MySQL aficionados nervous about Oracle's commitment to the open source database may have been reassured today when Oracle's chief corporate architect told attendees at the O'Reilly MySQL conference that MySQL is an important part of Oracle's future.
"We want to meet customer needs at every level," Edward Screven told attendees during his morning address. "MySQL is small, it's lightweight, it's easy to install and easy to manage. All of those things are great attributes, and all of those make it different from Oracle database. MySQL is the right choice for many applications."
Since the announcement of the planned acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle has been seeking to allay the fears of open source users that it would no longer support Sun's open source products -- often with little success.
MySQL not only fits a niche that Oracle's flagship database doesn't serve with smaller businesses, Oracle's own customers already use MySQL for some work even though they're paying for the enterprise license which provides unlimited use of the Oracle database.
"That's why MySQL matters to Oracle and Oracle customers, and that's why it makes sense for Oracle to invest in MySQL," Screven said.
Oracle will enhance not only the premium product but the free, community edition, he promised.
"If we stop supporting the community edition, MySQL will stop being ubiquitous," he said. "We want to keep MySQL strong where it already is strong."
Oracle will also fit MySQL into the Oracle infrastructure, Screven said. Users will be able to manage MySQL through Oracle Enterprise Manager. Oracle will make an Enterprise Manager 11g announcement next week in New York.
To that end, Screven said Oracle is releasing MySQL 5.5 to beta. Among the new features of MySQL 5.5 is that InnoDB is now the default storage engine, as well as improved usability and partitioning. More importantly, MySQL 5.5 will be faster, Screven said.
MySQL 5.5 is 200% faster for reads, 364% faster for writes, he said, thanks to bringing the MySQL and InnoDB teams together. In 2005, Oracle acquired InnoDB, a Finnish open source database company that makes an add-on table storage engine for the open source MySQL database management system.
Oracle is also releasing improvements to MySQL Workbench, including a better SQL editor, connection management, database administration and data modeling.
MySQL Cluster 7.1 was made generally available today with improved administration, performance and availability.
With the MySQL Enterprise edition, Oracle has added online backup for users with an InnoDB as the storage layer for the databases. Formerly InnoDB hot backup, a paid product, it is now free.