Ok, so here are my facts and assumptions
- MySQL is the most popular choice for small websites that need a database backend.
- Unless you have a ton of development resources devoted just to customizing MySQL, eventually those sites are going to outgrow the MySQL.
- All the major database companies (Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM) would love to offer an upgrade path to their produce.
- MySQL’s Pluggable Storage Engine, with or without some rework, can support these database servers.
- MySQL’s Pluggable Storage Engine can only be used if you are willing to offer GPL code.
- Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM are not going to release key components under the GPL.
New facts from Oracle’s Press Release
1. Continued Availability of Storage Engine APIs. Oracle shall maintain and periodically enhance MySQL’s Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture to allow users the flexibility to choose from a portfolio of native and third party supplied storage engines.
MySQL’s Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture shall mean MySQL’s current practice of using, publicly-available, documented application programming interfaces to allow storage engine vendors to "plug" into the MySQL database server. Documentation shall be consistent with the documentation currently provided by Sun.
2. Non-assertion. As copyright holder, Oracle will change Sun’s current policy and shall not assert or threaten to assert against anyone that a third party vendor’s implementations of storage engines must be released under the GPL because they have implemented the application programming interfaces available as part of MySQL’s Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture.
A commercial license will not be required by Oracle from third party storage engine vendors in order to implement the application programming interfaces available as part of MySQL’s Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture.
Oracle shall reproduce this commitment in contractual commitments to storage vendors who at present have a commercial license with Sun.
That pretty much knocks off all the major roadblocks between the big three database and MySQL. With Oracle taking ownership of MySQL, they technically don’t need to lift the GPL restrictions on plug-ins. But by doing do they legitimize their plans to offer an Oracle backend and fend off any possible anti-trust disputes.