MySQL 5.0 shoots for a new image

The upcoming MySQL 5.0 aims to expand the open source database's image as a niche application for Web and embedded database applications, according to MySQL AB's new worldwide director of product management, Robin Schumacher. In this SearchEnterpriseLinux.com interview, Schumacher explains why he thinks MySQL is ready for the world of "heavy-duty, enterprise-wise applications."

Robin Schumacher
Robin Schumacher
How will MySQL 5.0 change MySQL AB's product strategy, particularly in terms of targeted customers?
MySQL has excelled in the areas of Web and embedded database systems, but now with 5.0, MySQL will become more of a serious contender for the hearts of those building heavy-duty, enterprise-wide applications. This is already beginning to happen. What is the most important information about MySQL 5.0 that you'd want a CIO to remember?
CIOs are the visionaries for a corporation and are looking to put IT strategies in place that help guarantee their company's current and future success, while being as cost-efficient as possible.

With 5.0, MySQL brings major new programmability to the table in the form of stored procedures, triggers, functions and views -- all of which are necessities in many enterprise-wide applications. And of course, 5.0 is backed up by MySQL Network, which provides ironclad support for any and all assistance that a CIO's organization will ever need, all of which comes at a fraction of the cost that CIOs are used to paying for industrial-strength database capabilities and support. What has your experience been with MySQL? Did you ever work with it in a business (non-vendor) setting?
In my former role as vice president of product management for Embarcadero Technologies, I recognized the momentum of MySQL and rapidly introduced support for it within the company's database management software product line.

I vividly remember the first time I installed MySQL on my test Linux server. Knowing absolutely nothing about MySQL, I had the database engine downloaded, installed, configured to use, and was at a database input prompt in less than 10 minutes. That was mind-blowing for me as I, and many other DBAs, have struggled with many Unix and Linux database installs from other database vendors that simply don't have such quick-start capability. In talking with users of proprietary databases, what are the misconceptions that they have about MySQL?
There are two. First, some believe that MySQL is only suited for Web or embedded database applications. Nothing could be further from the truth.

MySQL offers complete high transactional support capabilities that are mirrored with advanced functionality that nearly eliminates any contention for data and resources -- two things that demanding enterprise database systems need. Add to that the fact that large customers are using MySQL in heavy data warehousing environments that support terabytes of information. MySQL certainly shines in Web and embedded situations, but also is more than capable of playing on the same field as the major database vendors when it comes to supporting transactional-based systems or data warehouses.

Second, some don't know that MySQL Network offers a complete safety net in terms of providing highly responsive, around-the-clock support and professional services for any needs that MySQL users have.

Customers want to have a hand to hold when they need help or work with a seasoned expert to help streamline implementation schedules, and MySQL network provides the high level of customer support and services that enterprise users expect. How did it come about that MySQL became the M in the LAMP stack? Why didn't another open source database become a part of that basic Linux/open source foundation?
In my opinion, it all boils down to popularity, reliability, performance and trust. Customers know that MySQL is widely used and successful in many system environments, so this helps further adoption and cements MySQL as the de facto database of choice for the open source community, as well as the corporate arena. Customers know MySQL is going to be easy to install, offers rock solid reliability and provides superior performance, so it's really no surprise that the database is where it is today.

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