Arjen Lentz, executive director of Brisbane-based company Open Query, has become a member of the interim board of directors for the Open Database Alliance (ODBA) — an organisation intended to promote the ecosystem around free and open source databases.
"I have been an active participant in the MySQL ecosystem for the better part of this decade," Lentz told ZDNet.com.au. "Individual activities don't always have direct benefit to the business, but it helps the ecosystem and thus benefits us too."
Joining Lentz on the board is his old boss Monty Widenius as chairperson, former MySQL employees Peter Zaitsev and Patrik Backman, and Free Software Foundation Europe president Georg Greve.
The ODBA says it will promote all database technologies that are open source and the businesses based upon them. "There are databases other than MySQL: Richard Hipp's SQLite is very popular in the embedded space (if you have an iPhone, it's in there too) and PostgreSQL is particularly good with geospatial applications," said Lentz.
"There is no product that's 'best'. That is a balanced and positive message, possibly enlightening some onlookers who believe that there is intrinsic conflict between, for instance, MySQL and PostgreSQL."
A core activity of the alliance will be pointing prospective customers in the right direction for service and products via a sales referral program. "Potential clients only have a choice when they become aware of the options," Lentz said.
The alliance says it is open to developers, vendors, resellers as well as users. "How would you make the distinction of when a service provider becomes a product vendor — and why? I reckon it really doesn't matter, not to clients either," Lentz said.
A general assembly will be held in Zurich in the coming months to elect board members and auditors.