My answer on Quora to “How does MariaDB compare to Oracle?”
Nobody uses MariaDB, don’t go there. You should compare MySQL to Oracle instead.
MariaDB is a fork of MySQL created by the original MySQL developers. They had cashed out and sold MySQL but hated the idea that Oracle bought their baby. According to DB-Engines Ranking, MariaDB is at place 20 with a popularity score of 45. MySQL is in second spot with a 1380 score, only a whisker behind Oracle at 1404.
Comparing Oracle and MySQL:
- Oracle has every feature you can dream of, including a powerful proprietary programming language, and scales up to ridiculous sizes and speeds. If you need some of that, it’s worth the high cost
- MySQL has every feature a normal developer needs in a database, and even the free community edition will meet most needs.
How does MariaDB compare to Oracle?
In Europe, many people love Open Source with its connotations of sharing and village co-operatives. On the other hand, many Europeans don’t like the big, successful American companies (witness the ritual McDonalds-bashing).
This emotional preference for Open Source to big American companies is why the EU competition authorities have decided to protest against Oracle acquiring MySQL.
So what will happen? In my opinion, Larry will huff and puff, but in the end he will set up a semi-independent foundation and give it MySQL.
What will this mean? To Oracle, nothing (except perhaps a very small dent in Larry’s ego ;-). Oracle are not big on free databases anyway – they have their own free Oracle XE, but they are letting it lag five years behind the paid version. To MySQL, this represents a squandered opportunity. Larry could spend twice what Sun did and it would still be less than what he spends on a new carbon-fibre mast. Instead, MySQL will end up starved of investment and will be overtaken by various forks like Amazons RDS.