Keebler cookies are not baked by happy elves in trees, and the bulk of OpenOffice.org is not developed by volunteers. It takes considerable money to produce the free office suite.
Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) announced a deal to buy open source MySQL AB database company for $1 billion. A healthy, growing Sun Microsystems with more resources is good news for OpenOffice.org users. In 2000, Sun Microsystems donated the original OpenOffice.org code as open source and continues to be the largest investor of resources into OpenOffice.org development. Since then Sun Microsystems, a major competitor of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), has also open sourced (most of) Solaris and Java.
Could there be more integration between MySQL and OpenOffice.org? It would be nice: OpenOffice.org's Base product has ample room for improvement, but can it be done and what good what it do? Michael Meeks points out the GPL vs. LGPL license problem. Licenses aside, the MySQL purchase is not a panacea for OpenOffice.org Base problems which are more user interface than storage. For example, OpenOffice.org Base lacks good import and export wizards. Also, OpenOffice.org's main storage problem, a lack of concurrent access by multiple users (like Microsoft Access has), is related to its prized OpenDocument Format. How could MySQL help when it is designed differently? MySQL is designed for multiple users accessing the files through a single server process, but OpenOffice.org needs multiple users accessing a single file through multiple processes competing with the terrifying complexities of cross-platform file locking. Finally, OpenOffice.org already supports MySQL (and other databases) for back-end storage.
Right now, Sun Microsystems bundles Java with OpenOffice.org downloads. Would Sun bundle MySQL, a server product, with a desktop office suite under the brand of OpenOffice.org Professional? To compete with the simplicity of Microsoft Access, could OpenOffice.org ease database sharing over a network using MySQL and technology like Bonjour? Microsoft Access shares its data files through file access which is a surmountable problem for simultaneously sharing OpenOffice.org Calc workbooks?
For the short term, there will be no direct impact on OpenOffice.org other than continued development from its main benefactor Sun Microsystems. Congratulations and best wishes to both Sun and MySQL!