Oracle updated its frequently asked questions (FAQ) overview of the impending Sun acquisition to address some important questions about the fate of Sun’s software assets beyond Java and Solaris.
To be completely honest, none of Oracle’s plans come as a surprise. And at the end of the day, the FAQ is not legally binding and is not a commitment to deliver products, code or functionality. Oracle clearly states this at the end of the FAQ. This too is completely understandable. Oracle, like any other company with shareholders, will have to evaluate and adjust their plans and intentions on a product by product basis over time. Oracle has a fiduciary duty to do so.
In the FAQ, potentially released to appease the EU and critics of the deal, Oracle tackles its plans for MySQL as follows:
“Oracle plans to spend more money developing MySQL than Sun does now. Oracle expects to continue to develop and provide the open source MySQL database after the transaction closes. Oracle plans to add MySQL to Oracle’s existing suite of database products, which already includes Berkeley DB, an open source database. Oracle also currently offers InnoDB, an open source transactional storage engine and the most important and popular transaction engine under MySQL. Oracle already distributes MySQL as part of our Enterprise Linux offering.”
This position makes complete sense as MySQL and the Oracle DB are more complimentary than competitive. I doubt that this assurance from Oracle will help Monty, Florian, RMS and others opposed to Oracle’s ownership of MySQL get past their fears.
Not unexpectedly, Oracle plans to keep GlassFish around, since it is the reference implementation for Java EE:
“Oracle plans to continue evolving GlassFish Enterprise Server, delivering it as the open source reference implementation (RI) of the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) specifications, and actively supporting the large GlassFish community. Additionally, Oracle plans to invest in aligning common infrastructure components and innovations from Oracle WebLogic Server and GlassFish Enterprise Server to benefit both Oracle WebLogic Server and GlassFish Enterprise Server customers.”
The plans for NetBeans are somewhat certain. You’ll notice that Oracle makes no claims about “investing more than Sun does today” or “continue evolving”.
“As such, NetBeans is expected to provide an additional open source option and complement to the two free tools Oracle already offers for enterprise Java development: Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. While Oracle JDeveloper remains Oracle’s strategic development tool for the broad portfolio of Oracle Fusion Middleware products and for Oracle’s next generation of enterprise applications, developers will be able to use whichever free tool they are most comfortable with for pure Java and Java EE development: JDeveloper, Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, or NetBeans.”
Finally, Oracle suggests that OpenOffice.org and a commercial offering will receive investment.
“After the transaction closes, Oracle plans to continue developing and supporting OpenOffice as open source. As before, some of the larger customers will ask for extra assurances, support, and enterprise tools. For these customers we expect to offer a typical commercial license option.”
So there you have it. Oracle’s plans for Sun, well, based on current thinking and subject to change at Oracle’s sole discretion. Which again, is perfectly sensible.
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