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Oracle: MySQL Development Matters

Ongoing development of the MySQL open source system is in Oracle's best interest, the company says, as it prepares to announce the public beta of MySQL 5.5.

Edward Screven, Oracle's chief corporate software architect and head of its open source strategy, is slated to deliver a keynote address to MySQL users Tuesday assuring them that MySQL's ongoing development will be in Oracle's best interests as well as theirs.

In an interview Monday, Screven said he intended to tell the user base "why MySQL matters to Oracle." The open source system is so distinct from the Oracle 11g database system that there is little concern that MySQL impinges on future Oracle sales.

"MySQL is small, it's lightweight, it's easy to install, it's easy to get going with it," he noted. "These are interesting properties. It reaches a customer segment that Oracle doesn't otherwise reach. It's made sense all along for us to invest in MySQL's ongoing development," he said. He will reaffirm MySQL's ongoing development in what he calls "The State of the Dolphin" address Tuesday at the O'Reilly MySQL Conference and Expo in Santa Clara, Calif. MySQL uses a dolphin as the company symbol.

Screven will announce the public beta availability of MySQL 5.5. Its InnoDB storage engine, frequently used as an add-on by MySQL users, will become the default storage module. MySQL got its start as a high speed, read only database that was simple to implement for serving Web pages.

Storing data or updating it required an additional module, furnished by a Finnish company, Innobase OY. As InnoDB gained in popularily among MySQL users, Oracle purchased the company in October 2005.

Both the commercially supported version of MySQL and the freely downloadable, open source community edition of MySQL will have InnoDB linked together and available to users, Screven said.

In addition, the MySQL Workbench release 5.2 has been improved and allows the MySQL database administrator to visually construct a data model to be implemented in MySQL. MySQL Monitor has been improved to better analyze queries to disclose what database resources they require and where bottlenecks lie, Screven said.

Oracle has sold a standalone product that worked with the InnoDB storage engine, Hot Backup, which allowed backup copies of data to be established while the database was running. In the enterprise edition of MySQL and InnoDB, the Hot Backup feature will be included in the bundle, Screven said.

"We've said we will make MySQL better We plan to continue this level of investment. A lot of people questioned what motivation Oracle had in acquiring MySQL (as part of Sun Microsystems)," said Screven, trying to lay apprehensions to rest.

Several overall system performance improvements have been made as well, he added. No general availability release date has been set for MySQL 5.5, he added.

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