History of MySQL

MySQL is an open source database product that was created by MySQL AB, a company founded in 1995 in Sweden. In 2008, MySQL AB announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Sun Microsystems for approximately $1 billion.

Initial Efforts

The project of MySQL was started in 1979, when MySQL’s inventor, Michael Widenius developed an in-house database tool called UNIREG for managing databases. After that UNIREG has been rewritten in several different languages and extended to handle big databases. After some time Michael Widenius contacted David Hughes, the author of mSQL, to see if Hughes would be interested in connecting mSQL to UNIREG’s B+ ISAM handler to provide indexing to mSQL. That’s the way MySQL came in existence.

MySQL is named after the daughter of Michael Widenius whose name is “My”.

History by year:

Year Happenings
1995 MySQL AB founded by Michael Widenius (Monty), David Axmark and Allan Larsson in Sweden.
2000 MySQL goes open source and releases software under the terms of the GPL. Revenues dropped 80% as a result, and it took a year to make up for it.
2001 Marten Mickos elected CEO at age 38. Marten was the CEO of a number of nordic companies before joining MySQL, and comes with a sales and marketing background. 2 million active installations. Raised series a with undisclosed amount from Scandinavian venture capitalists. Estimated to be around $1 to $2 million.
2002 MySQL launched us headquarters in addition to Swedish headquarters. 3 million active users. Ended the year with $6.5 million in revenue with 1,000 paying customers.
2003 Raised a $19.5 million series b from benchmark capital and index ventures. 4 million active installations and over 30,000 downloads per day. Ended the year with $12 million in revenue.
2004 With the main revenue coming from the oem dual-licensing model, MySQL decides to move more into the enterprise market and to focus more on recurring revenue from end users rather than one-time licensing fees from their oem partners. Ended the year with $20 million in revenue.
2005 MySQL launched the MySQL network modeled after the Redhat network. the MySQL network is a subscription service targeted at end users that provides updates, alerts, notifications, and product-level support designed to make it easier for companies to manage hundreds of MySQL servers. MySQL 5 ships and includes many new features to go after enterprise users (e.g. stored procedures, triggers, views, cursors, distributed transactions, federated storage engines, etc.) Oracle buys innobase, the 4-person and a Finland’s company behind MySQL’s innodb storage backend.

ended the year with $34 million in revenue based on 3400 customers.
2006
Marten Mickos confirms that oracle tried to buy MySQL. Oracle’ CEO Larry Ellison commented: “we’ve spoken to them, in fact we’ve spoken to almost everyone. Are we interested? It’s a tiny company. I think the revenues from MySQL are between $30 million and $40 million. Oracle’s revenue next year is $15 billion.” Oracle buys sleepycat, the company that provides MySQL with the Berkeley db transactional storage engine. Marten Mickos announces that they are making MySQL ready for an IPO in 2008 on an projected $100 million in revenues. 8 million active installations. MySQL has 320 employees in 25 countries, 70 percent of whom work from home, raised a $18 million series c based on a rumored valuation north of $300 million. MySQL is estimated to have a 33% market share measured in install base and 0.2% market share measured in revenue (the database market was a $15 billion market in 2006). Ended the year with $50 million in revenue.
2007 Ended the year with $75 million in revenue.
2008 Sun Microsystems acquired MySQL AB for approximately $1 billion. Michael Widenius (Monty) and David Axmark, two of MySQL AB’s co-founders, begin to criticize Sun publicly and leave Sun shortly after.
2009 Marten Mickos leaves Sun and becomes entrepreneur-in-residence at Benchmark Capital. Sun has now lost the business and spiritual leaders that turned MySQL into a success.
Sun Microsystems and Oracle announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion.
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