Open Database Alliance founded

Monty Program Ab and Percona today launched the Open Database Alliance.

You can find the press release about it here.

This may be one of the most important steps in the history of MySQL and MariaDB.

Here follows my initial vision of the Open Database Alliance. Note that things may change slightly when we start defining the rules of the Alliance together with the Alliance members!

The Alliance will be a center and provide infrastructure for companies and individuals to develop, collaborate and do business around open source databases with MariaDB/MySQL as our initial focus.

The Alliance is intended to be a one-stop-shop for anything related to MariaDB/MySQL; By going to the Open Alliance web site (under construction) or contacting any member of the Alliance you should be able to buy any services, tools or software produced by any of the members of the Alliance.

This is actually close to the original vision that David Axmark and I had when we created MySQL. We planned to create a partner network where MySQL AB was a small technical company in the center with a lot of partners around us facing the large customers.

After I left Sun, people have suggested to me to create a new MySQL Ab: A big company that would do anything related to MySQL, like MySQL AB did. I didn't like this idea because for me, MySQL AB worked much better when we were less than 70 people. This time, I want do things differently: Create a small family oriented development company driven by excellence and have an alliance of companies that are closely working together. This way, we will be able to avoid some of the growing problems. There will of course be other problems in this new setup, but I am fully prepared to face them.

The vision is that the companies in the Alliance will be able to provide excellent service around the database:
  • Customer service according to customer needs. (E.g. now it is easy to buy development work for the MySQL/MariaDB server).
  • Specialized services, from different companies, to better fit customer needs.
  • Make it easy to find someone local to help you with your problems.
The intention is to get the companies in the Alliance to work closely together to get the benefit of each others' strengths and compensate for each others' weaknesses/holes in their service offerings. This will make us stronger, agile and more responsive than a single big company.

Early alliance member Arjen Lentz of Open Query (which also sponsors the OurDelta builds project) notes: "This alliance is an excellent step, showing the maturity, breadth and depth of expertise for MySQL related services."

During the next few months we will continue talking with other companies which join the Alliance and together create the rules under which the Alliance and its members will function.

The Alliance will consist of two types of companies:

1) Companies that provide clear benefits for the community that is using MariaDB:
  • Development of the MariaDB source code or related source code
  • Development of free tools around MariaDB
  • Enhancement the community using MariaDB
  • Publishing of articles and documentation about and around MariaDB
  • Development/help with builds, provide mirror space
  • Work on enhancing the Open Database Alliance
  • Infrastructure providers (open source) around MariaDB
  • And open source storage engine vendors
2) Companies that are not giving things back to the community, but provide services on and around MariaDB:
  • Training, support and consulting
  • Commercial tools
  • Other commercial services
  • Web site development
  • Datamining & Analytics
We are likely to have slightly different rules for these two types of companies as all companies that are joining the Alliance should bring something to the table.

Initially the Alliance will be a 'thin umbrella', but we are likely to soon hire some people for the Alliance to help work out the rules, better serve our members and provide marketing for Alliance members. The Alliance should also work to actively enhance and support the MariaDB community.

The benefit of joining the Alliance is you get a much closer relationship with the people working with and around MariaDB. You can also provide more for your customers as you get the power of all the other members around you.

I myself will continue spending most of my time in Monty Program Ab developing MariaDB and enhancing the community around it. I will work actively within the Alliance and, together with Peter Zaitsev and other active Alliance members, help with defining e.g. the rules of the Alliance.

Finally, we have been contacted by many entrepreneurs looking to set up new businesses to address opportunities in the MariaDB/MySQL market. This is exciting to see, since I believe there is plenty of room for many new players to join the movement. I encourage such individuals out there to reach out to my investment company Open Ocean, who might be able to help out with advisory and possibly also funding.

You can send your questions about the Alliance or a request to join the Alliance to alliance@askmonty.org