In A Surprising Ending, Oracle Buys Sun

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By now you have heard that Oracle bought Sun. I did not want to write about it yesterday as I wanted to sit and think about the effect this has on anything Sun related. There is some good high-level business analysis from Reuters as well. There is one important quote from that article that needs sharing:

Sun was more comfortable striking a deal with Oracle because the two operate complementary rather than overlapping businesses, and antitrust roadblocks are less likely.

This is probably the most significant difference between an Oracle and IBM deal for Sun. This deal also gets Oracle into the hardware game without having to buy a lesser player. However, the software side of this deal is much more interesting.


So, what happens to Java? Hopefully nothing. The JCP exists in order to take real ownership out of the hands of one entity anyway. Oracle also has a lot of interest in keeping Java alive and well. We may see a renewed push for all things data related in Java now that Oracle is a much more important player in that space.


Oracle already has a tool called JDeveloper that technically competes with NetBeans. Up until recently, both tools were considered terrible by many people with only Eclipse and IntelliJ considered as decent java development environments. However, the recent versions of NetBeans have been reviewed well, so Oracle could have upgraded their java tools as a bonus.


This is the big question in this deal. MySQL is used almost everywhere as a free alternative to the expensive commercial RDBMS. MySQL is used as the backbone of WordPress and many internet sites as well. Is there a danger that Oracle will neglect MySQL? Absolutely. Will that really happen? Absolutely not.

Oracle purchased an interesting business with MySQL. They can keep it open source, add on “premium” features that enterprise customers may want, and eventually push for upgrades to their enterprise offering of Oracle. In addition, they get some nice consulting and services deals out of this as well. If anything, this just makes Oracle’s database position much stronger. They have always had a problem getting smaller businesses to run on Oracle, and now they have something that almost anyone can run.

The main problem with Oracle buying MySQL is that there will definitely be work on a “more open source” version of MySQL. My understanding is that a fork of MySQL was started a while ago, but with Oracle now owning it, I am assuming that people will put more effort in an open source offering. I call this a problem because it just means that there will be yet another choice in the database game, and it is likely to confuse things a bit.

Final Words

Oracle is a big winner with this deal, mainly because of the hardware they have always coveted. However, there are two jewels in this deal, MySQL and the cloud services. I already talked about MySQL, but the cloud services that Sun has mentioned recently will be a big bonus for Oracle. Oracle is already working with cloud providers to have Oracle as a data storage choice, so owning their own cloud offering could be huge for them. They have always wanted an entire stack offering from hardware to database and middleware. Now they can offer that, and soon offer it in the form of cloud services. Oracle has just positioned themselves as a major player for the next few years.

One thought on “In A Surprising Ending, Oracle Buys Sun

  1. Sun had no hope of survival by the late 1990s when McNeely Locked-in on selling “boxes” and stopped listening to the marketplace. Sun created huge value with Solaris and Java, but had no idea how to capture that value so it just kept doing what it always did. Eventually, the market didn’t see the value in the boxes any more, and the value of Solaris and Java had been frittered away. A lesson for any company that it must adapt to market needs or it will be squashed. Read more at


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