SAP DB to be rebranded MaxDB

Sweden's MySQL AB, which took over development of SAP AG's SAP DB open source database software in May, is to rename the product MaxDB and will work with SAP on developing a further enterprise database product.

The Swedish open source database vendor will offer MaxDB as a MySQL product beginning in the fourth quarter of 2003, it said earlier this week in a statement. MySQL will jointly develop and support MaxDB with the German business applications vendor, with MySQL taking the product management lead. Both companies will offer the product to their respective customers.

Moreover, MySQL will collaborate with SAP on developing a new MySQL enterprise database that builds on the strengths of the MySQL and MaxDB open source database products.

As part of the rebranding activities, the Swedish company will also rename its current MySQL product MySQL Max. MySQL Max is a database product package including all MySQL storage engines.

SAP agreed in May to hand off lead development of its open source database software to MySQL in a move that the German company said would help increase muscle behind the open-source movement.

MaxDB will target large SAP R/3 environments and other applications requiring high enterprise-level database functionality, according to the statement. The software will include interoperability features to support migration between it and the MySQL database. Users will be able to build applications using both the MaxDB and MySQL databases.

For example, a MySQL proxy using the MySQL protocol will be added to MaxDB, making it possible for the large number of MySQL users to connect to a MaxDB server using familiar MySQL tools. Also, MaxDB will be able to hook up onto MySQL replications, with MaxDB able to act both as a "slave" and a "master."

The current version of SAP DB is 7.4. All subsequent versions will carry the name MaxDB by MySQL. The first MaxDB release, 7.5.00, will be a straight rebranding of SAP DB 7.4. The next version, MaxDB 7.5.01, will offer the added functionality to ensure interoperability with the MySQL database.

MaxDB version 7.5 will have full backward compatibility with SAP DB 7.4, the statement said.

When MaxDB is released in the fourth quarter, the current Web site www.sapdb.org will move to www.mysql.com/maxdb/. From then on, all MaxDB information, documentation and downloads will be available at the MySQL Web site.

SAP DB versions 7.3 and 7.4 will be available for download from the MySQL Web site until March 31, 2004.

As for licensing and support, MySQL will offers customers two ways to license MaxDB: they can obtain the product for free under the terms of the open source GPL (General Public License) or pay for a commercial license if they do not want to make their products open-source compliant.

MySQL provided no price information for the commercial license.

SAP will provide support for MaxDB and, together with MySQL, for SAP DB commercial licenses sold by MySQL.

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