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Re: What can we learn from MySQL?

From: "Andrew Payne" <andy(at)payne(dot)org>
To: "Bruce Momjian" <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>,"PostgreSQL-development" <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Cc: "PostgreSQL advocacy" <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: What can we learn from MySQL?
Date: 2004-04-27 01:31:33
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Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-hackerspgsql-www
Bruce asked an excellent question:

> My question is, "What can we learn from MySQL?"  I don't know there is
> anything, but I think it makes sense to ask the question.

After watching the traffic on this, the biggest MySQL lesson has gone
largely unmentioned:  that a well-funded, well-marketed, focused commercial
entity clearly associated with the project can do wonders to overcome
feature and technical shortcomings.

At some point (probably there now), I think the lack of a "Postgres, Inc."
is going to hinder adoption.  Companies want to 'buy' from vendors that look
like real, viable companies, and provide them products with support,
training, features, and direction.  With MySQL, you get one stop shopping.
With Postgres, you've got to find and assemble the parts yourself.  Most
CIOs stop there, and start waiting for MySQL to get better before switching
from Oracle.

The other issue is marketing:  in mature software markets, the best
marketing (not the best technology) often wins.  Without a sizeable
marketing budget earmarked for Postgres, MySQL could be 60% as good and
still win, unfortunately.

For those that believe that the Linux kernel is a success model, don't
forget that Red Hat had a lot to do with putting Linux on the map.  And IBM.

For those that look to Apache:  Apache never had a well-established
incumbent (Oracle), an a well-funded upstart competitor (MySQL).  Rob
McCool's NCSA httpd (and later, Apache) were good enough and developed
rapidly enough that they prevented any other HTTP server projects from
getting critical mass.

The corollary to Bruce's question:  where do *you* see the Postgres project
in 3 years?  Market share?  Key features?  Niche?

Related:  does MySQL stumble somehow, or do they keep gaining share?


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