MySQL Enterprise: the lord giveth, the lord taketh away

Kaj wrote about changes in the Enterprise and Community offering from MySQL AB – by the way, I still don’t understand why the Community VP delivers these announcements rather than a company press release. A Community VP’s blog can’t be the official publication channel of a PR department, can it?

I think Jeremy Cole summarises the issue very well. Important promises for the community ecosystem were not delivered. This is a great pity.

And no longer making the source tarballs of the Enterprise version publically available… come on. This should have been done from the start (and that’s not even a 20-20 hindsight statement ;-) It’s been blatantly obvious, really. It would have made sense, and is a perfectly valid choice under the GPL. Didn’t I write a blog entry on this exact model recently? But here’s the problem: first giving something (and various distros, like Debian, have been using them for their builds now) and then taking it away… that just looks bad.

I’ll note again that I want MySQL AB to do very well, business wise. It’d be good for the market, good for the product, and hey, it might be good for me at some point as I’m a (very minor) shareholder. But it takes time for a company to build karma with its community, while it’s very easy to burn it off.

Now, if the earlier public release enterprise source code release was a kind-of booboo that needed to be rectified, and this could have been presented in the light of all other community promises having been delivered…. I don’t think people would have been fussed, then. People would have understood (they’re smart), nobody’s perfect and mistakes are made. It’s the complete picture that’s the real issue now. Actual commitment and delivery (actions not words) is what it takes.

2 thoughts on “MySQL Enterprise: the lord giveth, the lord taketh away”

  1. The Community VP makes the announcements to the community. Marketing makes the announcements to business customers. Since this decision doesn’t affect Enterprise, it was an announcement made to Community only.

    The problem is that the company makes too much of a separation – it used to be that ‘community’ meant ‘anyone who used mysql’, and now it seems that ‘community’ means ‘anyone who doesn’t pay for Enterprise’ and I don’t think that’s accurate.

    There’s too much separation on the marketing side of the business. The Enterprise users ARE a part of the Community. The bottom line is that while not all Enterprise communications are appropriate for Community, all Community communications are appropriate for Enterprise customers.

  2. Thanks Sheeri, that looks like a good observation. Clearly, most enterprise users are indeed also part of the community. In many cases, they are very active participants and not just “high-roller consumers”.

    The market does not see (for itself) a distinction community and enterprise in the way it’s being presented. Perhaps that’s what it’s about…

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