Oracle and open source
In the past year or so, Oracle has recently started purchasing/bidding on open source companies/products:
Oracle buys sleepycat software
excerpt: "Sleepycat's Berkeley DB is embedded in several well-known open source products, including the Linux and BSD Unix operating systems, Apache Web server, OpenLDAP directory and OpenOffice productivity suite, Oracle said Tuesday"
Oracle buys innobase
excerpt: "Innobase is the developer of discrete transactional database technology, InnoDB, that is distributed under an open source license. "Oracle has long been a supporter of open source software such as Linux and Apache," said Charles Rozwat, Oracle's Executive Vice President in charge of Database and Middleware Technology. "Innobase is an innovative small company that develops open source database technology. Oracle intends to continue developing the InnoDB technology and expand our commitment to open source software. Oracle has already developed and contributed an open source clustered file system to Linux. We expect to make additional contributions in the future."
InnoDB is not a standalone database product: it is distributed as a part of the MySQL database. InnoDB's contractual relationship with MySQL comes up for renewal next year. Oracle fully expects to negotiate an extension of that relationship."
Oracle bids on mysql
excerpt: "MySQL, based in Sweden and Cupertino, Calif., announced in January that it's been profitable for two quarters. But it's not turning down outside money. MySQL announced Monday it raised $18.5 million in a third round of funding from Institutional Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Red Hat, SAP Ventures and Sumitomo's Presidio STX investment subsidiary.
Oracle's financial moves, however, are orders of magnitude grander. Its major buying spree resulted in the acquisitions of Siebel Systems for $5.8 billion and PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion."
What does this mean for open source?Open source is starting to become a real threat to the commercial application companies of the world. Applications such as apache, mysql, postgres, and linux are gaining momentum and are becoming better and than than their commerical counterparts.
How can a company defend against the power of the community? The greatest strength of open source is the fact that it can't be bought or sold as a whole. Even if a new, closed source and proprietary version comes out of a project, the community can still continue developing the open sourced version.
a representitive from Oracle stated the following in a press release :
"innoDB is not a standalone database product: it is distributed as a part of the MySQL database. InnoDB's contractual relationship with MySQL comes up for renewal next year. Oracle fully expects to negotiate an extension of that relationship."
Oracle is a business with their stock holders as their main objective. Purchasing innobase, which is an integral part of the mysql database system, is the first step in taking it over. It seems okay right now, but if they start losing martketshare, there is no telling what they might do.
Another weapon large companies have against OSS is money and resources. This means they have the ability to hire the top developers of a project and basically take it off the map for awhile as a competitor.
recently, Microsoft did something like this and it backfired