Oracle buys Sleepycat

Marco Gralike 2

It becomes stranger and stranger. After bying the open source
company InnoBase, Timesten, and others, Oracle now also bought
SleepyCat. Oracle also released its own freeware in the form of Oracle
Express. One could think that this aquisition of SleepyCat, could be an
extra effort to strenghen the XML DB functionality. Regarding embedded
databases it has also al lot of good products like the Oracle Express,
Timesten and or Oracle Light.

Sleepycat has always had an big impact in the opensource community. On the sleepycat blog is mentioned that:

We conservatively estimate that there are 200 million copies of
Berkeley DB running out there. Berkeley DB is in every copy of Linux,
every distro, whether it’s server, desktop or embedded. It’s also in
every copy of BSD Unix, so OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, etc. Every copy of
OpenLDAP and sendmail uses us. Every copy of OpenOffice and StarOffice
(Sun estimates 40 million are out there). 3 million Motorola
cellphones. Many copies of Movable Type, Subversion and Apache HTTP
server. A small number of MySQL deployments use Berkeley DB. I could go

To give an example… 



See for more info:

Lucas’ ideas and comments on

Oracle acquires SleepyCat… 


2 thoughts on “Oracle buys Sleepycat

  1. It is not “just” the two main data stores for MySQL, but what is really freightning is the BSD license that MySQL is using to earn money. This is dependant on the back-ends (sleepycat and innodb). This means that Oracle can start making money on each and every commercial implementation of MySQL. When Zend is accuired next, MySQL is cornered (Zend is the maintainer of PHP, the most popular way to access MySQL).

    Oracle buying MySQL is not that worrying, since this doesn’t per se kill this open-source database. What is worrying is that big corporations (like Oracle) start interfering with everyday business for an open source company. This means that marketing and sales start to infuence technological quests. IMHO the true strength of open-source
    is exactly this (no influence of marketing and sales targets), I fear this is going to disapear….

    This doesn’t change the beauty in strategy of the powerplay Oracle is displaying at this time. MySQL has become a fairly big player in the RDBMS world, a market share that Oracle can’t deny.

  2. It feels a little creepy. InnoBase and Berkeley DB are the two main data stores for MySQL. Even if Oracle can’t stop them (since both are OpenSource) they can slow them down. And that could be the true story. Revenue saved by slowing the use of MySQL could justify the investment.

    Only time will tell. I hope I’m wrong.
    🙂 stw

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