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Oracle Sun Microsystems

European Commission Approves Oracle-Sun Merger 144

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the chomp-chomp-chomp dept.
rubycodez writes "The anti-trust body of the EU, the European Commission, has approved Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, believing competition would be preserved. It saw PostgreSQL as a viable independent alternative to MySQL and that market access to Java would not be restricted. Uncertainty about Sun's future has cost over a billion dollars in lost sales in the past year."
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European Commission Approves Oracle-Sun Merger

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  • by MikeV (7307) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:05AM (#30845994)

    Oracle is sure to kill or marginalize MySQL. Rest in peace my old friend.

    • Oracle bought BerkeleyDB and it is still doing fine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by argent (18001)

        Berkeley DB has zero overlapping market with Oracle DB.

        • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:07PM (#30846804) Homepage
          Why should Oracle change anything? MySQL is doing well. It'd be better not to rock the boat and just sell loads of support for it rather than scare away people that likely won't ever go for Oracle and kill MySQL.
          • Very true. Just because I like Oracle doesn't mean I can magically make its cost OK'd by Management. So I use MySQL and SQL Server instead.
        • by ishobo (160209)

          The same is true of MySQL.

          • by argent (18001)

            The version of MySQL that Oracle can even potentially shut down, the dual-licensed one you pay for, does.

            Sure, people who are happy with the GPL version aren't going to be using Oracle... but that version is out of Oracle's control.

            (yes, I know that right now both of these are the same code base)

            • by ishobo (160209)

              You do not understand the database market. Oracle's competition includes products such as SQL Server, DB2, etc. What would be classified as enterprise level, where companies have large and critical data needs. MySQL is not in the same ballpark.

              • by argent (18001)

                I would personally agree that MySQL is not of the same quality as even PostgreSQL, but people ARE using it for business- and performance- critical applications regardless of its shortcomings.

                • by drsmithy (35869)

                  I would personally agree that MySQL is not of the same quality as even PostgreSQL, but people ARE using it for business- and performance- critical applications regardless of its shortcomings.

                  But no-one doing so would have considered Oracle as an alternative. Ergo, no overlap.

                  • by argent (18001)

                    But no-one doing so would have considered Oracle as an alternative. Ergo, no overlap.

                    I dearly wish you were right, but I've been to the meetings where decisions like this were made.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        No, it's effectively dead. No one I've worked with in 5 years has started a project with Berkeley DB: every use of it that I've dealt with has been migrated to new systems, usually MySQL. And many of the lightweight uses of it, such as RPM databases and Subversion, have thrown it out with extreme prejudice in favor of SQLite. Oracle bought BerkeleyDB in time to harvest its good ideas and throw it onto the "support it by migrating to something that works better", and simplify the market to their own advantag

    • by keithjr (1091829)
      That would be fairly stupid of them. You don't survive as a company for so long as Oracle has by making those kind of decisions.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by MikeV (7307)

        You don't survive long as a company by having competing products in your line-up. MySQL has been a thorn in Oracle's side for a long time. Now they get to exploit the user-base, getting them over to their entry-level db and upgrading some to their enterprise level db all the while gradually shuffling MySQL into the background.

    • by jmerlin (1010641)
      Time to get our forks ready tbqh. What's odd is the latest GA install of community server on mysql.com doesn't work on win7 64bit. I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't work on 32bit either, though 5.5 and a slightly older 5.1 work fine. Coincidence, or a glimpse of the future?
      • What's odd is the latest GA install of community server on mysql.com doesn't work on win7 64bit.

        Nil? Because Oracle wouldn't do something to lose themselves customers and revenue?

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:17AM (#30846164)

      Oracle is sure to kill or marginalize MySQL. Rest in peace my old friend.

      I don't know about that. If I was running Oracle, I would do three things: gradually modify MySQL to make it easier to transition from MySQL to Oracle, market MySQL heavily as a lightweight, easy databse for companies and organizations that can't justify the cost of Oracle for their database needs, develop and market a for pay support structure for MySQL that easily transitions to Oracle if the database gets big and complicated enough to justify the transition (and train the support staff to not transition anybody until they really got significant benefit from the transition.

      • ...I would do three things: gradually modify MySQL to make it easier to transition from MySQL to Oracle, market MySQL heavily as a lightweight, easy databse for companies and organizations that can't justify the cost of Oracle for their database needs...

