Don’t Migrate to MariaDB just yet. MySQL is Back!

Now that I have your attention, I’d like to invite you to a critical review of where we’re at in the MySQL vs. MariaDB debate. Around one month ago, I visited Oracle Open World 2014, and I’ve met with Morgan Tocker, the MySQL community manager at Oracle to learn about where MySQL is heading.

Who “is” MySQL

An interesting learning for myself is the fact that according to Morgan, there had been quite a few former MySQL AB employees that stayed with MySQL when Sun acquired the database, and that are still there now (perhaps after a short break), now that Oracle owns Sun and thus MySQL. In fact, right now as we speak, Oracle is pushing hard to get even more people on board of the MySQL team. When this article was written, there were 21 open MySQL jobs on this blog post dating February 25, 2014.

More details about Oracle’s plans to promote and push MySQL can be seen in this presentation by Morten Andersen:


So, if you’re still contemplating a migration to MariaDB, maybe give this all a second thought. MySQL is still the database that is being used by most large companies, including Facebook and LinkedIn. MySQL won’t go away and it will get much better in the next couple of years – maybe even to a point where it has a similar amount of features as PostgreSQL? We can only hope.

Need another convincing argument? You can now use Oracle Enterprise Manager for both Oracle and MySQL databases. How awesome is that!


Stay tuned for a couple of additional blog posts on this blog, about what’s new and what’s on the MySQL roadmap in the next years. See all of Morten Andersen’s slides here:

10 thoughts on “Don’t Migrate to MariaDB just yet. MySQL is Back!

  1. Serious (meaning, not intending to start a flame-war) question… does this signal any shift in Oracle’s attitude? (Or is MySQL “separate” enough to not inherit some of Oracle’s less-than-stellar attitudes?)

    I’m still using MySQL for small stuff, but I’m ready to bolt at a moment’s notice. Oracle’s attitude’s about things like copyrighting the Java API, or Hudson (remember Hudson?) make me nervous.

    1. I’m obviously not qualified to give you an authoritative answer, but my feeling is:

      • Yes, there is a certain shift in Oracle’s “attitude.” This surfaces in the amount of effort that (finally) goes into Java (must not lose users to node.js), and into MySQL (must not lose users to PostgreSQL, and potentially MariaDB).
      • Yes, I believe that MySQL is “separate” enough. Some MySQL users (like the ones mentioned: LinkedIn, Facebook) better stay MySQL users. They wouldn’t use Oracle for sure, but they might migrate off to PostgreSQL or MariaDB. The secondary business opportunities of such brands using Oracle products are probably important enough. I’m just guessing here, though.
      • The Java copyright issue is a non-issue for most of us other ordinary folks. It was a deliberate breach by Google in order to have a significantly low enough time-to-market in the mobile application platform business – the alternative being leaving the monopoly to Apple. See Microsoft whose Windows Mobile 8 is technically impeccable, and beautiful, but simply way too late.

        I participated in this very interesting vjug panel discussion here:

        Specifically, Michael Rice from Red Hat (with a background in legal) pointed out that the scope of the Google-Oracle verdict is by no means even close to a precedent, by the mere fact of how things work in California, legally.

      • I have never read up on the Hudson story, so I don’t know enough about that.

      I agree though, that Oracle is a “difficult” partner. I mean, check this out:


      1. Is MySQL giving you better options for replication or is it somehow simpler to use than PostgreSQL? I don’t really understand why it’s so much popular compared to PostgreSQL.

        1. Yep. Replication is really the big win with MySQL over PostgreSQL. And I believe that you can also have a lot more load on a MySQL server, than on a PostgreSQL server – but I have no real productive experience in that area.

          One of the main reasons for its popularity compared to PostgreSQL is simple. MySQL has been OK-ish for ages. PostgreSQL has seen great improvements only in the last couple of years.

          1. Imho, mysql popularity is mostly due to the PHP ecosystem. It has been a first class citizen in the PHP api since the early days, from there it became the product of choice for most hosting services and most web stacks (wamp, lamp) include it by default. It goes to such extent that you can meet people thinking that mySQL, SQL and phpmyadmin are synonyms (yes, seriously!).

            Postgresql on its end, required (and still requires) more knowledge, had less friendly tools, a reputation of being slower than mySQL (not a big surprise since postgresql did so much more and most importantly, had full-ACID compliency which mysql myISAM storage engine had not).

            Also there seems to have been a misunderstanding with mysql license that led many people to think it’s free for any use. I wouldn’t want to pay 1 cent for each deployment of mysql that should have required a commercial license. The license terms (derivated work?) are subject to interpretation and surprisingly there has never been (to my knowlege) an official answer from the mySQL team on this subject, leaving people in some sort of gray area. This last thing is the main reason why I used PostgreSQL for most of my commercial apps (BSD license is more or less “do what you want”).

            I thought MariaDB would have clearer licensing terms and become an alternative. Unfortunately, last time I checked their website, there were a few KB/Faq articles about licensing but again, no real answer.

            1. I agree – that was a combination of clever marketing and teaming up with PHP in the early stages, along with the fact that MySQL simply was the best database for websites with lots of loads. It has essentially been designed for that, not for classic OLTP or later OLAP as other databases.

              GPL is indeed a difficult statement with respect to the intent of the vendor. But then again, it’s your data. Your data is your application’s most important asset. Why not pay for software that manages your data and adds tremendous value to your business?

  2. Long live mariadb , boo to the evil oracle trying to do all the nasty things and trying to brainwash you.

    1. So, the only reason why you’re there is because you don’t like Oracle? Wouldn’t it be more consistent to switch to PostgreSQL, instead, then? The code-base is 100% independent, not like MariaDB’s

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