Oracle is aiming to get users of Microsoft SQL Server to switch to MySQL by offering a migration tool for their data, claiming that customers can reduce their database ownership costs by up to 90 per cent.
The tool, available now as part of Oracle's MySQL Workbench, allows users to quickly and easily migrate data from Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL, the firm said.
With the addition of the new tool, SQL Server developers and database administrators can use MySQL Workbench to convert existing applications to run on MySQL, both on Windows and other platforms, with less time and effort.
Oracle also unveiled a MySQL for Excel plug-in that enables customers to import data from MySQL for manipulation and analysis.
Oracle claims that by using MySQL over Microsoft SQL Server 2012, users can reduce their database total cost of ownership by up to 90 per cent, largely because MySQL carries no licensing costs, with users paying only for an annual subscription for support and maintenance.
However, users of Microsoft SQL Server would be well advised to think carefully before taking up Oracle's offer, as question marks still hang over the long-term future of MySQL.
When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2009, it also acquired MySQL, which had been available under the terms of the GNU Public License.
In order to have its acquisition of Sun approved by the European Commission, Oracle agreed to continue development of MySQL, and to continue to honour the terms and conditions of existing MySQL licensees.
The European Commission was concerned that the acquisition could harm competition in the database market, partly because MySQL competes against Oracle's own high-end database products, and it would be tempting for Oracle to just let MySQL quietly die.
But Oracle's undertaking only lasts for five years from the closing of the acquisition in 2010, and this has previously been criticised by many experts as being too brief for enterprise customers to make long-term investment decisions.
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