Is MySQL usage really declining?

If you’re a MySQL user, tell us about your adoption plans by taking our current survey.

Back in late 2009, at the height of the concern about Oracle’s imminent acquisition of Sun Microsystems and MySQL, 451 Research conducted a survey of open source software users to assess their database usage and attitudes towards Oracle.

The results provided an interesting snapshot of the potential implications of the acquisition and the concerns of MySQL users and even, so I am told, became part of the European Commission’s hearing into the proposed acquisition (used by both sides, apparently, which says something about both our independence and the malleability of data).

One of the most interesting aspects concerned the apparently imminent decline in the usage of MySQL. Of the 285 MySQL users in our 2009 survey, only 90.2% still expected to be using it two years later, and only 81.8% in 2014.

Other non-MySQL users expected to adopt the open source database after 2009, but the overall prediction was decline. While 82.1% of our sample of 347 open source users were using MySQL in 2009, only 78.7% expected to be using it in 2011, declining to 72.3% in 2014.

This represented an interesting snapshot of sentiment towards MySQL, but the result also had to be taken with a pinch of salt given the significant level of concern regarding MySQL future at the time the survey was conducted.

The survey also showed that only 17% of MySQL users thought that Oracle should be allowed to keep MySQL, while 14% of MySQL users were less likely to use MySQL if Oracle completed the acquisition.

That is why we are asking similar questions again, in our recently launched MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey.

More than two years later Oracle has demonstrated that it did not have nefarious plans for MySQL. While its stewardship has not been without controversial moments, Oracle has also invested in the MySQL development process and improved the performance of the core product significantly. There are undoubtedly users that have turned away from MySQL because of Oracle but we also hear of others that have adopted the open source database specifically because of Oracle’s backing.

That is why we are now asking MySQL users to again tell us about their database usage, as well as attitudes to MySQL following its acquisition by Oracle. Since the database landscape has changed considerably late 2009, we are now also asking about NoSQL and NewSQL adoption plans.

Is MySQL usage really in decline, or was the dip suggested by our 2009 survey the result of a frenzy of uncertainty and doubt given the imminent acquisition. Will our current survey confirm or contradict that result? If you’re a MySQL user, tell us about your adoption plans by taking our current survey.

Tags: , , , ,

3 comments ↓

#1 Henrik Ingo on 01.23.12 at 4:14 pm

Yes, it’s true. If I remember correctly, the Commission used your data (which was alarming indeed) and Oracle used your opinion (which was way more optimistic than the data).

“More than two years later Oracle has demonstrated that it did not have nefarious plans for MySQL. ”

Well, at least they’ve been hiding it well. I hear some features have been dropped to make sure members of their database portfolio won’t compete too much head to head.

Of course, the change towards more closed source features as compared to Sun has also happened as expected – not everyone agrees this is a bad thing though.

“There are undoubtedly users that have turned away from MySQL because of Oracle but we also hear of others that have adopted the open source database specifically because of Oracleโ€™s backing.”

This is very true, and they are users that probably wouldn’t have touched it (or at least never admitted to) without Oracle being there. Goes to show that you get some, you lose some.

Will be interesting to hear your new results!

#2 Matthew Aslett on 01.24.12 at 4:58 am

Hi Henrik,

Thanks for the insight. I was never sure how our survey had been used as neither side asked for either our data or our opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

As you suggest, there are clearly multiple trends at work here, but the results so far are really interesting. We’ll be sharing them via the blog once the report is done.

Matt

#3 451 CAOS Theory » MySQL vs. NoSQL and NewSQL – survey results on 05.25.12 at 7:06 am

[…] users to explore the competitive dynamic between MySQL, NoSQL and NewSQL databases, and to to discover if MySQL usage is really declining – as had been indicated by the results of a prior […]