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January 18, 2008

SugarCRM: MySQL, Sun Deal 'Validates' Changing Nature of Software Development

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


"There is a radical transformation going on," SugarCRM (News - Alert) CEO John Roberts told industry observer Nathan Eddy recently.
 
The leader of the largest open source customer relationship management (CRM) company said he thinks Sun Microsystems' (News - Alert) acquisition of MySQL was a "bold move" for Sun and a "win-win deal" for both companies: "This destroys the proprietary thinking Silicon Valley has been based on," he told Eddy.
 
Roberts characterized Sun as the "ideal" company to acquire MySQL. "Sun is a company that understands how to run very successful open source projects," he told Eddy. "I have a suspicion [Sun CEO] Jonathan [Schwartz] and Marten will lead the company on the ideals MySQL was based on."
 
As industry observer Rik Turner says, when Sun Microsystems added to its open source assets with the acquisition of MySQL for $1 billion, it wasn't exactly their first foray into community-based development.
 
Sun's been involved in the community-based development process "for many years, of course, through Java and has been offering Linux on X.86 servers since the 2002/2003 timeframe," Turner said, adding "It also now has OpenSolaris, the open source version of its proprietary flavor of Unix."
 
Roberts, who's looking forward to seeing a MySQL IPO this year, told Eddy the Sun deal is a "validation" of the changing nature of software development. "The open source development model of transparency and rejecting secrecy in how you write the software winds up generating more innovative software," he said. "The question people ask is, can you really build a billion-dollar corporation on it?"
 
Roberts applauds the fact that open source and the Internet are making it possible for developers to collaborate on software globally, since this reduces the cost of distribution, which translates into lower costs for the customer, he told Eddy: "The companies of the lock-in mentality are not going to be able to compete. In five to 10 years, they won't be around."
 
 David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
 
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