The Ingres Vultures Descend

Posted in: MySQL, Technical Track

In a despicable business practice, I received a message from a PR Firm representing Ingres. Now, I even wrote about the controversy that seems to have swept the open source community; but even my writings were not completely factually correct — I wrote that even if online backups were closed it was not necessarily the worst thing in the world. The actual parts of the online backup that are not open source and free are compression and encryption — that is all.

So really, we are talking about a very small part of backup. The last I saw most people used their own compressing (ie, | gzip -c) and encryption for backups. And honestly, I would rather use tried and true compression and encryption than something new that MySQL comes up with, so I do not even see most people wanting compression nor encryption.

But that’s besides the point. If Ingres thinks they can win customers over by swooping in when a controversy is happening, they are way more evil than I would ever have guessed. It’s not good business practice to do this kind of thing — it is cold, calculated, uncalled for, and just plain wrong.

As for my comments — firstly, MySQL did not make any particular “announcement”, and secondly, MySQL is already losing “feedback and contributions on its products from a large group of users in the community” because it does not have an easy way to get community patches committed to the source tree.

There is so much else that bothered me about the e-mail I received, so I will just copy it here for full context for readers:

Subject:  Ingres' Thoughts on Today's MySQL Announcement and What it Means for the Open Source Community

From:  Lindsey Pappas <>
Date:  Apr 15, 2008 5:33 PM

Hi Sheeri,

 Did you see MySQL 's announcement on new features in MySQL Enterprise version of its product? This is interesting news for the open source community, as it appears that MySQL is moving away from true open source towards a proprietary model by not providing the same features in its community version. Ingres is a a leading provider of open source database management software and support services and views the news as the loss of a true competitor in the open source space.  By doing this, MySQL will lose feedback and contributions on its products from a large group of users in the community. Costs will go up and quality will go down.

 Ingres is a believer in the true open source of its products.  I can put you in touch with an executive at Ingres to hear thoughts on the news and what MySQL's announcement means for the future of the open source community, including comment on:

·         The benefits of open source solutions that are identical between community and enterprise, functionality should not differ between products, cost or version.

·         The importance of an online backup component for mission critical applications.

·         In a community where everyone benefits from the valuable contributions and feedback on new developments and innovations from other players, MySQL’s move away from open source is a loss for the open source community.

Please let me know if you’d like to connect in the next day or so to discuss MySQL’s announcement and where the open source community is headed.



Lindsey Pappas
Atomic Public Relations
8 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 402-0230

Interested in working with Sheeri? Schedule a tech call.

5 Comments. Leave new


Mark Callaghan
April 20, 2008 11:37 pm

Wow, I am hurt that I didn’t receive such a message. So, what kind of demand does Pythian get for consulting on Ingres deployments?


Oh dear…


What I find interesting in all of this debacle (Jeremy’s post, then /., now this) is that the PR implications of the experimenting Marten is doing may in fact be the very strongest reason to put a stop to it. It’s a nightmare.



As I blogged about last night, in the long run I don’t see MySQL continuing this course. However, I agree that for now this is going to give MySQL’s image somewhat of a black eye. It’s easy for other companies to point out this stuff. Ah well, such is life.


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