Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Survey Results Point to the Future of Java and MySQL

I’ve been enthralled with Oracle’s acquisition of Sun since the day it was announced, because of what it represents to the foundation of open source software. My very first blog post on this matter, in April of last year, focused on the hearts and minds of the developer, in this case through two of Oracle’s most important acquired assets: Java and MySQL. My concluding remark was “stay tuned”.

Now we fast-forward more than one year. The deal is (finally) concluded and things are settling, right? Not taking anything for granted, I commissioned a survey of Jaspersoft’s substantial registered community members (numbering more than 130,000 at the time of the survey, April 2010, but now at 150,000). Because nearly 70% of Jaspersoft’s community is comprised of software developers (substantially using Java, MySQL and related tools), we felt our findings could be important. And, indeed, they did not disappoint.

We asked the Community about their planned future use for Java and MySQL versus competing technologies and products. We asked them about the expected pace of innovation for these two products and if they believe the community processes would be maintained. In short, we gained a capsule of information regarding the likelihood that these two foundational technologies would remain relevant, or become more so. Here’s a summary of our findings:
  • 43 percent of respondents believe MySQL development and innovation will improve under Oracle;
  • 80 percent of respondents believe the Java process will improve or stay the same;
  • The most popular alternative to MySQL cited by respondents who said they planned to switch databases away from Oracle, is PostgreSQL. But only 5% indicated they would switch.
  • 59 percent of survey respondents were not aware that Oracle reorganized and established a completely separate MySQL business unit from the Oracle’s traditional RDBMS business, which includes separate and dedicated engineering, professional services, sales and marketing.

So, it seems that not only is Oracle’s stewardship and ownership of these critical open source products safe for now, but it could lead to a resurgence for Java and even greater success for MySQL. We considered these findings surprising and hopefully good for open source software overall.

You can find our press release, announcing these findings here. And, you can find a complete copy of the survey results white paper here. You can imagine, given my investment of time on this topic, that I’m interested in your thoughts and comments.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer

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