MySQL Eyes Enterprise with 5.0 Alpha

MySQL AB took the wraps off the latest version of its database server
Monday, a product that now offers enterprise-grade capabilities such as
stored procedures to the open-source software.


Stored procedures are Structured Query Language (SQL)
statements that are compiled in the database so that they can be
accessed
across multiple applications.


Such features, which cater to complex enterprise resource planning
(ERP)
applications from vendors like Siebel or PeopleSoft, will
effectively enable MySQL to compete with Microsoft’s SQL Server, IBM’s
DB2
and Oracle’s Database products.


MySQL CEO Marten Mickos said stored procedures allow administrators to
move
some of the application logic over to the database server. The database
can
run the procedure on its own, reducing network traffic in enterprise
environments where speed and efficiency are paramount.


“There is no need to go to the client all of the time,” Mickos told
internetnews.com. “You can split the application logic on two
locations. There are some instances where you might need that and some
where
you don’t but we’re offering users that choice.”


MySQL has a penchant for making sure its database server versions are
“battle tested,” or floating in testing phases for months before
production-ready releases are rolled out to ensure a quality and
reliability
level Mickos equates to that of a car.


To wit, MySQL 5.0, which also includes improved portability and
migration,
is in the initial development, or “alpha” phase, which means developers
may
still add features to the current code. Subsequent beta and
production-ready
gamma tests precede the final production release.


Mickos said one of the key goals of MySQL development is making sure
new
features don’t comprise database speed or performance because one of
the
things both opens-source users and business users like about the
software is
that it “so simple and so fast.”


MySQL, the most popular open-source database with more than 4 million
active
installations, both complements and competes on some levels with
Microsoft,
IBM, and Oracle, but it is often used in small businesses or
departments of
large enterprises where modest application data storage and retrieval
are
required.


One of the reasons why many industry analysts find the Sweden-based
MySQL AB
company intriguing is its dual licensing business model. This makes
MySQL
software available free under the GPL license, while users may pay for
it
under a commercial license, which includes services.


Such flexibility is a breath of fresh air in the software world, which
is
often segregated into two camps: open-source or proprietary. Those
camps are
typified by the open Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems.


A recent survey completed by Evans Data found that found that MySQL is
gaining traction. Microsoft SQL Server and Access usage has grown by
six
percent while MySQL usage has grown more than 30 percent in the last
year,
according to the market researcher.


Another recent study conducted by software inspection concern Reasoning
found that MySQL code quality was six times better than that of
comparable
proprietary code.


MySQL 5.0 alpha can be downloaded at the MySQL Web site.

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