MySQL founder leaves Sun

MySQL founder leaves Sun

Summary: Angry over the way Sun handled the release of MySQL 5.1, Monty Widenius has parted ways with the company and will be starting his own enterprise.

Monty Widenius, the original author of the MySQL database server, has resigned from Sun Microsystems after months of protracted discussions about his career.

In a blog post, Widenius cited the botched release of MySQL 5.1 as the motivation for him to offer his immediate resignation back in August 2008.

Widenius wrote: "The main reason for leaving was that I am not satisfied with the way the MySQL server has been developed... In particular I would have liked to see the server development be moved to a true open development environment that would encourage outside participation and without any need of differentiation on the source code. Sun has been considering opening up the server development, but the pace has been too slow."

Sun management and Widenius came to an agreement whereby Widenius would stay for three months, which turned into seven months, to assist with the MySQL development until they could find him a role within Sun.

Widenius will be creating his own company called Monty Program Ab that will work on the Maria project, a transactional storage engine for MySQL, and expects some of the existing Maria team members to move with him; other team members will remain within Sun.

Widenius stated that he still thought that Sun was the best possible buyer for MySQL.

This article by Chris Duckett was originally published on

Topics: Enterprise Software, Data Centers, Data Management, Open Source, Oracle, Software


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • Resources

    Any chance that the reason Mr. Widenius wanted to open up the project more was the need for more resources than Sun could supply?

    Any chance that the reason Sun was reluctant was the knowledge that companies with more resources might create a more saleable product from Sun's gift?

    The release apparently had a large number of difficulties. Somebody had the goal of putting out a version of MySQL when it arrived. Corporate strategy must be a significant factor.

    Anton Philidor
  • Not a Surprise

    Sun paid far more than what MySQL was actually worth. Sun bought MySQL with no real cohesive goal in terms of how it would integrate it or monetize it and with the amount they bought it for, there really was no way to recoup the costs. And, after acquiring it, they didn't really have the resources to handle it. The purchase price was just the tip of the iceberg in developing a real product.

    Sun isn't a huge fan of open source and they didn't have the internal resources to do this. Sun paid a lot for a lose-lose acquisition.
  • I'm all for open source .... but ...

    SUN paid a huge amount of money for MySQL. I don't see whey they should just give it away just because "the seller" would like them too.

    Then you read that the guy is creating his own company. My guess is that the guy was already planning to leave and wanted to create a new business with the IP that SUN purchased and paid for.

    • Well....

      MySQL is specifically designed to allow it to use 3rd party database engines. Those 3rd party engines are not IP that Sun paid for. Anyone can work on those and that is where he is headed.

      He isn't talking about Sun giving it away. He was talking about Sun not have the number of coders inside to support the product and Sun was unwilling to move to open source for that portion of the product. Essentially, its a dead product line until Sun manages to bring in the resources to do the coding. Sun spent $1 billion on something and then did nothing to make sure the next version (which was fairly ambitious) actually worked or could be supported.

      Yeah.. that does sound like it was time to jump ship.
  • Another McPuke fuck up

    And yet the board of boot licking morons is probably absolutely convinced that this is great news.