NewsForge | MySQL's MaxDB: A work in progress: "Most people working in the database world know about the open source database MySQL, but fewer are familiar with MaxDB, MySQL's enterprise-class brother. The current MaxDB release is basically a rebranded release of SAP DB with a number of incremental improvements.
The lineage of MaxDB goes back several years, involves a few companies, and uses a few names. It grew out of Adabas, a database that has been around since the 1980s. A version of Adabas was obtained by the German software company SAP AB in the mid-1990's and eventually rebranded as SAP DB. Displaying amazing foresight for the time, SAP AB decided to release the source code of SAP DB under the GNU GPL in the year 2000. Unfortunately, this event was not promoted by SAP AB, so SAP DB languished as perhaps the most significant yet obscure Open Source project in the community.
In May 2003, the folks at MySQL AB entered into an agreement with SAP AB to drive the development of the software and release it under both commercial and Open Source licenses. The result is MaxDB, which was finally released as developer-only code six months later. "