MySQL 4.1 uses Microsoft code

MySQL 4.1 uses Microsoft code

Summary: Code that Microsoft made available under a public licence earlier this year will be used to build the next production release of the open-source database

MySQL developers have used Microsoft source code in version 4.1 of the open-source database, which is due for final release in two weeks.

Microsoft made the code for its Windows Installer XML (WiX) toolset available under an open-source licence in April 2004. The toolset is used by companies that develop applications for the Windows environment to build a Windows installation package.

David Axmark, co-founder of MySQL, said to ZDNet UK on Monday that the code has been used by MySQL developers to generate binary install files for the Windows environment. The code is not used for the MySQL database itself, but for building installers for the database and the administration tool which connects to the database.

As Microsoft is known for zealously protecting the source code of its applications, some open-source developers were suspicious when they heard it was releasing the source code of WiX. But Axmark said MySQL had little hesitation about using it.

"If Microsoft releases something under public licence we will use it," he said.

However, he said that the code is only part of the build process rather than key application functionality.

"It's not that useful," said Axmark. "We may need to modify the code slightly so it has some value. But it doesn't have as much value as something you would put into an application."

Simon Riggs, a developer on PostgreSQL, an alternative open-source database, said that future versions of PostgreSQL will not use the Microsoft source code as the database already uses the WiX API for its installer which he said works fine.

Riggs pointed out that the WiX toolset is already an open API, so there is little need to customise it.

Riggs pointed out that the WiX toolset is already programmable so there is little need to customise it.

"Microsoft open-sourcing this is like taking the top off a jar that is already open," said Riggs. "We're not interested in this bit of their source code."

A Microsoft spokeswoman said on Monday that Microsoft is committed to providing tools to aid software development. "WiX is just one example of our engagement with the open-source community and it helps software developers as they build software that runs on Windows," said the spokeswoman.

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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  • Shock, horror - MySQL creates Windows installer package!

    Haven't you got anything better to write about?
  • This article is a little off base...We only use Wix to build the _installer_ for our Windows binary of 4.1 (as does the Postgres team, see

    We don't use it for anything but building installers for our Wndows binaries (could you even do so?). The administration tool and configuration 'wizards' are built using totally different technology.
  • I have spoken to David Axmark and he has admitted that there was a factual error in what he originally said. I have now updated the article.

    Thanks for your comments.
  • I agree wtih Dan Mathias what's the point of telling us this. What's the big deal? Surely there are a lot of companies that use this...
  • Very misleading title, Ingrid. MySQL itself does not use MS code. It's the installer that uses code MS wants people to use, not MySQL itself. OS X, BSD, Linux and other versions of MySQL do not use the MS installer.
    Mostly your articles are very good, please keep up the level of accuracy you have had in the past.

    Was the title change part influenced in whole or in part by MS?