Microsoft joins the MariaDB Foundation and launches Azure Database for MariaDB

Microsoft today announced that it is joining the MariaDB Foundation, the nonprofit behind the popular relational database founded by the original developers of MySQL. As a platinum sponsor, the company is joining, Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud.

In addition, Microsoft is also launching a preview of the Azure Database for MariaDB service today, which is joining Azure Database for MySQL and PostgreSQL in the Azure stable of managed database service.

As far as users are concerned, MariaDB is essentially a drop-in replacement for MySQL that isn’t linked to Oracle, which — thanks to its acquisition of Sun, which acquired MySQL — is currently the corporate home of the open-source database.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, the MariaDB Foundation welcomes Microsoft as a Platinum member,” MariaDB (and MySQL) founder Monty Widenius writes in today’s announcement. “I founded MariaDB to give back to the open source community and ensure a strong and open future for MySQL. I’ve seen firsthand how Microsoft has been changing its business in an open way, and how Microsoft Azure is open and flexible. Microsoft is a leading contributor on GitHub and we look forward to engineers from Microsoft and its developer ecosystem supporting MariaDB.”

Widenius always had a very pragmatic view of open source. A few years ago, he left SkySQL, which is now the MariaDB Corp. (which commercializes the database) to start the MariaDB Foundation, but then came back to MariaDB Corp. as its CTO.

As for Microsoft, it’s worth noting that the company is definitely embracing open source at this point. It’s now a sponsor of the Linux Foundation and some of that group’s projects, as well as the Open Source Initiative, the Cloud Foundry Foundation and others.