The news that Sun will be acquired by Oracle puts a huge question mark on the future of MySQL, the widely-used, open-source database system.
While MySQL still has far to go to match the full capabilities of commercial database products like Oracle and SQL Server, the popular MySQL has advanced very far in its short lifetime and probably would have evolved much further. How close will Oracle allow MySQL to come to its own entry-level products?
The question is not idle. The tight integration between the programming language PHP and MySQL has propelled both to high adoption rates in Web sites of all kinds. I will soon complete certain modules based on PHP/MySQL for my own clients' needs.
I thought IBM would be a much better home for MySQL and even Java, another of Sun's core assets, because of IBM's long support of open-source software. Oracle, however, is probably a better fit for Sun's hardware and storage businesses and will thus probably do better financially in the first year after acquisition than IBM would have.
But it does leave the future of MySQL up in the air.