Oracle and BEAS, Sun and MySQL

Two big acquisitions were announced this morning. One of them may have an effect at the place I work, Sybase, and the other may have a large impact.

Oracle Buys BEA Systems

These two did the acquisition dance a few months ago, with them parting ways, not having come to an agreeable deal. This morning, Oracle announced that they went back to the table and inked a $8.5 billion (or $7.2B, minus BEAS cash) deal to acquire BEA Systems. I had guessed that Oracle wouldn’t give up easily on the deal as BEA has compelling middleware offerings that will help Oracle tie together many disparate systems into its so-called Fusion initiative, combining best-of-breed applications from its numerous acquisitions over the past few years. Another feather in Larry Ellison’s cap and if executed properly, should allow Oracle to continue outperforming the rest of the software market both on the top and bottom lines.

Sun Microsystems Acquires MySQL AB

This was the biggie today. Sun put up around $1 billion for the open source database company that makes up the back-end of a large part of the internet, including this site. Sun’s goal is to provide another choice for commercial businesses in the market for databases, while at the same time driving forward their ‘open-source’ image. I don’t doubt their statement that many companies are wary of using an open-source company’s product and relying on them for service and support. With Sun backing them, this could mark an almost instantaneous shift in their opinion of the database.

MySQL probably already holds the top or second most mindshare in the development community, and the wide variety of customers it has will help Sun cross sell their products. Bundling MySQL along with Sun’s existing products could give it a much larger share of the commercial and enterprise database market, which MySQL holds only a sliver of currently. Is this a big deal for Sybase? I believe so – a well-funded competitor has just entered the space. The other database makers should keep a wary on them as well.


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