"An open source database called MySQL is quickly emerging as a
cheap, yet highly functional, alternative to proprietary databases
offered by major vendors such as Oracle and Informix. Yet, many in
the IT world are still unaware of exactly what MySQL is and how it
compares to other existing database technologies. D. Britt
Johnston, the chief technology officer of NuSphere, a Massachusetts
company that sells its own MySQL version, helps shed some light on
the technology in this interview...."
"How do the features of MySQL and open source databases compare
to those of proprietary databases?"
If you look at the lifetime of MySQL, it's really a "post-Web"
database. Its feature set has been molded by the requirements of
the Web. If you look at a lot of proprietary databases, a large
amount of their feature sets has been molded by trying to compete
with other databases."
"Is it true that proprietary databases have a lot of features
that people typically don't need?"
They have an awful lot of features for feature's sake, and it's not
necessarily that those features are used by a vast majority of
their particular customers. So MySQL tends to be focused more
tightly on what people need to be able to build dynamic and high
performance Web sites and less focused on the minutiae that
typically come out the head-to-head battle that Oracle and
Microsoft are going through."