        Have you ever tried to migrate anything from MySQL to Oracle? They are *so* different. It would take *years* to get MySQL to a point where such a transition would even be considered by companies wanting to switch.

        Granted, migrating from any database to

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:25PM (#30847060) Journal
          Well, not necessarily. MySQL has two parts, the front end and the storage engine. The storage engine is pluggable, and the front end is where all of the weirdness lives. Now that Oracle owns the copyright on MySQL, they are not bound by the GPL when modifying or distributing it, so they can create a MySQL personality for Oracle that will use its native storage (and maybe query optimisation engine in some cases) on the back end. The MySQL client would still think it was talking to a MySQL database, but would really be talking to Oracle via a translation layer.
          • Mod parent up. This would be a win for everyone.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by war4peace (1628283)
            Agreed. it would be the proper way to go. As a matter of fact, this is not the first time this sort of translation is being made available by Oracle.
          • by cez (539085)
            Also, I'd like to point out that for those who didn't know, ORACLE already has owned and maintained in a black box the main Transactional Storage Engine of MySQL, InnoDB.
      • Why go through the expense of Oracle-ing MySQL when the product you describe is already in the portfolio: http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/xe/index.html [oracle.com]
        • by Rhaban (987410)

          Because of the huge userbase mysql has, compared to oracle express edition where 50% of users have tried it once and dropped it, while the other one is an oracle employee?

    • Then Monty Wideanus should have bought back the copyrights to MySQL to preserve its fate. Otherwise it was just a bunch of butthurt on his part after cashing in for a billion dollars.

    • by rhsanborn (773855) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:30AM (#30846342)
      The primary hangup with the EU was the MySQL issue. Oracle didn't hold up 1 Billion dollars in sales with Sun by not giving up MySQL so they could kill MySQL. Releasing or breaking off MySQL would likely have removed all the barriers imposed by the EU and they could have moved along with their lives. They have an interest in MySQL, the question is what.
    • by Xest (935314)

      I think that's probably the case too to be honest. Judging by the EU saying PostgreSql is a viable alternative even they accept it's a possibility.

      At the time, as it always does, building an abstraction layer on my projects for database access seemed like one of those things you feel you have to do but might not ever end up being useful.

      But things like this are one of the many reasons we do those sorts of chores- at least a switch to PostgreSql will be amazingly trivial for me on the projects which I've use

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by poetmatt (793785)

      well, I knew MS was deep rooted at slashdot, but I didn't know they employed people in the 7000 UID.

      What's worse, MySQL being kept alive by oracle, or being owned by MS? Oh right, lets decry MySQL supposedly dying.

    • I don't think Oracle will be a problem. However you should look at Postgre because it is good and it will stick to a certain guy who thought he could sell his DB to Sun and get it back for free.

      Ignoring any pettiness though, do check out Postgre. I think it's quite nice.
  • Monty (Score:4, Funny)

    by heffel (83440) <dheffelfinger@@@ensode...net> on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:06AM (#30846004) Homepage Journal

    Monty is going to have a fit.

  • "Oh no, not again!"

  • GlassFish [java.net] competes directly with Oracle AS, and Weblogic (which Oracle acquired through BEA's acquisition a while back).

    NetBeans [netbeans.org] competes directly with Oracle's JDeveloper.

    I wonder if Oracle will keep these tools around. Personally, I think Oracle would be a fool not to. The NetBeans/GlassFish combo is by far the most productive way to develop server side Java Applications.

    • by owlstead (636356)

      From a competition point of view those applications also compete with JBoss and Eclipse / IntelliJ IDEA. I certainly hope that they are preserved. But moving them into Oracle will certainly not limit choice between providers. I presume Oracle will keep at least one application server / EE environment and IDE alive.

      • by heffel (83440)

        I presume Oracle will keep at least one application server / EE environment and IDE alive.

        No doubt Oracle will keep at least one app server/IDE alive, the question is, which one?

        Oracle App Server, Weblogic or GlassFish?

        JDeveloper or NetBeans?

        • I can't belive they'd get rid of Netbeans. It one of the IDEs at the moment. At least it's open source so it can be forked if that happens.
      • I am worried for Netbeans since I've found it to be pleasant to do Java development in. My consolation is that I've heard from most people that JDeveloper is much more geared towards Oracle's own offerings than any of the other Java IDEs. The rest tend to be more general purpose. Hopefully this means that Netbeans will continue being supported even though their press release on the matter was a little bit vague.
    • Hopefully they will keep them around. Both Oracle and IBM pushing Java is a bigger threat to Microsoft than Linux at the moment.

