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Poll: MySQL Usage Declining? What Should Oracle do with MySQL?

A new survey claims that MySQL usage is going to decline over the next few years while PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and Oracle DB grow their user base.  The 451 Group recently polled their CAOS open source community members and asked them to weigh in on the Oracle/MySQL controversy and share their thoughts on current database usage.  In the study, there is no 51% majority on any one outcome for MySQL.  

347 respondents participated in the 451 Group study.  Of that 347, 78.7% expect to be using MySQL in 2011 and 72.3% expect to use it in 2014.  82.1% of the respondents currently use MySQL, so roughly 10% are saying that they will stop using it in 3 years.  If this survey is representative of most database users, then it could be good news for MySQL competitors MariaDB, Oracle DB, PostgreSQL.  The survey says that the competitors will grow three to four percent in user share within the next 3 years.  MariaDB currently has no share of the respondents but 3.7% said they expect to use it in the next four years.  PostgreSQL currently has over one-fourth of the respondent share and expects to grow to 30.5% in just one year.  Oracle DB has  19.3% of the respondent share and 21.6% expect to use it in the next year.  However, even if the survey is an accurate representation, MySQL still holds the vast majority of database users.  Does that mean the EU has good reason to fear its acquisition?  The survey covered this subject as well.

Respondents were asked: What should be the outcome of the EU investigation? 
  • 17.6% said Oracle should be allowed to keep MySQL.
  • 4.3% said MySQL should be sold to another vendor.
  • 32.6% said Oracle should give MySQL to an independent foundation.
  • 13.8% don't care what happens to MySQL.
(The survey didn't' say why these numbers don't add up to 100%)

Out of the respondents who used MySQL:
  • 16.8% thought Oracle should get to keep MySQL.
  • 3.9% said Oracle should sell MySQL to another vendor.
  • 34% said Oracle should give MySQL to an independent foundation.
  • 12.3% didn't care what happened to MySQL.

Even though most CAOS community members don't want Oracle to keep MySQL, only 15% said they'd be less likely to use MySQL if Oracle acquired it.  6.3% said they'd be more likely to use MySQL if Oracle got it.  

Oracle executives, MySQL founders, EU commissioners, and even US Senators have an opinion on the EU investigation.   What do you think should happen?
Oracle should get to keep MySQL
17% (48 votes)
Oracle should sell MySQL to another vendor
6% (17 votes)
Oracle should give MySQL to an independent foundation
54% (154 votes)
I don't care what happens to MySQL
24% (68 votes)
Total votes: 287


James Sugrue replied on Fri, 2009/12/04 - 3:09pm

I think that it would be good for Oracle to keep MySQL. I'd be interested to see what they can add. Even though the survey looks like MySQL usage would decline, I find it difficult to see it losing too much ground as it is so established.


Gabriel Axel replied on Sat, 2009/12/05 - 2:41am

In my opinion if Oracle gets control over MySQL, they will invest the minimum they can in it just to prove that they are not killing MySQL.

It makes no sense for Oracle to keep two competing products, and despite the claims that Oracle DB and MySQL are targeted at different consumers, Oracle never gave any explanation to this. Do they mean that Oracle DB is targeted for heavier usage than MySQL? Then it would be difficult to explain why Google uses it...

Past experience shows that competing products do not survive under the ORacle umbrella. For example, after acquiring  WebLogic, Oracle Application Server was gradually killed (which made many users who were stuck with it for very happy).

Continuing to use the above example, since acquiring WebLogic, I have not heard of any major improvement to it. It seems all Oracle did was to take over the WebLogic user base. Why would taking over MySQL be any better?

Finally I want to point out that there hasn't been any apparent progress  on MySQL 6.0 in quite a long time, and Sun seems to focus more on supporting software and services, which are usually non-open-source. However MariaDB development seems very active. That's why I think MySQL would get the best home in an independent foundation, or at least in a real open-source-friendly compan, and Oracle is not one.

Shay Shmeltzer replied on Mon, 2009/12/07 - 4:21pm

>> since acquiring WebLogic, I have not heard of any major improvement to it.

 I guess you missed a couple of 11g releases of Oracle WebLogic - get the new one here:



Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Wed, 2009/12/09 - 1:14am

Isn't MySql open source? Question is then, what body will be able to gain recognition as the new MySql.

But my guess is that Oracle will keep MySql active in pretty much the same form as it is now. Over time, we will learn to trust Oracle as a fair player. They will gain new business from these efforts.

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