In early Spring 2003 I called Erik Granström @MySQL, wanting to discuss if we could work with MySQL on a new storage engine. He directed me to Mårten Mickos, the CEO of MySQL. After a brief call with Mårten, we were to take up the discussion later in the Spring. Mårten was very busy, and did not have time to take the discussion further, he did not tell me why, but I learned it a few months later.
At the time I was heading up a database start-up. We had struggled for some time with customers, as they all wanted a “standard interface” to access the data, and all we could offer was a proprietary C++ interface. The answer lay in SQL, and we had done some initial work on an ODBC driver, where the parser and query execution was all done in the api. It was tedious work, and clearly not where our key differentiator was. Reading in the Linux Journal that Winter about MySQL seemed to present a solution to our problem. MySQL had all those upper layers of the database, and a storage engine interface – “just plug it in and we would be ready to go” – if it had been that simple
Today you know the result of this integration as MySQL Cluster, which is being used in every corner of the world, powering mobile networks. Back in 2003 we used the tagline – “The Telecom Database” – in our marketing material. And looking back at my own career, it is one of the things I’m most proud of – We made it!
That Spring, Mårten landed the Series B funding for MySQL and a major deal with SAP. I guess he was excused for putting me off for a while The discussions reconviened, but it turned out to be a very different one – we got acquired. This is a story in itself, meriting a separate chapter one day – meeting Monty and David for the first time – meeting Larry Stefonic – and batteling the Swedish union.
That’s how my journey with MySQL started. I’ve had a great first 10 years with MySQL, and I’m looking forward to many more years to come. I remain faithful to MySQL, and I believe in the path we are paving for MySQL here at @Oracle.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned. Tomas