mysql_channel_partnersRoughly a year ago, MySQL stood near the top of The VAR Guy's Open Source 50 -- which tracks the world's most promising open source partner programs. Fast forward to the present and MySQL's ownership remains in doubt. The reason: The European Union continues to scrutinize Oracle's planned takeover of Sun and MySQL. For MySQL channel partners what does the future hold?

First the facts: Oracle's planned $7.4 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems may be blocked by European Union regulators because of concerns that Oracle might be able to eliminate Sun’s MySQL database product as a competitor, Bloomberg is reporting. Nonsense says The VAR Guy. There are signs Oracle wants to launch an Unbreakable Linux stack that potentially includes MySQL. And even MySQL co-founder Marten Mickos is telling the EU to approve the deal.

What About Channel Partners?

Sun acquired MySQL, the open source database, back in January 2008. At the time The VAR Guy raised five questions about the Sun-MySQL combo but largely praised the deal. But under Sun Microsystems, MySQL seemed to become less and less engaged with the channel media, including our resident blogger. Check the MySQL press room and you'll find a generic "press questions" form to fill out rather than a specific media contact. Alas, many of The VAR Guy's most recent inquiries have received no reply.

To Sun's credit, the company launched a MySQL Enterprise Partner Program for Remote DBA service providers in April 2009. And MySQL is making news by landing on major clouds -- including the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Azure platform.

But again, MySQL channel partner news has been intermittent throughout the current year. And Sun has done little -- if anything -- to promote MySQL to channel partners attending major conferences like the Avnet Compass,

Now, bigger issues are pressing. MySQL partners and customers alike must be wondering what the future holds as the Oracle-Sun-MySQL combo remains in limbo. Also, rival open source companies like Red Hat are hedging and placing bets on EnterpriseDB. And MySQL forks are popping up, notes Practical Technology.

The VAR Guy thinks MySQL's future remains bright regardless of its potential owner. The open source database has already gained a critical mass of direct customers. But does MySQL's channel partner strategy still exist? And does it matter? The VAR Guy is listening.

Follow The VAR Guy via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; Twitter; and via his Newsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center. Plus, check out more channel voices at www.vartweet.com.