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5/4/2005
04:48 PM
Barbara Darrow
Barbara Darrow
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MySQL 5.0: 'Code Complete' But Not Yet Bug Free

The MySQL faithful spent the user conference hearing about the same thing they heard about last year: the still-unshipping MySQL 5.0 database.

The MySQL faithful spent last month's user conference hearing about the same thing they heard about last year: the still-unshipping MySQL 5.0 database.

But MySQL CEO Marten Mickos downplayed the delay, saying the company had seen no downturn in business and, in fact, had sold some 400 support deals in the six weeks since announcing its paid subscription support offering.

The company now also will make its paid support service available to solution providers via Ingram Micro, said Bertrand Matthelie, director of alliances at MySQL, Cupertino, Calif.

The MySQL Network support options, which range from about $600 to $5,000 annually, have been sold direct since February. More than 75 percent of those support deals went to new customers, Mickos told CRN.

The goal now is to open up indirect channels for support, Matthelie said. "We want to raise the number of integrators and VARs reselling MySQL Network to customers," he said.

MySQL co-founders David Axmark and Michael "Monty" Widenius touted some new 5.0 features, including support for "precision math" for financial applications; plans for a global back-up API; and multisource replication. They also demonstrated a graphical migration tool to move users from Oracle and Microsoft Access databases. Support for migrations from SQL Server, Sybase, IBM DB2 and Informix databases also are planned.

Axmark and Widenius, announcing availability of the second beta at the show, said 5.0 is "code complete," but the new features are not yet completely bug free.

MySQL used the confab, held in Burlingame, Calif., to announce important alliances, including plans by analytics leader Business Objects to embed MySQL into its BusinessObjects XI business-intelligence offering. Business Objects, San Jose, Calif., also added MySQL to the list of databases supported by its popular Crystal Reports reporting tool. In another business-intelligence-related move, MySQL allied itself with San Francisco-based JasperSoft, a pioneer of open-source analytics.

The interaction between business intelligence and databases is a natural goal as solution providers help customers make sense of the deluge of data in company repositories. Effective business intelligence, or analytics, helps companies parse information to make it more useful, such as by tracking inventories and orders and potentially helping predict future trends from historical data.

One ISV attendee, who requested anonymity, said his company already facilitates integration between Crystal Reports and its MySQL-based network monitoring applications. "I'd have to see details of implementation, but this might help us," he said.

Red Hat and MySQL said they would collaborate to make sure MySQL running atop Red Hat Linux is a good platform for large server clusters and grids. This is part of MySQL's attempt to scale out on many inexpensive machines running standard components vs. scaling up to pricey, typically proprietary hardware.

A few years ago, MySQL and Red Hat seemed at odds, with Red Hat launching a version of the PostgreSQL database under its brand. PostgreSQL is a rival to MySQL and one that sports more enterprise-worthy features although it is not seen as fast as MySQL. Since then, Red Hat started bundling MySQL with its Linux distribution.

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