COMMENT: In the Field

As Published In
Oracle Magazine
November/December 2010


A Warm Welcome to the MySQL Community

By Andy Flower


The Independent Oracle Users Group looks forward to working with even more independent users.

I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately for the early days of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), when groups of individual users first started working together to get the most out of their Oracle products. The pulse of our community, combined with the ongoing thirst of IOUG members to learn from each other, makes me feel downright excited about welcoming the MySQL community into the larger Oracle users community.

In IOUG’s early days, we felt that an organization independent of Oracle could provide a collective experience that also could work with Oracle as an advocate for the community, and the IOUG acronym proudly states that we are the Independent Oracle Users Group. For MySQL, from the beginning a community of independent users drove the development of the product, because that is what open source software is—an open, community-driven approach to software development. 

The Future and What We Are Doing

No one knows for certain all that the future holds, but I want to let the MySQL community know about the future of IOUG and MySQL. First, IOUG is looking forward to providing a platform for MySQL users to gather virtually and physically year-round. To start, we are helping support local MySQL events, such as OpenSQL Camp in October 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.

But we are most excited to present 120 MySQL educational sessions, given by MySQL users and key industry partners, which will be held at our annual COLLABORATE conference in Orlando, Florida, April 10–14, 2011. Not only will there be a special focus on MySQL, but attendees will have access to the numerous additional sessions put on by other members of the Oracle community, including IOUG, the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG), and Quest International Users Group. (For updated community events, visit

In addition to the MySQL track at COLLABORATE 11, MySQL users will find valuable information on database-vendor-agnostic concepts and the rest of the Oracle technology stack. MySQL users will also have the opportunity to meet with attendees from diverse technology backgrounds and industries. 

Next Steps

LEARN more about
 the IOUG MySQL community and MySQL at COLLABORATE 11


I know that all of us in the Oracle user group communities are eager to help our new friends integrate into what we believe is a great global support system. We’ve already walked a similar path and now want to help the members of the MySQL community achieve the same success. We are excited about working with the MySQL community to integrate into COLLABORATE this coming spring. And we could not be more excited about the year-round opportunity to work as a group of peers sharing common concerns and experiences to find practical success from promising software. 

Changes and How You Can Help

I have been attending COLLABORATE since its inception, and before that, IOUG Live, and I have seen how IOUG in particular has changed with the needs of the growing Oracle community. One of the great benefits of having these opportunities to interact with your peers is to collectively figure out how to ride the waves of change.

But I would also like some help from you, the users of Oracle software. The key for any community is to have not just a focus, but also a diversity of opinions. Most importantly, we need the dialogue that comes with a collective effort to become better at what we do as database and technology professionals. I welcome your thoughts and perspectives, which will help drive us all forward into the future. Our members are what fuel our organization.

There are so many ways to engage with IOUG that I ask you to tell us how we can best support you. You can send your thoughts to me at


Andy Flower ( is president of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) and has been an active volunteer with IOUG since 1998. In his day job, he is vice president of solution architecture for LoganBritton, a data management and business intelligence consultancy.




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