      • Threatening Microsoft is not Oracle's business. Selling Oracle software, servers, and services is.

        Expect MySQL support for large scale customers to be phased out starting... oh, wait, it's already been occurring. The Oracle sales staff have been eager to migrate MySQL customers, and now they have Sun's client list to work on. And they've been encouraging migration since the sale started. Not without cause, and it often makes sense for large customers.

    • by Xest (935314)

      Yeah, I'd really miss Netbeans, it's definitely my favourite IDE after Visual Studio on any platform and my first choice for Java development also.

    • by Aceticon (140883)

      The biguest competition against Oracle Weblogic (formerly BEA Weblogic) in the J2EE Application Server space is Websphere by IBM, not GlassFish.

      The mostly widelly used IDE for Java development is Eclipse (which is open source), NetBeans is not even a second, maybe a far 3rd or worse.

      I've been working professionally with Java for 12 years and I can't see how anybody can see GlassFish or NetBeans as at all important in the Java space: the truth is that while Sun's Java language and standard libraries are quit

      • I'd say Netbeans is gaining popularity. The issue is Eclipse started off with a big lead and people don't just up and leave their IDEs over night and their company may dictate what they can use.

        Netbeans runs better, imo, and it's slowly adding more support for languages like PHP and Python and it does a good job with them.

        I fully expect Netbeans to take off with PHP devs and if they keep going as they are then slowly it'll gain users amongst java devs too.
        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @01:42PM (#30848244) Journal

          The big deal with NetBeans is that it's an all-in-one package - you get it and JDK, and you're all set to go for any kind of Java development you can possibly think of - be it a desktop Swing application, a J2EE web app, a midlet, or whatever. In that, it's rather similar to Visual Studio.

          With Eclipse, you don't even get a decent visual UI editor out of the box. Of course, you can find Eclipse plugins to do everything NetBeans can do, but that's precisely the point - you have to find them first, occasionally you have to pay for the good ones, too, and quite often you have to decide which one out of N options you want to use (just look at the list of available UI editors...). With NetBeans, the choice has been made for you, so you can just use it in blissful ignorance. This is particularly helpful for beginner programmers, since they can just take NetBeans and not worry about anything else.

          In short, Eclipse is like Debian, while NetBeans is like SUSE. These are different niches, and both are good to have.

    • by ExE122 (954104) *

      GlassFish competes directly with Oracle AS, and Weblogic (which Oracle acquired through BEA's acquisition a while back).

      NetBeans competes directly with Oracle's JDeveloper.

      I wonder if Oracle will keep these tools around. Personally, I think Oracle would be a fool not to. The NetBeans/GlassFish combo is by far the most productive way to develop server side Java Applications.

      I agree, and I don't think Oracle will be pulling the plug on these. Some of these technologies might get integrated, and some will probably just continue on.

      Look at how they've handled BEA. They have silently admitted that WebLogic is superior, but are still integrating it with some components of OAS to make an even better product. I think we can probably expect something similar with their IDEs.

      As far as Glassfish/MySQL... I really don't think they will get rid of these either. WebLogic/OracleDB

    • Oracle already posted a FAQ [PDF] about its plans many of Sun's products [oracle.com], including those, a while ago, and has more information posted at http://www.oracle.com/sun [oracle.com] with a promise of more details to come in next Wednesday's webcast [oracle.com]. The FAQ says:

      What are Oracle’s plans for the GlassFish Enterprise (Java EE) Server after the transaction closes?

      Oracle plans to continue evolving GlassFish Enterprise Server, delivering it as the open source reference implementation (RI) of the Java Enterprise Edition

    • because glassfish and netbeans don't have the perceived importance of mysql in their respective markets.

      there is not a chance in the world they will be around in the long run. oracle isn't going to duplicate software dev teams to build competing products in house.

  • Rrrreally (Score:2, Redundant)

    by bjourne (1034822)

    Uncertainty about Sun's future has cost over a billion dollars in lost sales in the past year.

    Uh.. Citation needed, uhu.

    • Re:Rrrreally (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:22AM (#30846230)

      Okay [sys-con.com].

      Oracle CEO Larry Ellison claims the European Commission’s prolonged investigation of Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun, which isn’t expected to finish much before the agency’s mid-January deadline, is costing Sun $100 million a month in revenues and a weakened revenue stream will impact how many employees Sun gets to keep if and when the acquisition is approved.

