Oracle buys Sun: What it Means for Ministries - Radiant

The Radiant Blog

Posted by Ray Majoran

For those of you that are familiar with terms like “Java” or “MySQL”, you will be interested to know (if you don’t already) that Oracle officially purchased Sun Microsystems for about $9.50 per share today. Sun Microsystems are notoriously known in the Internet world as the makers of Java and MySQL (an open-source database platform that is typically used in conjunction with other open-source languages like PHP).

Now why this deal should particularly catch your attention if you are a ministry is because many ministries throughout the world use PHP and MySQL to drive their websites. They are both free alternatives to other popular database platforms and application servers. Oracle has been trying to by MySQL from Sun since 2007 when they reportedly offered as much as $850 million for it.

What makes this deal particularly interesting (and scary if you are a ministry that uses MySQL) is that many analysts speculate that one of two scenarios is possible.

Scenario 1: Matt Asay from CNET notes “This time, Oracle effectively got MySQL for free, as the valuation for Sun almost certainly wasn't raised much by its MySQL asset, acquired in 2008 by Sun for $1 billion. What Oracle will not want, however, is for its customers to get MySQL for free. Importantly, Oracle's new ‘systems’ approach gives it the ability to digest a host of open-source projects like MySQL that might otherwise struggle to make money, and monetize them heavily by burying them in hardware ‘systems.’ It's a smart move driven by a company that knows that open source as a religion faded, and that open source as a key driver of innovative IT is just beginning.” Many analysts join Matt in his thought patterns – that the “free” MySQL we’ve come to know will soon become thing of the past. It will now cost you.

Scenario 2: If Scenario 1 scares you then Scenario 2 is going to mortify you. There are a growing number of analysts that believe that MySQL will soon become MyToast. In other words, Oracle will kill MySQL for fear that it will mess with Oracles profit margins. And although you may not like that scenario, the fact of the matter remains, MySQL could get squashed in an ever-changing economy.

If you are a ministry that uses MySQL as its database in any of your website(s), applications, registration systems, event systems, church directories, etc., you will want to keep a very close eye on what Oracle does in the near future.

If you are an AdvancedMinistry or Electricurrent customer, please note that we do not use MySQL in any of our websites or applications.

Stay tuned. It will be interesting to see what Oracle does in the next six months.