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A Non-Oracle Choice For MySQL?

MySQL may soon have another choice for a transaction storage engine besides Oracle's InnoDB, thanks to Solid Information Technology and its SolidDB.

Last October Oracle bought Finnish database vendor Innobase and its InnoDB database technology, which is a critical component of MySQL's database. The acquisition raised the ire of some in the open source community that Oracle could use its new acquisition to somehow affect MySQL.

SolidDB is a potential replacement for InnoDB, though SolidDB is currently not yet open source and does not yet have a formal announced partnership deal with MySQL to include the technology.

SolidDB is, however, on track to being open sourced under the GPL as part of new effort from the Finnish vendor to scale out its business faster.

Paola Lubet, vice president of marketing and business development at Solid, told internetnews.com that Solid's proprietary transaction storage engine technology has some 3 million installations and is included in HP's OpenView application, among others.

By open sourcing SolidDB, Lubet noted that Solid hopes to gain access to the MySQL ecosystem.

Though Solid will be demonstrating its technology at next week's MySQL user conference, Lubet noted that Solid is not yet announcing a partnership with MySQL.

"There is more news to come on this front," Lubet said.

The SolidDB application prototype will be available by the conference start date for downloading, though it will still be a closed source program at that point. Lubet explained that Solid is going through the process to put the code under GPL.

"We own 100 percent of the intellectual property of this code that we are putting open source," Lubet said.

As a result, she doesn't expect there to be any legal or indemnification issues for users of the open source SolidDB when it is available.

Though Solid is making its technology open and available for MySQL and others to use, that doesn't necessarily mean that MySQL will use it to replace Oracle's InnoDB.

"That decision belongs to MySQL whether they want to replace the Oracle piece or not," Lubet said.

In February, MySQL acquired Web application technology firm Netfrastructure and its founder, relational database pioneer Jim Starkey.

There is widespread speculation that Starkey's goal at MySQL is to build an InnoDB replacement from scratch.

But Lubet isn't overly concerned about MySQL's efforts.

"I think MySQL is doing the right thing doing their own storage engine from scratch and that is great," Lubet said.

"Our understanding is that there will not be an overlap with what we are doing, and if over time they will develop their own storage engine tools that do what ours does, that is completely their right and they should do it. It's just that it's going to take time.

"It's different to have a storage engine and then to have a proven robust storage engine, and that is what we are doing," Lubet continued. "This is our bread and butter and what we think we can uniquely contribute to the open source space."