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SkySQL, MariaDB to merge

The MySQL and MariaDB support providers will take the fight to Oracle together

Two companies offering third-party support for Oracle's open-source MySQL database, as well as the MySQL offshoot MariaDB, have announced plans to merge.

SkySQL, which was launched in 2010, said Tuesday it will merge with Monty Program, the company founded by MySQL creator Michael "Monty" Widenius. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close within several months, were not disclosed.

Widenius also created MariaDB, a fork of the MySQL codebase that is compatible with MySQL but offers additional features.

The combined company will provide support for all versions of MySQL as well as continued investment in MariaDB, according to a statement. SkySQL CEO Patrik Sallner will assume the same role, with Widenius serving as CTO.

Oracle's January 2010 acquisition of MySQL's former owner Sun Microsystems invited close scrutiny from antitrust authorities, particularly in Europe, after critics suggested Oracle might weaken MySQL in favor of protecting its flagship, proprietary database. Widenius played a public role in the debate, even calling at one point for Oracle to sell off MySQL.

Oracle ultimately made a series of public pledges based on maintaining MySQL as an open and vibrant platform, and has since released a number of significant updates to MySQL.

Still, some critics have accused Oracle of closing off parts of MySQL, a charge the company has rejected.

Oracle also hasn't changed its support pricing for MySQL since November 2010, perhaps in response to competition from the likes of SkySQL and Monty Program.

While Oracle raised entry-level support pricing for MySQL that year, it defended the move by saying customers choosing that option gained many more benefits than the lower-cost program offered under Sun.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


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