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Technology Briefing: Software (New York Times, May 28, 2003, page C5) AP TO FORM PARTNERSHIP WITH MYSQL The open-source software model received another endorsement yesterday when SAP, the big German software company, said it would form a technical partnership with MySQL, which makes an increasingly popular open-source database program. The goal of the agreement is to enable SAP's software, which automates an array of corporate operations including benefits and procurement, to run on the MySQL database. SAP software already runs on the databases made by Oracle, I.B.M. and Microsoft. MySQL distributes its database free according to open-source practices, but also offers it under a commercial license for corporate customers that prefer it. MySQL collects revenues from both licensing and maintenance fees. As part of the agreement, SAP will hand over its own fledgling open-source database project, which had only a few thousand users, to MySQL, which is used on about four million computers. "This is part of the commoditization of database software," said Marten Mickos, chief executive of MySQL. "SAP has acknowledged that trend and it wants to make sure it has a commodity database that works with SAP products." Steve Lohr (NYT)

J.Merrill reported the following on July 5, 2003.

We had a multi-message dialog (which I could forward if you like) before this final reply. It seems that MySQL will not work for a "database [of image info] on CD" project for us, because MySQL isn't re-distributable without paying, and they don't seem to be interested in making a special deal with us -- one where we might pay something, but not $100+ per copy, to use MySQL. That might be different if I had told him we might sell thousands of copies, or give away something that might cause others to license MySQL so they could use it.

We could potentially use MySQL to run a web-based application, as we could then have "one production server." But putting software, and many images, on CD would make a lot more sense.

The main sticking point is that we cannot GPL our software -- even if we wanted to, and I'm not sure I would -- because we can't get APL2000 to GPL the runtime system. Obviously, we're not going to stop using APL+WIN so we could use MySQL.

I've encountered a number of other possibilities, among them SQLITE which is "public domain" (and seems to be quite nice), and one that's written in Delphi. The key for us would be the presence of a useful ODBC driver, something that SQLITE seems to have (though I haven't played with it myself). You might want to try downloading SQLITE and the ODBC driver and playing a bit -- at least, instead of spending time with MySQL.


Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2003 15:27:53 -0700 From: Matt Fredrickson Subject: RE: Licensing Question, US, Analytical Software Corp. To: James Merrill James, Yes, distributing (internally or externally) our software does cost money, it is free only for internal use on one production server. The MySQL licensing policy can be viewed at: Feel free to call me. Regards, Mr. Matt Fredrickson, Sales Executive MySQL, Inc. - Office: +1 425 390 0154 Fax: +1 425 663 2001

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