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Sat 26 Apr 2003

Decline and Fall and what has this got to do with MySQL 4.1?

Category : Technology

A new version of the free Open Source database, MySQL, was released yesterday, bringing with it "subqueries and derived tables", two major pieces that were needed to make MySQL complete in a feature-by-feature comparison with Oracle.

It's now possible to replace Oracle entirely in a system we've been porting to Java ("we" is the company I'm part of in my "day job").

In years to come, MySQL 4.1 may be remembered as the release which heralded the beginning of the end for Oracle. Or at least Oracle's dominance of the database market.

MySQL is more programmer-friendly in the sense that you'll find things that are there simply because hordes of programmers had needed them. In the Open Source world, if you need something that isn't there, you build it yourself and contribute back to the source so others can use.

And it's hard to beat a competing product that is "free". MySQL is more than just free. It often feels superior to Oracle.

We're seeing a process that is akin to what Clayton M. Christensen described in The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. Read that book and watch this play unfold.

Posted at 11:31AM SGT | permalink


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