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Why MySQL?



Graveled at commercial software licensing? Are you looking for a stable database platform but sweating at the hefty price tags attached to mainstream products from Microsoft, Oracle and other vendors? MySQL may be for you!  MySQL is a well-respected product that is more than capable of commercial operation. As of April 2009, MySQL offers MySQL 5.1 in two different variants: the MySQL Community Server and Enterprise Server, both having common code base and include the below features.


MySQL Features:

  • A broad subset of ANSI SQL 99, as well as extensions.
  • Cross-platform support.
  • Stored procedures.
  • Triggers.
  • Cursors.
  • Updatable Views.
  • True Varchar support.
  • Strict mode.
  • X/Open XA distributed transaction processing (DTP) support; two phase commit as part of this, using Oracle’s InnoDB engine.
  • Independent storage engines (MyISAM for read speed, InnoDB for transactions and referential integrity, MySQL Archive for storing historical data in little space).
  • Transactions with the InnoDB, BDB and Cluster storage engines; savepoints with InnoDB.
  • SSL support.
  • Query caching.
  • Sub-SELECTs (i.e. nested SELECTs).
  • Replication with one master per slave, many slaves per master, no automatic support for multiple masters per slave.
  • Full-text indexing and searching using MyISAM engine.
  • Embedded database library.
  • Partial Unicode support (UTF-8 sequences longer than 3 bytes are not supported; UCS-2 encoded strings are also limited to the BMP).
  • Partial ACID compliance (full compliance only when using the non-default storage engines InnoDB, BDB and Cluster).
  • Shared-nothing clustering through MySQL Cluster

MySQL Enterprise Server is released once per month and the sources can be obtained either from MySQL’s customer-only Enterprise site or from MySQL’s Bazaar repository, both under the GPL license. The MySQL Community Server is published on an unspecified schedule under the GPL and contains all bug fixes that were shipped with the last MySQL Enterprise Server release. Binaries are no longer provided by MySQL for every release of the Community Server.


Distinguishing features:

The following features are implemented by MySQL but not by some other RDBMS software:

  • Multiple storage engines, allowing one to choose the one that is most effective for each table in the application (in MySQL 5.0, storage engines must be compiled in; in MySQL 5.1, storage engines can be dynamically loaded at run time).
  • Native storage engines (MyISAM, Falcon, Merge, Memory (heap), Federated, Archive, CSV, Blackhole, Cluster, Berkeley DB, EXAMPLE, and Maria).
  • Partner-developed storage engines (InnoDB, solidDB, NitroEDB, Infobright (formerly Brighthouse), Infobright (Open Source)).
  • Community-developed storage engines (memcached, httpd, PBXT, Revision Engine).
  • Custom storage engines.
  • Commit grouping, gathering multiple transactions from multiple connections together to increase the number of commits per second.


MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) which can be used to store, sort, arrange, and display information. MySQL stands for “My Structured Query Language”. The program runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases. MySQL ensures that transactions comply with the ACID Model, allows the building of indexes, supports standard data types, and allows for database replication, among other features. If you’re a heavy user of web applications, you’ll be pleased to learn that MySQL meshes perfectly with the Perl Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) dynamic web development language. If you’re a Microsoft IIS user, it works quite well with Active Server Pages (ASP), as well. In fact, if your ASP code is ANSI SQL-compliant, you may be able to simply plug and play a MySQL server into your production environment very easily! If you are a java developer, you will get a great deal with MySQL. MySQL’s website is also a good resource for information geared toward administrators and developers.


Noel Yuhanna
Forrester Research Quotes:

MySQL continues to have a very high adoption rate across several industries and is known for its reliability, ease of use, and performance. MySQL 5.0 features are likely to boost MySQL to even higher adoption rates and may open doors for support for more packaged applications and tools.



Top Reasons to Use MySQL:

1. Scalability and Flexibility
MySQL database server provides the ultimate in scalability, sporting the capacity to handle deeply embedded applications with a footprint of only 1MB to running massive data warehouses holding terabytes of information. Platform flexibility is a stalwart feature of MySQL with all flavors of Linux, UNIX, and Windows being supported. And, of course, the open source nature of MySQL allows complete customization for those wanting to add unique requirements to the database server.

2. High Performance
A unique storage-engine architecture allows database professionals to configure the MySQL database server specifically for particular applications, with the end result being amazing performance results. Whether the intended application is a high-speed transactional processing system or a high-volume web site that services a billion queries a day, MySQL can meet the most demanding performance expectations of any system. With high-speed load utilities, distinctive memory caches, full text indexes, and other performance-enhancing mechanisms, MySQL offers all the right ammunition for today’s critical business systems.

3. High Availability
Rock-solid reliability and constant availability are hallmarks of MySQL, with customers relying on MySQL to guarantee around-the-clock uptime. MySQL offers a variety of high-availability options from high-speed master/slave replication configurations, to specialized Cluster servers offering instant failover, to third party vendors offering unique high-availability solutions for the MySQL database server.

4. Robust Transactional Support
MySQL offers one of the most powerful transactional database engines on the market. Features include complete ACID (atomic, consistent, isolated, durable) transaction support, unlimited row-level locking, distributed transaction capability, and multi-version transaction support where readers never block writers and vice-versa. Full data integrity is also assured through server-enforced referential integrity, specialized transaction isolation levels, and instant deadlock detection.

