Is MySQL usage really declining?

If you’re a MySQL user, tell us about your adoption plans by taking our current survey.

Back in late 2009, at the height of the concern about Oracle’s imminent acquisition of Sun Microsystems and MySQL, 451 Research conducted a survey of open source software users to assess their database usage and attitudes towards Oracle.

The results provided an interesting snapshot of the potential implications of the acquisition and the concerns of MySQL users and even, so I am told, became part of the European Commission’s hearing into the proposed acquisition (used by both sides, apparently, which says something about both our independence and the malleability of data).

One of the most interesting aspects concerned the apparently imminent decline in the usage of MySQL. Of the 285 MySQL users in our 2009 survey, only 90.2% still expected to be using it two years later, and only 81.8% in 2014.

Other non-MySQL users expected to adopt the open source database after 2009, but the overall prediction was decline. While 82.1% of our sample of 347 open source users were using MySQL in 2009, only 78.7% expected to be using it in 2011, declining to 72.3% in 2014.

This represented an interesting snapshot of sentiment towards MySQL, but the result also had to be taken with a pinch of salt given the significant level of concern regarding MySQL future at the time the survey was conducted.

The survey also showed that only 17% of MySQL users thought that Oracle should be allowed to keep MySQL, while 14% of MySQL users were less likely to use MySQL if Oracle completed the acquisition.

That is why we are asking similar questions again, in our recently launched MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey.

More than two years later Oracle has demonstrated that it did not have nefarious plans for MySQL. While its stewardship has not been without controversial moments, Oracle has also invested in the MySQL development process and improved the performance of the core product significantly. There are undoubtedly users that have turned away from MySQL because of Oracle but we also hear of others that have adopted the open source database specifically because of Oracle’s backing.

That is why we are now asking MySQL users to again tell us about their database usage, as well as attitudes to MySQL following its acquisition by Oracle. Since the database landscape has changed considerably late 2009, we are now also asking about NoSQL and NewSQL adoption plans.

Is MySQL usage really in decline, or was the dip suggested by our 2009 survey the result of a frenzy of uncertainty and doubt given the imminent acquisition. Will our current survey confirm or contradict that result? If you’re a MySQL user, tell us about your adoption plans by taking our current survey.

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8 comments ↓

#1 Dave Neary on 01.23.12 at 1:45 pm

My bet is that it is. I have seen MariaDB used as a drop-in replacement for MySQL on several occasions in the last 6 months – never had I seen that before. Anecdotally, two web applications I deploy have also recently added pgsql support.

I don’t think a lot of people are switching from MySQL on principle – but if Maria comes with your distro, or it’s just as easy to use Postgres for the app you’re deplying, then that’s what you’ll do. And the people who actually decide which database you deploy are the application developers who write to the back end. It seems like the NoSQL trend, married to embedded SQLite usage, mean that MySQL is trending down.

Dave.

#2 LinuxJedi on 01.23.12 at 3:58 pm

Has MySQL usage declined? Probably not. But I wouldn’t be surprised if today’s MySQL user is different to that of a few years ago. Especially now there are good forks for the classic users.

#3 George on 01.23.12 at 11:18 pm

I agree with Dave, I’ve almost exclusively switched from MySQL community release to better performing forks such as MariaDB or Percona for everything. Most of my clients are switching to them as well.

#4 Pavin Singh on 01.24.12 at 4:44 am

As the author says – There has been decline because of Oracle’s acquisition but there are specific group’s those adapted MySQL due to Oracle’s backup. Decline is certainly not stoppable but with several reasons. The reasons could be new dbms like NOSQL and NewSQL. PGSQL I think is the replacement for Oracle for the people who cannot afford it. I wonder why people are not considering PGSQL.

#5 Matthew Aslett on 01.24.12 at 4:56 am

Thanks all for your comments. While our previous survey did show an increase in the predicted use of MariaDB, it wasn’t to the extent I would have expected given the current climate.

Looking at the current survey results as they come in shows that MariaDB usage is increasing, but not by anywhere near the same margin that MySQL is declining.

As Pavin says, the reasons for this are many and complex. I certainly don’t think you can pin it all on Oracle. Interestingly, Pavin, it looks like PostgreSQL is increasing in adoption at the fastest rate, at least amongst our respondents so far.

Matt

#6 PostgreSQL flies into the cloud : OffersVilla on 01.26.12 at 5:40 pm

[…] Then Matthew Aslett, an researcher for The 451 Group who has entrance to something some-more substantive–actual data–ventured onward a same doubt only this week: “Is MySQL use unequivocally declining?” […]

#7 Is MySQL usage really declining? | MySQL | Syngu on 01.27.12 at 1:46 am

[…] If you’re a MySQL user, tell us about your adoption plans by taking our current survey. Back in late 2009, at the height of the concern about Oracle’s imminent acquisition of Sun Microsystems and MySQL, 451 Research conducted a survey of open source software users to assess their database usage and attitudes towards Oracle. The results provided an interesting snapshot of the potential implications of the acquisition and the concerns of MySQL users and even, so I am told, became part of the European Commission’s hearing into the proposed acquisition (used by both sides, apparently, which says something about both our independence and the malleability of data). One of the most interesting aspects concerned the apparently imminent decline in the usage of MySQL. Of the 285 MySQL users in our 2009 survey, only 90.2% still expected to be using it two years later, and only 81.8% in 2014. Other non-MySQL users expected to adopt the open source database after 2009, but the overall prediction was decline. While 82.1% of our sample of 347 open source users were using MySQL in 2009, only 78.7% expected to be using it in 2011, declining to 72.3% in 2014. This represented an interesting snapshot of sentiment towards MySQL, but the result also had to be taken with a pinch of salt given the significant level of concern regarding MySQL future at the time the survey was conducted. The survey also showed that only 17% of MySQL users thought that Oracle should be allowed to keep MySQL, while 14% of MySQL users were less likely to use MySQL if Oracle completed the acquisition. That is why we are asking similar questions again, in our recently launched MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey. More than two years later Oracle has demonstrated that it did not have nefarious plans for MySQL. While its stewardship has not been without controversial moments, Oracle has also invested in the MySQL development process and improved the performance of the core product significantly. There are undoubtedly users that have turned away from MySQL because of Oracle but we also hear of others that have adopted the open source database specifically because of Oracle’s backing. That is why we are now asking MySQL users to again tell us about their database usage, as well as attitudes to MySQL following its acquisition by Oracle. Since the database landscape has changed considerably late 2009, we are now also asking about NoSQL and NewSQL adoption plans. Is MySQL usage really in decline, or was the dip suggested by our 2009 survey the result of a frenzy of uncertainty and doubt given the imminent acquisition. Will our current survey confirm or contradict that result? If you’re a MySQL user, tell us about your adoption plans by taking our current survey.    MySQL Read the original post on Planet MySQL… […]

#8 451 CAOS Theory » Last chance to take part in our MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey on 02.02.12 at 12:13 pm

[…] even a quick look at the results makes for interesting reading, particularly in the light of our previous findings which indicated declining MySQL […]