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MySQL Usage Declining? What Should Oracle Do with MySQL?

12.04.2009
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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 [http://www.the451group.com/] recently polled their CAOS [http://www.the451group.com/caos/caos_community.php] open source community members and asked them to weigh in on the Oracle/MySQL controversy and share their thoughts on current database usage.  There study shows that open source users are split on their support for any particular outcome of the European Commission's investigation.

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.  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 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?