So lots of folks are talking about the newly announced MariaDB Foundation. Some folks are confused as to what happened to the Open Database Alliance?
The MariaDB Foundation members include Monty Program, SkySQL, David Axmark, and Allan Larsson.
The Open Database Alliance members include Monty Program, FromDual, Open query, Percona and SoftMethod. [SkySQL was not founded when the ODBA was announced.]
In its mission statement, the MariaDB Foundation exists to improve database technology, including standards implementation, interoperability with other databases, and building bridges to other types of database such as transactional and NoSQL. To deliver this the Foundation provides technical work in reviewing, merging, testing, and releasing the MariaDB product suite. The Foundation also provides infrastructure for the MariaDB project and the user and developer communities.
The mission of the Open Database Alliance (from http://odba.org/about/):
The Open Database Alliance (ODBA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the commercial and non-commercial ecosystem around Open Source Database Technologies. Whereas proprietary software forces strong dependencies upon a single vendor, Open Source (a.k.a. Free Software, Libre Software, FOSS or FLOSS) enables an ecosystem of commercial offerings around certain technologies, e.g. GNU, Samba, Apache, the Linux Kernel.
Databases are an essential base technology for most higher applications, from desktop search over web services to the entire spectrum of enterprise IT. Enabling, growing and protecting that ecosystem for all Open Source Database Technologies are primary activities of the ODBA.
According to h-online, there are already 1 million euros pledged to the MariaDB Foundation for this.
According to the ODBA fee schedule, a Silver member pays at least US$7k (depending on how many employees the company has) and a Gold member pays at least US$35k per year.
There is nothing on what the Open Database Alliance has done, or is currently doing, or is planning to do, other than doing the work of a business analyst and getting referral fees for it. And certainly, there’s nothing concrete.
The MariaDB Foundation has nothing concrete planned, but they’re fairly new. And their mission makes it clear that their organization focuses on MariaDB, whereas the ODBA is vague, and could apply to Percona’s patched MySQL, or Oracle’s version of MySQL.
If the MariaDB Foundation succeeds in getting 501(c)3 designation, they will have to be extremely careful they do not lose it. There are huge potentials for conflicts of interest (for example, does a bounty get paid by the MariaDB Foundation or the Monty Program?), which is grounds for revoking a 501(c)3 designation. (I know, because in the past I have been the Treasurer for national and international organizations, and currently server as the Treasurer for Technocation and a local fiber guild.)
With such similar members, what is the MariaDB foundation doing that the Open Database Alliance cannot do – especially considering http://odba.org/legal/ says “MariaDB is a trademark of Monty Program Ab. The Open Database Alliance and its members has broad usage rights of this trademark”?
What happened to all that money that went into the Open Database Alliance? What is the MariaDB Foundation going to do with all the money it is gathering?
Is the Open Database Alliance even a valid organization any more? It was founded May 13, 2009 – well over 3 years ago. What happened to it?