MySQL Garners Third-Party Support

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MySQL is making headway embedding its database into third-party applications.

A bevy of companies including Blue World Communications, CoreSense, Pathfire, NexPress, Virage and SS8 Networks are all embedding MySQL's database in their own applications, the company said.

MySQL, Uppsala, Sweden, straddles the line between open-source databases--software freely available via the General Public License (GPL)--and commercial versions of those databases that can be built into products for resale.

CoreSense is building MySQL into its own e-commerce software because MySQL's open-source provenance means it is updated more often than proprietary databases, said Jason Jacobs, CEO of the Troy, N.Y., developer. "In the past three years there have been more advances in open source than in the last 10 years for closed platforms," he noted.

And, under the commercial license, CoreSense owns whatever it creates atop MySQL and is not obliged to open up the source code.

MySQL blazed the trail of a mixed business model, offering both GPL and commercial licenses for its software. "We are very religious about the GPL but we're also religious about commercial software. It's the yin and yang of our business. Through the GPL we have more than 3 million users," said MySQL CEO Marten Mikkos.

MySQL is embroiled in a lawsuit purported to be the first major test of the GPL in a Boston courtroom. In suits and countersuits first filed in June 2001, NuSphere sued MySQL and its founders David Axmark and Michael "Monty" Widenius for breach of contract, tortious interference with third-party contracts and unfair competition.

MySQL countersued, claiming that NuSphere, a division of Progress Software, violated its trademark by registering the Web domain address and breach of the GPL license. MySQL charged that NuSphere was intermingling the freely available MySQL code with its own proprietary code and not making the resulting product available to the open-source community as the terms of the GPL dictate.

Federal District Court Judge Patti Saris Thursday issued an order enjoining NuSphere from using the MySQL trademark, but NuSphere can continue to use the code in question until the next phase of the case, according to Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL.

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