LinuxPR: UN Food & Agriculture Organization Selects MySQL as Open Source Database Standard

[ Thanks to LinuxPR for this link.

MySQL AB today announced that the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has selected MySQL as its
open source server-side database standard.

Founded in 1945 and with more than 3,700 staff members, FAO’s
mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural
productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute
to the growth of the world economy. Achieving food security for all
is at the heart of FAO’s efforts. With headquarters in Rome and 74
country offices around the world, FAO provides the kind of
behind-the-scenes assistance and sustainable solutions that help
people and nations help themselves.

Key activities of the FAO include putting information within
reach, sharing policy expertise, and bringing knowledge to the
field. Over 200 database systems are used to collect, analyze and
disseminate knowledge and data that aid development of the member
countries. Until now, almost all systems have been based on Oracle,
but FAO recognized that the inclusion of open source software
solutions could help the Organization better accomplish its mandate
and objectives.

“One of the key requirements for our technical information
systems is that they must be very easily available and accessible
by the member countries as well as easy to set-up and maintain,”
said Kurt Vertucci, Senior Officer, IT Governance for FAO. “We
cannot dictate to countries what their infrastructure should be.
Therefore, in addition to requiring very flexible licensing, these
systems need to be portable and based on open standards.”

After evaluating PostgreSQL and MySQL as possible alternatives,
FAO selected MySQL as its open source database standard.

“With the release of MySQL 5.0 and its new features — including
stored procedures, triggers and views — the reasons why we were
looking at PostgreSQL no longer existed,” continued Vertucci.
“MySQL proved to be easier to set up, easier to manage and has
become a widely-deployed standard in the developing countries,
helping governments to achieve significant costs savings, without
sacrificing database speed and power.”

To help the FAO IT team to migrate and implement their new open
source database, the MySQL professional services organization
delivered a comprehensive mentoring program including training,
consulting and workshops to enable the agency to learn best
practices and to initially configure the systems according to their
specific needs. FAO has also subscribed to the MySQL Network
subscription offering, which includes certified software,
production support and proactive advisor services.

Vertucci explained, “MySQL is helping us to accomplish our
mandate in terms of information dissemination and capacity building
while achieving significant internal cost efficiencies. We are
planning to migrate up to 80 percent of our Technical Information
Systems to MySQL.”

Richard Mason, MySQL AB’s vice president of EMEA, said, “We are
delighted and proud to be able to help FAO to be more effective and
do even more to address global hunger. Open source software like
MySQL offers an opportunity for developing countries throughout the
world to learn and take advantage of advanced IT technology at a
fraction of the cost of traditional proprietary systems.”

Full Press