      And this isn't the only citation you can find.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lepidosteus (1102443)
        So the guy who wants the merger to happen as fast as possible claims (threaten ?) that slowing it down cost sun a lot of money and will lead to people getting fired ? That's not exactly unbiased ...
        • It is however fact. If you follow the Sun mailing lists for opensolaris, you'll have seen extremely talented and valuable engineers leaving the company in droves, and not of their own volition.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tgd (2822)

          Making false statements about financials in a public company leads people to spend a fair bit of uncomfortable time in prison.

          If Larry Ellison is making those statements, you can be 100% sure they can be backed up with hard financial data.

    • by afabbro (33948)

      Uncertainty about Sun's future has cost over a billion dollars in lost sales in the past year.

      Uh.. Citation needed, uhu.

      No it isn't. This isn't Wikipedia.

  • Pet Peeve (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:21AM (#30846220) Journal

    "Uncertainty about Sun's future has cost over a billion dollars in lost sales in the past year." No, you can't say that. Last year could have been a really bad year for Sun regardless, they might have only sold 100 Million dollars worth without all this fiasco going on. Not meeting what the accountants project is not "losing sales" but "missing your target".

    Now that the obligatory is out of the way, is this going to be the last I hear about this? Or is someone (name rhymes with Bonty) going to write an angry blog post thats going to get /. front paged? Bound to happen.

    • Re:Pet Peeve (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @12:16PM (#30846924) Homepage
      He's already making noise about trying to slow down the approval process in China and Russia. If he wanted to continue to have any control over his baby, he shouldn't have cashed out. Anyone who has the urge to feel sorry for Monty in any of this should remember just how much money he got for selling MySQL in the first place.
  • by haruchai (17472) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:24AM (#30846262)

    I know that many MySQL folks are antsy about this, but let's face it, this was the best hope for Solaris & related technologies.
    Being swallowed by IBM, I believe, would have led to the swift death of many SUN technologies / divisions. I'm firmly of the opinion
    that IBM's major interest was in acquiring and converting SUN's existing enterprise userbase.

    Of course, they got a good chunk of that practically for free by the EU's foot-dragging.
    I imagine SUN / Oracle have no recourse?

  • MySQL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:24AM (#30846264) Journal

    I doubt Oracle is going to kill or even hamper MySQL. If anything, they will make an Oracle upgrade path that fits like a glove. While MySQL takes away some of Oracle's business, there are things out that that just doesn't need Oracle and companies that just can't afford Oracle DB. It is in Oracle's best interest to empower MySQL so that people don't switch from MySQL to PostgreSQL or other free alternatives. I mean, if I'm Oracle. I want users under my umbrella even if they aren't using my flagship product. If they ever outgrow MySQL, I would (if I were Oracle) want them to look stay with me and upgrade to Oracle DB rather than look else where.

    This is a huge boon for PostgreSQL though as several people will migrate away because of this. I used to use PostgreSQL a lot. The only reason I stopped was once InnoDB really stepped up it did what I needed, and MySQL is just easier to use.

    • Re:MySQL (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rhsanborn (773855) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:34AM (#30846398)
      There are a lot of things that are perfectly suited to MySQL. The problem is when an organization or application grows and suddenly needs redundancy, and all the other fancy, expensive options that Oracle offers. An upgrade path would be brilliant. There is a market for free database software. If Oracle kills MySQL they've done nothing. Everyone can easily switch to Postgres or the branches from MySQL. I suspect that it's in their benefit to let it continue to exist and control the features, and make it upgrade compatible with OracleDB.
  • Will MySQL survive this merger?
  • While it's annoying that something like this had to take ages, I still think it's a good thing that these things are looked into. Far too many deals are done under shady circumstances. At least this one, potentially affecting countless systems around the world in the long run, was scrutinized before given a go-ahead.

  • 50+% of [yesterday's] Sun employees will soon be pounding the streets

    • HR, back office, etc.

      Not the guys that keep the tech alive.

      • by rubycodez (864176)

        man, you have rose colored glasses on, thousands of sun engineers have been given the boot in the past five years.

