SugarCRM CEO Joins Parade To Endorse Sun-MySQL Deal

open source

Founded in 2004, SugarCRM is the world's largest commercial open source CRM, and Roberts is one of open source's most fervent supporters. He says Sun is the ideal company to acquire MySQL. "Sun is a company that understands how to run very successful open source projects," he says. "I have a suspicion Jonathan and Marten will lead the company on the ideals [MySQL] was based on.

Roberts, who says he was looking forward to seeing a MySQL IPO this year, says the deal is a validation of the changing nature of software development. "The open source development model of transparency and rejecting secrecy in how you write the software winds up generating more innovative software," he says. "The question people ask is, can you really build a billion-dollar corporation on it?"

It's not so much the technology that mature markets take issue with, but rather the "mystery of open source," as he calls it. Sun's acquisition completely puts that to bed, he says. "Customers are completely at the mercy of these proprietary vendors," he says. "Keeping customers in this lock-in model is not necessary anymore."

What's more, Roberts points out open source and the Internet are making it possible for developers to collaborate on software globally and reduce the cost of distribution, which is translates into lower costs for the customer. "The companies of the lock-in mentality are not going to be able to compete. In five to 10 years, they won't be around," he predicts. "I think this is the future of software, and another proof point that the industry is changing for the better," he says.

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