Re: Off Topic: open source databases

From: Mladen Gogala <>
Date: Thu, 27 May 2010 06:41:10 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <htl466$msp$>

On Wed, 26 May 2010 23:46:29 -0400, galen_boyer wrote:

> Mladen Gogala <> writes:

>> On Wed, 26 May 2010 10:14:40 -0700, Steve Howard wrote:
>>> It's replacement in the world?  I would guess MySQL, based on Oracle
>>> Corp.'s ownership if nothing else.
>> Hmmm, that doesn't compute, from my point of view. That is precisely
>> why I opened this topic. Why would a huge corporation suddenly abandon
>> its main cash cow in favor of a freebie? Slowly killing the freebie
>> seems more likely to me, now that Oracle Corp. owns it. I am not sure
>> as to why people are not trying to run away from MySQL, but they
>> obviously are not.

> I don't think Oracle owns it. Nobody can "own" open source. They
> bought off the main braintrust and set up agreements so those guys
> wouldn't start up again.
> But, the way I understand it, anybody could continue development on
> MySql.

The appeal of MySQL was partly a dual licensing mode: open source server that everybody was using, mainly for testing and a closed source, enterprise version. The latter is owned by Oracle. If you were paying maintenance fee to MySQL Corp., you are now paying the license fees to Oracle Corp. As for the open source version, there are actually 3 of those: one still maintained by Oracle Corp., and yes, you are right, everybody can contribute to that project, something called MariaDB and produced by Monty Widenius, and another something, called Drizzle, produced by the guys who worked on MySQL while it was owned by SUN Microsystems. Problems with MySQL were numerous, the most serious in my eyes was lack of the hot backup. Essentially, the only form of backup was a SQL dump, akin to export/import utilities. Also, there was no upgrade utility to upgrade between versions.

The only thing that I ever really used MySQL for was as a plug in replacement for *10 ("times ten") because *10 had no decent ODBC driver version 3.1 and some of the Windows reporting utilities were adamantly refusing to work with *10 because of that. MySQL to the rescue, it supported so called "memory engine", which you could specify on the table basis. Basically, I would write a Perl script that would do a lot of "GROUP BY" things in Oracle, summarize the results and insert them into MySQL in-memory tables. Business users with shiny clickety-click thingys like Crystal Reports and Business Objects would use MySQL ODBC driver to connect and be happy as clams.

There is a network monitoring software, called Cacti, which used to work with MySQL. I tested the tool and ditched it because it used to hang the underlying MySQL database with more than 10 devices to monitor. As I was working for a telco at that time, the network devices to monitor numbered in hundreds. The problem was the fact that the back-end scripts, running from crontab were having locking problems if used all at once. The problems stopped when I replaced MySQL with Oracle XE, which was perfectly sufficient for this purpose. Alas, MySQL was deeply integrated with Cacti and the product was useless. I haven't done anything with Cacti for the last 2 years so I don't know whether this has changed and whether there is a native Oracle port.

I very much doubt that Oracle Corp. will devote serious resources needed to make the closed source version better and I doubt that they will integrate serious features like backup, upgrade or logical standby into MySQL. In my opinion, MySQL fell under the influence of the dark side and is pretty much done for.

Received on Thu May 27 2010 - 01:41:10 CDT

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