development work.

  • Re:IBM = No service (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:55PM (#27348083) Homepage Journal

    More importantly, what has IBM open sourced?

    Sun has open sourced more of their own code than IBM has. Actually, Sun probably has open sourced more lines of code than anyone for that matter.

    For large organizations, such as Sun and IBM, that have licensing agreements for parts of their technology, open sourcing a closed source project is not a trivial matter.

    There's still a bit at Sun that was supposed to be open sourced that hasn't. Will IBM continue this? Will they put the same amount of effort into Sun's current open source projects? This is what worries me. Some of Sun's important open source projects compete with IBM's open and closed products.

    The acquisition of Sun would have to transform the mindset of IBM. The open source gameplan [youtube.com] that Jonathan Schwartz outlined in his video blogs seems like a good one, but if they get eaten up by IBM, I don't know if that plan will be able to be set in motion. It seems that when IBM acquires someone, the acquired company becomes more like IBM and not the other way around.

    It's not just about open source though. Sun has been creating a lot of great hardware. The CMT chip based servers are awesome. The Ranger super computer is a great example of what you can do with their massive infiniband switch.

    The billions of dollars they would spend to acquire sun would be worth it just to get Andy Bechtolsheim in my opinion.

    The current economic crisis has made Sun a great bargain for those that can afford to acquire it.

    Netbeans/Eclipse is going to be strange and I really hope that Netbeans doesn't die.

    AIX/Solaris seems easy. IBM would be stupid to kill Solaris. AIX would likely be put on legacy support. Solaris may even become the default OS for IBM's new mainframes.

    Power/Sparc would have to consolidate and with IBM/Sum/Fujitsu working together you might see some even more impressive risc servers coming out.

    OpenOffice.org will continue because IBM uses it as a base for Lotus Symphony. StarOffice may die or get wrapped up in Symphony.

    Glassfish might be tough. Competes with WebSphere and IBM has been more behind Apache's Geronimo app server I think.

    I think Sun's blades might be very appealing to IBM.

    As for Java, I'm more comfortable with it being under Sun than IBM. For all the press IBM has had over the SCO trial, I don't see them as good of an open source company as Sun. I can't remember the details right now, but there were some Apache projects, as well as OpenOffice.org where IBM wasn't really sending stuff upstream. The license in those cases didn't require it, but I still think it says alot, especially considering the financial benefits IBM has received from those projects.

  • SPARC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob Riggs (6418) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @04:06PM (#27348279) Homepage Journal

    I'm more interested in what IBM will do with the SPARC processor and Solaris, and how that affects Fujitsu [fujitsu.com].

  • Re:Too big to fail. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @05:04PM (#27349281) Journal

    it's worse than business as usual.

    US Bancorp CEO Richard Davis's comments [twincities.com] on TARP:

    "I will say this very bluntly: We were told to take it. Not asked, told. 'You will take it,' " Davis said. "It doesn't matter if you were there on the first night and you were told to sign on the dotted line before you walked out of the office, or whether in the days that followed, you were told to take it."

    "We were told to take it so that we could help Darwin synthesize the weaker banks and acquire those and put them under different leadership," he said. "We are not even allowed to mention that. ... We were supposed to say the TARP money was used for lending."

    Northern Trust (remember them from one of Barney Frank's tantrums?) got sick of complaints for sponsoring a charity golf tournament, so they're in the process of returning [northerntrust.com] TARP money they didn't need and were told to take. (Some other banks are returning the money as well).

    Bank of America agreed to buy Merril Lynch, but tried to back out after discovering they had been cooking their books. Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson made [financialweek.com] them complete the acquisistion (and put up additional money and loan guarantees).

    JP Morgan acquired Bear Stearns and WaMu. Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia. BoA also acquired countrywide.

    TARP was proposed and approved as a plan to purchase junk mortgages. In reality, it's turned big banks even bigger.

    The money was given to banks so they could loan it? Not exactly.

    Banks sold preferred shares to the government in exchange for preferred shares (which pay a dividend and are first in line in the event of a bankruptcy). Since the money isn't free, they need to loan it out, right?

    Of course, AIG and Citibank couldn't make those payments, so that preferred stock was reorganized to regular non-preferred, non-dividend paying stock.

