Guide to MySQL as an Embedded Database:

For Software, Appliance and Device Vendors



MySQL is the world’s most popular open source database. Though best known as the #1 database, for the Web, MySQL has always also been an extremely popular product-bundled and embedded database (hereafter, “embedded database”). Software, Hardware and SaaS vendors, including eight of the top ten largest software companies1, 5 of top 5 largest telecoms equipment providers2, five of the top five security software vendors3, and numerous high-growth newcomers rely on MySQL as their products’ embedded database.

This paper examines the ways in which using MySQL as an embedded database can impact the three most fundamental determinants of software, hardware and SaaS business success - Revenue, Cost and Risk. For additional details on the benefits of using MySQL for SaaS please see “Guide to Using MySQL for SaaS” white paper.

Evaluating Embedded Databases

Selecting the right database can be vital to your product’s success:

  • To most of your customers an embedded database is simply a feature of your product.
  • Your product will generally perform only as well as its database.
  • Your choice of embedded database is not easily changed
In other words, your customers’ satisfaction with your product is dependent on their experience with its database, good or bad. And, migrating from one database to another is rarely easy, especially when multiplied by tens, hundreds, or thousands of customers.

As with any business decision, it’s useful to assess its impact on the elements that contribute most to your profitability, and ultimate success:

  • Risk – Are there any aspects of the database, such as vendor viability, or availability of support services, that constitute risk to your product? Or are you planning to support your customers’ various databases?
  • Revenue – Does the database have the capabilities to help your product compete and win in its intended market(s) – now? in five years?
  • Costs – How will the database affect your COGS (cost of goods sold) and your customer’s TCO (total cost of ownership) over the entire lifecycle of your product?
In the remainder of this paper, we will examine how using MySQL as your embedded database can positively impact your products’ and business success.

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