MySQL: A threat to bigwigs?

by Asim K
David Kirkpatrick, of and contributor to CNN Technology, writes in his article, “MySQL: A threat to bigwigs?” that MySQL is the rising Linux of backend systems. He begins by explaining the structure of MySQL (which is based on the SQL language) and the structure of general open source software. Because MySQL is open source, it has a lot more potential to grow when placed next to the pace and speed that commercial software is growing because of the huge “fan base” of developers that open source attracts. The catch: not only are these “fan” developers users of MySql, but they are required, by MySQL’s ethical policy, to share any changes they may have made to the code to the MySQL database – which is in the end a win-win situation for both developer, end user, and MySQL as a public service. As Kirkpatrick points out in a citation of a quote made by MySQL CEO Scott McNealy, huge companies like Yahoo and Google depend on MySQL to get their work done – and if they can do it, so can smaller companies. Compared to a $395 per year for a server, compared to Oracle’s $20,000, MySQL is a no brainer. Kirkpatrick ends by stating that although there are still shortcomings in the free opensource software, MySQL has a huge future ahead of it, as confided in the confident words of it’s CEO, Scott McNealy in saying, “People ask me ‘What’s wrong-why are you leaving money on the table?’ We say ‘You should ask the other database companies what is wrong with their cost structure.”

As we see can now, 9 years later, thousands upon thousands of companies have backed up McNealy’s confident statement in 2003 through the action of relying on MySQL for their database. The early millennium was a very interesting time in which the web was going through a tremendous and awesome shift in finally consolidating the Web 2.0 philosophy, proceeded up by a conference in 2004. WordPress and Joomla (then Mambo) were only then in their infant stages, and would make MySQL a regular use for the common computer and common end user. Personally, I was exposed to mySQL through the use of Joomla and later WordPress and I can say without a doubt the MySQL has definitely changed the global landscape of web development. With my newfound knowledge from my Database Development class headed by Dr. Zhang, I find that I am not afraid to touch the backend of a database as I once was, and much like the confidence mySQL gave to the business industry, I have a new confidence in mySQL and my skills to use it, manipulate it, and run queries on it in the new, exciting future. Indeed, the bigwigs better step up their game because competition is fierce.

Kirkpatrick, D. (2003, March 12). MySQL: A threat to bigwigs? CNN. Retrieved from

One thought on “MySQL: A threat to bigwigs?

  • December 3, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I’m a huge fan of the idea of open source software. It makes me think of how things must have been in the real old days when everyone would find that one thing they were good at and use that skill for the good of their town and not worry much about personal profit. And it is true, as it is open source software so it really is just a matter of time before the standards of mySQL rise to that of Oracle. And when that happens, it may even overtake Oracle.

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