Congratulations, MySQL, 25 years today!

Time flies!

It certainly doesn’t feel like 25 years ago that Monty released MySQL. At that time, I thought it was a bit redundant of Monty to create Yet Another Database, the world was full of them already. But MySQL turned out to become the database for Internet, growing hand-in-hand with PHP (and Perl and Python). 

When MySQL was created 1995, Monty’s oldest daughter My was six years old. When the first MariaDB was released 2009, My’s little sister Maria was one year younger, five years old.

The oldest site I found: 5 July 1998

One innovation over the other databases was the license model. Yes, it took another five years from 1995 to 2000 to be released under GPLv2, but MySQL was always liberal in its licensing.

Another key reason for the growth of MySQL was the trinity of performance, stability and ease of use. Postgres was Open Source before MySQL, and had more features; the way MySQL won hearts was through the pragmatic trinity.

For many years in its early life, MySQL was belittled. Just a toy. Before the Berkeley DB storage engine was introduced, it didn’t even have transactions. If it isn’t ACID, can you even call it a database? (Many a NoSQL of today would argue: yes you can).

But MySQL grew. It now had to be professionally belittled. Meaning it was spin doctored into something that database vendors like ORCL, IBM and MSFT could portray as a toy.

Boy, has the world changed. ORCL is now the owner of MySQL, whereas IBM and MSFT are members of the MariaDB Foundation. Well, remnants of good-old-day bashing still exist, as Matt Asay pointed out, quoting Ellison as saying “you’ve got to be willing to give up tons of reliability, tons of security, tons of performance to [use MySQL instead of Oracle because]…we have a huge technology advantage.

But I don’t let incidents such as that hold me back from my overall conclusion, which I shared earlier in the week during my keynote at Percona Live: kudos to Oracle for taking much better care of MySQL than I had expected!