Group aims to keep MySQL healthy

The Open Database Alliance, founded by Monty Widenius, will act as a hub for MySQL, the open-source software Oracle is getting with its Sun acquisition.

David Meyer Special to CNET News.com
2 min read

One of original authors of MySQL, Michael 'Monty' Widenius, has founded the Open Database Alliance, a consortium that aims to become the industry hub for the open source database.

The move was announced Wednesday. The two founding parties of the vendor-neutral consortium are Widenius' engineering company, Monty Program, and the MySQL services and support company Percona.

Monty Widenius
Monty Widenius MySQL/Sun Microsystems

According to a statement from the Open Database Alliance (ODA), the consortium will act as a hub for MySQL and its derivative code, binaries, training, and support. Specifically, the ODA will work on the software, support and service for Widenius' branch of MySQL, MariaDB.

MariaDB is an enterprise-grade, community-developed branch of MySQL. Its name is a function of the fact that Sun owns the trademark for the term "MySQL" and the fact that the source uses the Maria storage engine, in turn named after Widenius' daughter.

Sun, which oversees MySQL, is currently being acquired by Oracle. Oracle has its own proprietary database, which is a major competitor to MySQL. The ODA said in its statement that its formation was in part due to "uncertainty" facing the community.

"The intent of the Open Database Alliance is to unify all MySQL-related development and services, providing a solution to the fragmentation and uncertainty facing the communities, businesses and technical experts involved with MySQL," the ODA statement read.

Widenius said the ODA's goal was to "encourage a true open development environment with community participation, and to ensure that MySQL code remains extremely high quality."

"Participating members at this stage in the 'Alliance' will have a strong voice in how the organization is structured, and we look forward to collaborating with anyone in the industry that provides or depends on MySQL," he said in the statement.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Widenius said the ODA's nature as a "one-stop shop for anything related to MariaDB/MySQL"--where any member could provide services, tools, and software--was close to the original vision that David Axmark and Widenius had when they created MySQL.

"We planned to create a partner network where MySQL AB was a small technical company in the center with a lot of partners around us facing the large customers," Widenius wrote.

Widenius has previously expressed fear for the future of MySQL, in the wake of the Oracle takeover. At the time, he said "the biggest threat to MySQL future is not Oracle per se, but that the MySQL talent at Sun will spread like the wind and go to a lot of different companies which will set the MySQL development and support back years."