SkySQL Merges With MariaDB Developers To Create ‘Next Generation Open Source’ Database Company

Date of Release: 
April 23, 2013

World’s leading MySQL database development & support experts reunite

HELSINKI, FINLAND 23 APRIL 2013 SkySQL today announced that it has signed a merger agreement with Monty Program Ab, creators of the fastest growing open source database technology: MariaDB.  This merger reunites key members of the original MySQL AB developer and services teams. Their aim is to develop MariaDB into a truly interoperable, NewSQL open source database in collaboration with its customers, partners and the community. The company also pledges to further evolve its offering for users of the MySQL database.

MariaDB is truly open source and is compatible with the MySQL database while providing new extensions and features. Customers and users move to MariaDB for its performance. It is uniquely capable of interfacing with NoSQL database systems like Cassandra and LevelDB as well as to access data in other formats thanks to pluggable storage engines. This allows customers to leverage the capabilities of the latest database technologies as well as access data in legacy systems without expensive and risky database migrations. This merger brings cloud and big data capabilities together, which will enable the new company to become an interface for fellow open source technology providers.

SkySQL also announced it has joined the MariaDB Foundation as one of its earliest members, donating both money and resources to its development.  Simon Phipps, CEO of the MariaDB Foundation, welcomed SkySQL saying "It is a pleasure to have a company representing the reunited core team of our code base joining the Foundation at its inception."

SkySQL will collaborate closely with the MariaDB Foundation, an independent entity serving to guarantee that MariaDB remains open and transparent forever. Thanks to this, SkySQL’s combined teams can now address the four ‘FACT’ issues faced by database users today:

  • Future-proof – Support for all MySQL database releases, old and new, combined with an assurance that the MariaDB Server will always remain open source and independent
  • Access – Interoperability and flexible access to data in multiple database formats both SQL and NoSQL
  • Cost – The possibility to reduce database costs in line with other IT expenditure through effective maintenance and support
  • Transparency – Clear bug fixes and open test cases for database users to ensure data security

SkySQL commits to build on the momentum generated via the adoption of MariaDB by leading community Linux distributions as well as 500,000 user downloads per year. In collaboration with customers, partners and community members, SkySQL will:

  • Invest in the development of the MariaDB Server
  • Develop new solutions that allow users of MySQL and MariaDB databases to manage their data effectively in the enterprise and cloud
  • Continue to enhance its range of services to users of both MySQL and MariaDB in collaboration with the MySQL ecosystem

Patrik Sallner will lead the merged company as CEO, while Michael ‘Monty’ Widenius, creator of the MySQL & MariaDB databases, has been appointed CTO by the MariaDB Foundation. Closure of the merger is expected to take place in about four months time. Commercial terms are not disclosed.

Michael ‘Monty’ Widenius, CTO of the MariaDB Foundation, stated: “The MySQL database is named after my first daughter, My. The MariaDB database is named after my second daughter, Maria. With this merger and my own role in the MariaDB Foundation, I’m ensuring that the MariaDB project will remain ‘open source forever’, while knowing that enterprise and community users of both the MySQL & MariaDB databases will benefit from best-in-breed products, services and support provided by SkySQL. And who doesn’t want the best for their children?”

Patrik Sallner, CEO of SkySQL, commented: “By bringing on board the talented MariaDB developer team, SkySQL proposes a comprehensive partnership to leading open source database users. We are committed to develop MariaDB into the most versatile open source database. We look forward to working with the MariaDB Foundation as they engage with developers and users of MariaDB as well as with their important mission of ensuring the independence of the MariaDB project itself.”

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About SkySQL

SkySQL is the trusted provider of open source database solutions for MySQL and MariaDB users – in the enterprise and cloud, providing over 350 enterprise customers including Canal+, ClubMed, Constant Contact, Deutsche Telekom, La Poste, Virgin Mobile, Western Digital, Harvard University and XING with database deployment and management solutions.

With 250+ years of original MySQL experience, SkySQL has the leading MySQL talent pool with sponsorship by the original MySQL and MariaDB creators. It has also developed cloud-based database management solutions that bring ease of use, while providing an effective way to increase database productivity both in the enterprise and the cloud.

For more information, please visit, and follow the company’s conversations on Twitter and Facebook.


MySQL is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates. MariaDB is a registered trademark of Monty Program Ab.

               SkySQL and the SkySQL logo are trademarks of SkySQL Inc. or SkySQL Ab SkySQL is not affiliated with MySQL. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.


"Open Source"?

One item which is mentioned a few times is: "this and that is done to ensure that MariaDB remains open source forever". Yet, isn't that the unavoidable and unchangeable situation already ever since MySQL was sold to Sun?

Not really

Anyone can fork MySQL at any time as it is open-source, but 'mysql' the brand is owned by Oracle, and they pretty much control all aspects. If you want to contribute to MySQL you have to share copyright with Oracle. As such, they don't need to ask anyone's authorization to re-license MySQL and make it closed-source. You'll still have access to the "old" code, but with no real development team behind it, it will quickly stagnate.

I assume that this "MariaDB" remains open source forever also means that contributions will be accepted and no copyright-share will be required. Contributions will remain the copyright of the author, licensed under the GPL. Once you have a sizable number of contributions from different authors it will become almost impossible to close it, as you'd need permission from everyone. Anyone not agreeing, their code would have to be removed and the solution re-implemented in a way that doesn't break copyright law.