Sun-MySQL Deal Validates Open Source Model - OSA Chief

software open source

Sartorio says he agrees with MySQL CEO Marten Mickos' statement that the acquisition is a "huge victory" for the open source community and lauded the company's focus on productive open source initiatives. Mickos also serves on the board of open source software company SpikeSource, where Sartorio serves as senior director of product management. He says he thinks Sun and MySQL will make a good fit.

"They got bought by a company that gets open source," he says. "If you look at what Sun has done, they've pieced together a pretty good open source technology stock." Sartorio says MySQL deserves a lot of the credit for developing open source products that bring value to their customer base. "The secret to MySQL's success was a focus on delivering value to customers, and open source was the means to that end," he says. "It's important not to mistake the tail for the dog."

If Sartorio sees one downside to the news, it is the possibility that open source companies lose the focus on business that made MySQL such a valuable company. "There's always a risk of people being distracted by what's on the surface," he says. He urges open source companies to examine MySQL's dedication to discipline. "The lesson to be learned is any company that listens to its customers is going to succeed, and any company that resorts to using open source as some sort of secret sauce will not," he says. "Focus on what your core competency is. Don't just go out there and say, 'Hey, I'm an open source company.'"

Buts Sartorio calls the observation nitpicking and admits he's hard-pressed to find anything negative to say about the deal. "Open source is going to be a more and more de facto way of doing business," he predicts. "And a lot commercial open source companies are going to look at this as further validation. I can't think of any downside for MySQL, Sun or the open source community."

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