Paying the microsoft tax, waiting for mysql5

Everyone knows that running on open-source infrastructure is one great way to reduce the costs of getting your software company off the ground. I learned this lesson the hard way a few months ago, when Uzanto got its first customer for Project X.

In preparation for our first paying customer, we deployed to a high-end hosting company (rackspace) and got our software licenses in order. The developer edition of Microsoft SQLServer costs 40$ : cheap! I had always known that when it came time to deploy the software for paying customers we would have to shell out for a proper license. Given that our software only requires one login, I had thought that a one-user license would suffice. I priced that out at about 1K, which was totally manageable.
After reading the fine print on the Microsoft licensing website, I realized that every human that caused data to be written to or read from the database counted as a user! According to this definition we would need a license of several hundred users just for our first deployment! Clearly the per-processor license was the only suitable license for us, but it was well out of our budget at around $5,000 / processor.
Fortunately, rackspace has a good rental rate for the license ($100 / processor / month). Since the server we rent from them is a dual-processor machine, the current monthly cost of using MSSQLServer is $200. We’re a tiny little bootstrapped company that has to earn every dollar consulting before we spend it on development, so 200$/month is a still too much for us to be comfortable spending long-term.
I would like to port our software over to mysql, but I’m currently hamstrung by the fact that the current production release of mysql doesn’t support stored procedures.
All our sql code is in stored procedures (really the only way to go in my opinion) and a database that doesn’t support sprocs is pretty useless to me. The exercise of porting the stored procedures from TSQL to ANSI SQL standard will be fast and cheap (and easy to outsource to a third party, since it’s such a structured task and it’s so easy to measure success or failure).
So I’m waiting like Godot for MySQL5 to be released. Every month it’s delayed I’m out 200$. It was supposedly going to be released in Q2 of this year, but that’s obviously not happening. The open-source world is usually so fast-paced, I wonder what is taking so long? Come on MySQL AB! I’m dying over here!

7 thoughts on “Paying the microsoft tax, waiting for mysql5

  1. Simon August 8, 2005 / 11:59 pm

    Actually the open-source world is more known for its slowness than its speed 😛 However the stuff that comes out of the waiting period is so darn good 🙂
    Howsabout PostgresQL or Firebird? Both have SP 🙂

  2. Massimo Foti August 9, 2005 / 1:38 am

    Have you considered PostgreSQL 8.0?

  3. Reto August 9, 2005 / 2:30 am

    You can choose from a variety of reliable and full features opensource rdbms. If you want a db with all the nice features (stored procedures, triggers etc.) you should consider using PostgreSQL.
    Actually there more then PostgreSQL (Derby, Firebird, etc. etc.)
    But I am using PostgreSQL for advanced data managing and PostGreSQl has a strong community.

  4. Brent Ashley August 9, 2005 / 2:47 am

    Have you considered PostgreSQL?
    We use OpenBSD and PostgreSQL for a high-usage application with schemas, triggers, stored procedures (functions), views and everything you’d expect from a full-featured db, all free and open. It’s got much more features to offer than MySQL and is quite stable. The EMS lite management tool is free too. It runs on Windows under cygwin too.
    And no licensing cost issues.

  5. Preston L. Bannister August 9, 2005 / 6:15 am

    Instead of waiting for implementation of stored procedures in MySQL (and first implementations are often troublesome), why not use a database with existing stored procedure support?
    PostgreSQL seems a likely alternative.

  6. Anonymous Architect August 15, 2005 / 2:04 am

    1) get Enpower ISV for 400$ and have all servers and licenses you need while you are in beta.
    2) your licensing approach is all wrong too. in setup you described you need 1 device CAL for frontend box which uses SQL DB. when frontend scales out to too many boxes (each requiring additional device CAL) you will switch to per-CPU license at some point.
    3) Not 100% sure, i recall “User” is only user authenticated by server/AD. anonymous/web users don’t count, especially on W3KWE

  7. jon August 15, 2005 / 9:59 am

    Great feedback, anon!
    Enpower doesn’t solve my problem. “As long as you’re still in beta” doesn’t cut it, I need low license costs, period!
    Your feedback on the licenses is also must helpful, though I’d ideally like to hear that from someone at microsoft… the sqlserver license scheme is _really_ hard to understand.
    I’m closing this thread down now, as it is beginning to attract spammers (5 in the last hour). But thanks for stopping by!

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