    And AIG? You know where the bonus money went, but the rest is a mystery. They're basically laundering it to other banks (many of them in Europe).

  • Re:Too big to fail. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @05:13PM (#27349425) Homepage Journal
    The problem was deregulation. The United States learned some pretty hard lessons, along with the rest of the world, in 1929. Laws were crafted to regulate the financial sector as a result of the great crash of 1929. About, oh, 50 years later, Modern Math students who had worked their way up the various ladders started dismantling those regulations. Net result, by the year 2000, people were buying and selling securities, stocks, and bonds on the market, ON CREDIT. Not to mention, futures (gasoline, among others). IF WE WERE TO re-examine the regulations that were in place in - oh - let's take 1960 - and put them back into place, intact, almost all the abuse would be eliminated. This is not to suggest that the market would be fixed overnight - I only suggest that things would stop going downhill, and that things would begin improving. Slowly, maybe, but they would improve.
  • by vic-traill (1038742) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @05:33PM (#27349807)

    Here's your citation. XyWrite

    But IBM never acquired XyWrite, did they? Although, IIRC, they screwed XyQuest and left them holding the bag when IBM bailed. Can I find a citation? [ ... on hold music here ... ] Here 'tis: http://yesss.freeshell.org/x/_xywhat.htm [freeshell.org]

    Too bad - I was a XyWrite fan.

  • by gorb (1166959) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @06:38PM (#27350623)
    Blue Sun
  • Re:Too big to fail. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @07:07PM (#27351019) Homepage Journal

    I share your dislike of mergers, but...

    Sun failing would be fine for the market. Lots of small companies would jump in to take its place.

    Like who? Most of Sun's customers are big corporate and research entities that have no interest in dealing with anybody who doesn't have a huge sales, distribution, and support operation. If they can't buy from Sun, they won't turn to a white box company. They'll turn to IBM, HP, or Dell.

  • Re:IBM = No service (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:01PM (#27351991) Homepage Journal

    Until recently IBM had made orders of magnitude greater contributions to the Open Source community than Sun.

    Prove it. There was an EU study in 2006 that analyzed the corporate contributions to Debian. Sun was the largest with about 4 times the peron months attributed to it than IBM who came in second place.

    That's only what came with Debian and doesn't count open sourcing Solaris or Java or any of the other projects they recently open sourced.

    A different view is this old post from Ben Rockwood [cuddletech.com] that they contribute equally but in different ways. Even if that were true, that's like your rich friend and really really rich friend donating the same amount of money to charity.

    I think IBM gets way too much credit because they got sued by SCO. Remember. IBM didn't come in to save Linux because SCO sued Linux, SCO sued IBM.

    I've switched over to Netbeans a long time ago. One of the reasons I like open source software is because it's free. Doing mainly web development and sometimes swing apps, Netbeans rocks and I don't have to buy any plugins to do what I need.

  • Re:Visual Studio? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27, 2009 @08:50AM (#27356487)

    You know it's funny you wont win a popularity contest around here stating the Visual Studio is a superior IDE, such as being intuitive and tight integration with the server platform. I was just having this conversation with a fellow developer the other day. Being a recent convert to Netbeans, I was talking to him about how it is one of the first Java IDE's that rivals Visual Studio and that seems to just work and not get in the way. Such as its integration with Glassfish, Tomacat and the rest of the jee servers, as well as the fact that by default, it sets up all of your ant build scripts, so when you move out of development your build manager does not have to build a bunch of build scripts that the developers failed to write. Some of the tools such as the persistence wizards for JPA, allow a developer to create a database persistable object, with a few button clicks not to mention the JAX-RS integration you can go from the database to entity class out to a RESTfull service on the internet without having to write any boilerplate code. I just have not seen this kind of clarity in Eclipse, it seems that they only did jee server integration once it was required or they would loose the market. Yet RAD had integration with the app servers since it was WSAD. I am sorry but IBM does a lot of crippleware open source, they build the lite version and open source it and then charge for the one you really need to get your job done, while gleefully taking user contributions to the lite version and incorporation it into their full product. I am sorry but I am not a fan of a shareware sales strategy for open source. The worst part is they will dump Glassfish for that turd Websphere people keep hypothesizing that they will use Glassfish as their entry level offering but that would be hard when you entry level is superior to your enterprise offering.

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