For a long time, we provided direct support for MySQL in REALbasic via a plug-in. Then, due to some concerns about the way MySQL is licensed, we decided to leave the MySQL plug-in to the community to avoid any unnecessary complications. Since then, many of you have made it clear to us that you really want us to directly support MySQL. We looked into the licensing issue and came up with a solution. Support for MySQL will return with REALbasic 2009 Release 2.
For those of you wondering what the license issue is, allow me to explain. There are two editions of MySQL: the MySQL Community Server and the MySQL Enterprise Server. The MySQL Community Server is the free edition of MySQL. It is open source and falls under the GNU General Public License or GPL for short. Basically, if code is released under the GPL, it means that anything that uses that code is also automatically GPL'd. Our new MySQL Community Server plug-in communicates with the MySQL Community Server via the Community Edition library provided by MySQL. That library was released under the GPL which means our MySQL Community Edition plug-in is also GPL'd. That also means that if you use this plug-in in your application, most likely, your application will be GPL'd and you will be required to provide the source code to the public. I'm not a lawyer, so before you make any decisions, you should check the MySQL web site for details, read over the GPL and consult with your attorney.
The MySQL Enterprise Server is NOT released under the GPL and it is NOT free. It's a commercial product. Soon we will be releasing a separate, non-GPL plug-in specifically for the MySQL Enterprise Server. If you want to use MySQL and want to make sure that you don't have to GPL your application, you will probably want to purchase a license for MySQL Enterprise Server. Again, I'm not a lawyer so you should check the MySQL web site and discuss this with your attorney.
To be clear, this is not a REALbasic or REAL Software licensing issue. This is strictly a MySQL licensing issue. The libraries they provide for use with these editions come with the restrictions I have summarized above. MySQL is very popular and part of the reason is that people believe it's free. As you can now see, that's not 100% true and it's not 100% false either. It really depends on your situation.
Warning: Shameless Plug Ahead
If you are building an application and need a database server, another consideration is our REAL SQL Server that has as one of its advantages, crystal clear licensing.