The “M” in “LAMP”

MySQL 5 promises many new features.
Mark Twain once jotted “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.” Twain must have moonlighted as a magazine editor, for no truer words have ever been spoken. Indeed, his quip is especially apropos for this month’s issue.
To coincide with the release of MySQL 5, we juggled the editorial calendar and pressed the “Turbo” button to publish three MySQL-related features. The first is a hands-on coding project that demonstrates just a few of MySQL 5’s newest features: stored procedures, triggers, and views. You can find that story on page XX.
Our second feature is an exclusive interview with MySQL AB CEO MÅ’rten Mickos. In a relatively short time, the affable Mickos has gained considerable, valuable, and unique experience running one of the most visible examples of open source success. As Mickos says, open source is a development model, not a business model — an important distinction to remember. The Mickos interview begins on page XX.
Finally, Linux Magazine reconnected with MySQL co-creator Monty Widenius to get yet another unique perspective on the release. We first interviewed Widenius back in July 2003 (“MySQL: Smaller, Smarter, Faster — Everywhere” is available online at http://www.linux-mag.com/content/view/1388/2209/), and were anxious both to get an update and to inquire further about the prospects for MySQL 5. You can find the interview with Widenius online at http://www.linux-mag.com/features/monty.html.
Whether you’re a pointy-haired boss or a Jolt- fueled developer, I think you’ll find all of the stories illuminating.
Of course, as soon as the ink was dry, two MySQL-related announcements came bounding into my inbox. The first was the startling news that Oracle had purchased Innobase Oy for an undisclosed sum. (Innobase is the developer of the InnoDB storage engine — just one of the many storage engines available in MySQL — but also the engine that added critical features such as row-level locking and transactions to MySQL some years ago.) The second announcement was that MySQL AB and SCO (yes, that SCO, Scandalous, Circumspect, and Obnoxious) would team to deliver a commercial version of MySQL for SCO OpenServer 6. As you might imagine, both announcements lit forums and mailbox aflame with a new flavor of FUD: fear, uncertainty, and damnation.
I ignored the SCO announcement. In the past few months, MySQL has been partnering with many companies as part of a broad strategy to build the customer base and bolster developer support. Novell, Red Hat, and Dell are among the other recent partners. As Mickos says, open source is a development model. Partnering is a business necessity.
Regarding the sale of Innobase, that one caught me off-guard. InnoDB was one of the notable features that originally drew me to MySQL instead of other open source databases — and I’m hardly alone. Luckily, we had the chance to return and ask Mickos for his reaction. Asked how Oracle’s acquisition might affect MySQL and its customers, Mickos responsed:
“I believe that the acquisition will give us even more attention from the enterprise market. People are asking themselves why Oracle saw it as vital to acquire a MySQL partner that has four employees.
“We have been predicting for a long time that all major database vendors will make open source moves. CA opened Ingres, IBM opened Cloudscape, and IBM recently acquired Gluecode. Oracle has bought[itself]a place in the open source community.
“Oracle’s president, Charles Phillips, called me on the day of the announcement to reassure that they want to renew the contract. Even if they[rejected]the renewal, our ability to server our customers in respect to InnoDB will continue.”
Mickos’s news is good news. After all, “LAMP” without the “M” would lam a cornerstone of Linux’ s success.
To paraphrase Twain, the rumors of InnoDB’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Martin Streicher is the Editor-in-Chief of Linux Magazine.

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