MySQL AB has made version 4.1 of its database software available to the
public after months of testing customer production deployments.
Though first posed as a small server for departments within large
businesses, MySQL has been increasingly tailored for the
so-called enterprise-class businesses, as evidenced by the features
included in the latest version.
MySQL 4.1 adds subqueries to retrieve data faster, encrypted communication
from client to server using OpenSSL, as well as Unicode support through the
utf8 and ucs2 international character sets for applications that require
The new version supports the majority of popular operating systems, including
Linux, Windows, Solaris, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, HP-UX, IBM AIX and others.
There are also new GUI
wizards for Windows and Linux to help developers get the software up and
running in a timely fashion.
While its functionality can’t quite do the heavy lifting of more expensive
products like IBM’s DB2, Oracle’s 10g or Microsoft’s SQL Server databases,
the software has gained footing in smaller markets for cost-conscious
customers who want a functional database that is easy to install.
For example, Sane Solutions has used MySQL 4.1 in production for its
NetTracker analytics software customers. But major businesses like Google,
Sabre Holdings and NASA are using MySQL software to power Web sites in
departments to save money.
While MySQL sees itself as competitive with IBM, Oracle and Microsoft in
smaller markets, it’s safe to call MySQL the top dog of the open-source
database realm. There it competes with Computer Associates’ Ingres database,
which the company is attempting to resurrect.
This summer, CA announced
plans to take its Ingres r3 server to open source and will make the
product generally available soon.
MySQL open-source database servers are available under a dual-licensing
model. Users can download the
software for free use under the General Public License (GPL)
pay $595 per server as part of a commercial arrangement, which includes