The Microsoft source code will be used in version 4.1 of MySQL, which is due for final release in two weeks.
Microsoft made the code for its Windows Installer XML tool set available under an open-source licence. The so-called WiX tool set is used by companies that develop applications for the Windows environment to build Windows installation packages.
David Axmark, co-founder of, said Monday that the code has been used by MySQL developers to generate binary installation files for the Windows operating system. The code is not used for the MySQL database itself, but for the administration tool that connects to the database.
As Microsoft is known for zealously protecting the source code of its applications, some open-source developers were suspicious when they heard that it was releasing the source code of WiX. But Axmark said MySQL had little hesitation about using it.
"If Microsoft releases something under public license, we will use it," he said.
However, he said the code is only part of the build process, rather than key application functionality.
"It's not that useful," Axmark said. "We may need to modify the code slightly so it has some value. But it doesn't have as much value as something you would put into an application."
Simon Riggs, a developer of PostgreSQL, an alternative open-source database, said future versions of PostgreSQL will not include the Microsoft source code, as the database already has a Microsoft installer that .
Riggs pointed out that the WiX tool set is already programmable, so there is little need to customize it.
"Microsoft open-sourcing this is like taking the top off a jar that is already open," Riggs said. "We're not interested in this bit of their source code."
A Microsoft representative said Monday that the software giant isto providing tools to aid software development. "WiX is just one example of our engagement with the open-source community, and it helps software developers as they build software that runs on Windows," the representative said.
Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.