      • by iggymanz (596061)

        yes, it will be the techies, half of them according to industry analysts. January 27, mark on your calendar, Larry is going to tell what lives and what dies. Funny the dweebs here whining "oh they *can't* kill my crucial-to-the-world Sun thang.....Oracle is a multi-billion dollar company, the market of things such as glassfish or whatever else is chicken shit to them. Fact is Sun has been pissing money for years on things such as Java, never did figure out how to monetize them. So even free Sun Java mig

  • I have worked on projects that have thrown out Oracle in small/medium business setups (before the acquisition) in favor of MySQL. And yes, I do believe that MySQL clustering can be a well performing product. Now, the mistake started with the reliance of the InnoDB engine. What I will miss is the skill of the core MySQL developers (?) to work on non standard engines (like the Federated engine). Oracle makes the big money from large installations. Small to Medium sized demanding businesses have still a lot of
    • Re:MySQL's future (Score:4, Insightful)

      by e4g4 (533831) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:56AM (#30846672)

      I have seen Postgres going horribly wrong, so it is not an option for my production environment

      Can you clarify? I recently (well, a year ago) switched one of our main web apps from MySQL to Postgres (I needed transactional support on large tables (>100 columns) - which made InnoDB useless), and I've never looked back. How does Postgres go "horribly wrong"?

      • by fl!ptop (902193)

        How does Postgres go "horribly wrong"?

        i second your sentiments. i have never had even a blip with postgresql, so i'm interested in knowing what happened as well.

    • by jadavis (473492)

      I have seen Postgres going horribly wrong

      An offhand negative comment with no explanation at all doesn't mean much. That could mean anything from a real problem to forgetting a WHERE clause on your DELETE statement.

  • "lost sales" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @11:38AM (#30846440) Homepage Journal

    Pfft. Same argument as the RIAA about piracy. "We certainly would have made $x bazillion, if only..."

    Please, if you ever want to aspire to anything higher than tabloid journalism, do at the very least two things:
    1 - add the word "estimated" or something to that effect when you're pulling figures out of your (or someone elses) ass
    2 - do not use the word "cost" for lost sales or other imaginary did-not-happen income. Cost is when an expense has happened, i.e. money has been spent. Money that never came in is never a "cost".

    • by homer_s (799572)
      do not use the word "cost" for lost sales or other imaginary did-not-happen income. Cost is when an expense has happened, i.e. money has been spent. Money that never came in is never a "cost".

      The "money that never came in" is not the cost - the action/inaction that caused "money to never come in" is the cost.
      • by Tom (822)

        No, it is not. It is "money that we expected, but never made".

        Cost is when you have $X and spend some of it. Not when you didn't make as much money as you'd have liked to. Heck, if that were the case, I'd have a couple million in "costs" every year, because where's that damn lottery jackpot that I'm waiting for?

    • It will always be an estimate as you never knew who considered Sun but opted to never even contact them.

      I'd love to buy from Sun but even I put off buying a couple servers until I see what happens. The sales rep was honest about the situation and his inability to say much so if the hardware side survives, I will still buy from them.
  • Great Idea! (Score:2, Funny)

    by mandark1967 (630856)

    I for one am totally in favor of merging Oracle with the Sun. Oh wait...they meant the "other" Sun...damn :(

  • offer to spin off mysql. Perhaps after a few years. It would seem that if their intentions was to acquire Solaris and that market, they would have offered mysql up. However, .....
    • by bhtooefr (649901)

      ...however, MySQL is a popular solution for businesses that don't want to use Oracle, and they can slowly migrate MySQL into being a "lightweight Oracle" - use MySQL, get hooked, and then have a simple migration process to real Oracle if you want more.

  • I'll abandon both Java and MySQL before it's too late. Within a year, they'll be caught in a proprietary quagmire.

    (Even more than Enterprise Java already is, I mean.)

    • Regarding Java, there's just too many interested parties for it to be hijacked by Oracle, even if it now owns the trademark. I'll just name two names that are enough all by themselves: IBM, Google. Given that the code is open sourced already, the worse that can happen is that Java becomes a proprietary (and marginalized) Oracle technology, while what is now OpenJDK is renamed to avoid any mentions of "J", and, maintained by community guided by IBM and Google, supplants Java in most niches. But I think that

  • January 27th, Sun product fan-boi Geeks the world over who have been fretting, "but they *can't* kill my favorite Sun thing and fire the engineers for it because of x,y, and z" will find their X through Z reasons run through the wood chipper

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/technologylive/post/2010/01/sun-setting-on-jobs/1 [usatoday.com]

    Going to be a great splatter-fest, stay tuned.

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