Making business decisions for the community and the enterprise

I was prompted following a few key words by Marten Mickos at the Sun Dinner on Wednesday evening, and subsequent one on one discussion with Marten, to post my thoughts of some significant news this week announced at the MySQL Conference. The decision to provide as it’s been termed is “Enterprise only features”. It is unfortunate this was not discussed in Marten’s opening keynote, having been exposed the evening before in the Partner’s meeting and hitting the blog sphere before the conference officially started.

MySQL, past, present and future as an Open Source company requires a functional business model to succeed. This includes the funding of resources and the technology progression. It is also necessary in this business climate to build a successful business quickly. How do you do this? Well that’s probably the difference between a successful CEO and an unsuccessful one, and what Marten Mickos has produced is clearly very successful.

I may not necessarily agree with the decisions made, more specifically not understanding at this time the rationale of which features are free and which are likely to be commercial, but I respect the decision made by Marten Mickos. These new feature considerations are in a future release of MySQL, they are also I’m sure not yet set in stone, however MySQL can not be all things to all people, no software can. It reminds me of the Homer Simpson car, designed to do everything Homer wanted in a car, but it bankrupted the previously successful company due the views of one individual to solve all their own needs, but not the needs of the majority. Who is affected by this decision, who will benefit, again it’s too early to tell.

Monty indicates this is a MySQL decision, not a Sun decision. This indicates the transition of MySQL to being under the Sun banner of the largest open source company is well, still in transition. Today it was again confirmed to me, that the MySQL database will always be GPL and MySQL will not never revoke the functionality that powers the world’s largest websites as free software for the database server.

As an advocate for the MySQL community, I’d like to consider myself one of the pulses, a thought in the MySQL conscious and even a vocal lobbyist. I am however not interested in being a disruptor in the MySQL ecosystem. A Communications Lesson on Slashdot I believe correctly states “Sun to Begin Close Sourcing MySQL.” The headline is wrong.

A number of people have posted their comments, let’s stop bickering about it, and let’s see something positive happen for the benefit of the community. For example, as I’ve mentioned previously regarding the lack of differentiation for the Community version, again mentioned by Mark Callaghan in A better (community) HEAP engine where a worthwhile patch can’t be of benefit to the community in a binary release for the lay person.

When in management, I am responsible for contributing to the success of the company, to play a significant role in the functional business model, to ensure funding for resources and technology progression. In other terms, how can revenue generation be achieved to fund prominently salaries of staff, including my own. How am I going to do this? This will be the difference between my huge success or not.