5. Web and Data Warehouse Strengths
MySQL is the de-facto standard for high-traffic web sites because of its high-performance query engine, tremendously fast data insert capability, and strong support for specialized web functions like fast full text searches. These same strengths also apply to data warehousing environments where MySQL scales up into the terabyte range for either single servers or scale-out architectures. Other features like main memory tables, B-tree and hash indexes, and compressed archive tables that reduce storage requirements by up to eighty-percent make MySQL a strong standout for both web and business intelligence applications.

6. Strong Data Protection
Because guarding the data assets of corporations is the number one job of database professionals, MySQL offers exceptional security features that ensure absolute data protection. In terms of database authentication, MySQL provides powerful mechanisms for ensuring only authorized users have entry to the database server, with the ability to block users down to the client machine level being possible. SSH and SSL support are also provided to ensure safe and secure connections. A granular object privilege framework is present so that users only see the data they should, and powerful data encryption and decryption functions ensure that sensitive data is protected from unauthorized viewing. Finally, backup and recovery utilities provided through MySQL and third party software vendors allow for complete logical and physical backup as well as full and point-in-time recovery.

7. Comprehensive Application Development
One of the reasons MySQL is the world’s most popular open source database is that it provides comprehensive support for every application development need. Within the database, support can be found for stored procedures, triggers, functions, views, cursors, ANSI-standard SQL, and more. For embedded applications, plug-in libraries are available to embed MySQL database support into nearly any application. MySQL also provides connectors and drivers (ODBC, JDBC, etc.) that allow all forms of applications to make use of MySQL as a preferred data management server. It doesn’t matter if it’s PHP, Perl, Java, Visual Basic, or .NET, MySQL offers application developers everything they need to be successful in building database-driven information systems.

8. Management Ease
MySQL offers exceptional quick-start capability with the average time from software download to installation completion being less than fifteen minutes. This rule holds true whether the platform is Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh, or UNIX. Once installed, self-management features like automatic space expansion, auto-restart, and dynamic configuration changes take much of the burden off already overworked database administrators. MySQL also provides a complete suite of graphical management and migration tools that allow a DBA to manage, troubleshoot, and control the operation of many MySQL servers from a single workstation. Many third party software vendor tools are also available for MySQL that handle tasks ranging from data design and ETL, to complete database administration, job management, and performance monitoring.

9. Open Source Freedom and 24 x 7 Support
Many corporations are hesitant to fully commit to open source software because they believe they can’t get the type of support or professional service safety nets they currently rely on with proprietary software to ensure the overall success of their key applications. The questions of indemnification come up often as well. These worries can be put to rest with MySQL as complete around-the-clock support as well as indemnification is available through MySQL Network. MySQL is not a typical open source project as all the software is owned and supported by MySQL AB, and because of this, a unique cost and support model are available that provides a unique combination of open source freedom and trusted software with support.

10. Lowest Total Cost of Ownership
By migrating current database-drive applications to MySQL, or using MySQL for new development projects, corporations are realizing cost savings that many times stretch into seven figures. Accomplished through the use of the MySQL database server and scale-out architectures that utilize low-cost commodity hardware, corporations are finding that they can achieve amazing levels of scalability and performance, all at a cost that is far less than those offered by proprietary and scale-up software vendors. In addition, the reliability and easy maintainability of MySQL means that database administrators don’t waste time troubleshooting performance or downtime issues, but instead can concentrate on making a positive impact on higher level tasks that involve the business side of data.


Sun Quotes:

Features & Benefits

MySQL reduces the total cost of ownership of database software by reducing database licensing costs by over 90 percent and cutting systems downtime by 60 percent. At the same time, it lowers hardware expenditures by 70 percent and reduces administration, engineering, and support costs by up to 50 percent.

Scalability and Flexibility
  • Deeply embedded applications with a footprint of just 1MB, or
  • Massive data warehouses holding terabytes of information
High Performance
  • Table and Index Partitioning
  • Ultra-fast load utilities
  • Distinctive memory caches
  • Full-text indexes, and more
High Availability
  • Run high-speed master/slave replication configurations with Row-Based and Hybrid Replication
  • Specialized Cluster servers offering instant failover
Robust Transactional Support
  • Complete ACID (atomic, consistent, isolated, durable) transaction support
  • Unlimited row-level locking
  • Distributed transaction capability, and
  • Multi-version transaction support
Web and Data Warehouse Strengths
  • High-performance query engine
  • Tremendously fast data insert capability, and
  • Strong support for specialized web functions, like fast full text searches
Strong Data Protection
  • Powerful mechanisms for ensuring only authorized users have access
  • SSH and SSL support safe and secure connections
  • Powerful data encryption and decryption functions
Comprehensive Application Development
  • Support for stored procedures, triggers, functions, views, cursors, ANSI-standard SQL, and more
  • Plug-in libraries to embed MySQL database support into nearly any application
Management Ease
  • Use Event Scheduler automatically schedule common recurring SQL-based tasks to execute on the database server
  • Average time from software download to complete installation is less than fifteen minutes
Open Source Freedom and 24 x 7 Support
  • Around-the-clock support and indemnification available through MySQL Network
  • Enterprise quality and enterprise ready, from installation to support
Lowest Total Cost of Ownership
  • Save on database licensing costs and hardware expenditures, all while cutting systems downtime







Note: Refer to other posts in MySQL category for further knowledge.




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