Proud and Excited To Be Part of the MySQL Open Source Community

Over the past few weeks since joining SkySQL as CEO, I have been meeting with team members to learn more about each person's views on the company, our customers and the industry. The team has done an amazing job since this company of original MySQLers re-emerged onto the scene more than a year and a half ago. We now have over 300 customers globally with very high satisfaction on the quality of services provided. July has for me been all about understanding the unique company culture and heritage from MySQL, and how we as a team can capitalize on our strengths to solve the challenges that our customers face while increasing the attractiveness of the MySQL ecosystem and community.

Last week, I attended the OSCON conference in the U.S. and found true inspiration from those involved with MySQL and other open source ecosystems. While 10 years ago one had to justify the use of any type of open source software, today MySQL and the LAMP stack are embraced by organizations all over the world, and are being applied in countless contexts. A decade ago, conferences like OSCON were among the rare events where developers and customers could gather to learn more about these technologies, but today you see open source and cloud database discussions highlighted at conferences and events across all industries. It’s now an integral part of doing business.

However, OSCON is still an important event for showcasing true open source leadership, and this year’s conference didn’t disappoint. Thanks to kind introductions by our closest partner, Monty Widenius and the crew from MariaDB, I met with leaders of the MySQL community, such as Mark Callaghan at Facebook and Peter Zaitsev from Percona, who are both demonstrating incredible successes in applying and evolving MySQL. While MySQL remains the most used open source database, I felt from many attendees a sense of discomfort with the disproportionate attention that especially NoSQL databases are getting from the media and deemed “hot.” While NoSQL brings indisputable benefits in certain applications, the public discussion seems to have lost perspective on the degree to which MySQL capabilities and performance have evolved recently. It is also easy to forget how much more widespread the MySQL capabilities are within the broader developer community compared to these newer technologies. This is a significant advantage, given the general shortage of experienced DBAs world-wide.

The fact is that MySQL is no longer that insecure teenager with much promise for web apps; it’s a mature, professional database used by organizations of every size in a broad range of different applications. And it is now even more capable and reliable thanks to the efforts of Oracle and others. Unfortunately, not everybody is aware of this. Some people believe that MySQL development stagnated since the Oracle acquisition. To the contrary, both the database and the ecosystem have become a lot more diverse and mature since then. MySQL-related innovation remains active thanks to the efforts of MariaDB and our other partners that have developed a range of complementary technologies and tools for MySQL. Collectively, this community has in the past years brought significant enhancements to MySQL performance, availability, flexibility, stability and ease of use.

We at SkySQL are focused on continuing to use the latest technologies and collaborative tools to further improve how we work with each other and with our customers and partners. My next step is to spend the coming weeks meeting with our customers to learn more about how they are using MySQL and to identify means for us to help them improve the productivity and performance of the applications they run on it. We’ll use this insight to define specific focus areas and to develop solutions that meet the evolving needs of MySQL users.

We also pledge to do our part to raise the profile of the MySQL ecosystem. I’m excited for the future of the MySQL ecosystem and the role that SkySQL can play in it. The MySQL user base is diverse. This means there are countless opportunities for each of us to see success and make our customers’ lives easier. Let’s all work together to educate the market and promote the benefits of MySQL. We’re a rich and dynamic community, and one that can act as a unified front to arm DBAs and developers with the information they need to combat pressure to perform costly and risky migrations to other databases for the wrong reasons. Let’s all work to promote where MySQL is today, and to paint a compelling picture of where we plan to take it in the future. I hope you’ll join me in enhancing the MySQL ecosystem and in promoting our community.

I’ll check in here about once a month with thoughts, questions and comments on our findings and any major news from the company. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll add a comment with any additional ideas you might have. Hope to hear from you, and to meet you in person at one of the many upcoming events!

About the Author

Patrik joined SkySQL as CEO in 2012 after running the Content Cloud business at F-Secure where he was also leading the Professional Services function. Earlier, Patrik built up and led the Hosting Line of Business in Nokia Siemens Networks. Patrik has a long background with Nokia where he held various management positions in mobile phone product development, strategy and innovation, including running a cross-functional Corporate Strategy unit called Insight & Foresight. He also worked several years in management consulting with McKinsey & Company in their Paris and Helsinki offices.