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New MySQL Version Adds Enterprise Capabilities

By James Niccolai
October 17, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - MySQL AB is eyeing a November release for Version 5.0 of its open-source database, a major upgrade that the company hopes will help it become a realistic alternative for corporate users.
If all goes well with the latest test release of the software, Version 5.0 should ship next month, said Kaj Arno, vice president of community relations at Uppsala, Sweden-based MySQL.
MySQL 5.0 adds a handful of enterprise-oriented features -- such as triggers, views and stored procedures -- that have long been available from database market leaders Oracle Corp., IBM and Microsoft Corp.
Nonetheless, analysts are skeptical that the new version has advanced enough to gain widespread interest from corporate IT managers. Gary Barnett, an analyst at London-based research company Ovum Ltd., said that while MySQL is adding some basic enterprise features, Oracle, IBM and even Microsoft continue to offer capabilities that keep their products far ahead of the open-source database Still, MySQL 5 elevates the open-source software into the class of a "true database," said Barnett.
Therefore, more independent software vendors will likely embed it in their products, leading to deployments in new environments, he said. "They are much more credible now for ERP and for transaction-based applications," Barnett added.
In fact, though no ERP applications are certified to run on MySQL today, David Axmark, a MySQL co-founder and vice president overseeing licensing and strategy, said the company is currently working on certification with SAP AG and Netherlands-based financial software vendor Unit 4 Agresso NV. SAP certification is likely within a year, Axmark said.
The new version of MySQL also changes the way the database performs common tasks, making it behave more like other databases. The goal, officials said, is to make it easier for database administrators to switch from other systems.
The price for MySQL Network, the company's subscription support service, for the new version still ranges from $594 to $4,806 per server per year, depending on the service level required, Axmark said.
MySQL officials have long maintained the technology is complementary -- and not competitive -- with the enterprise databases of IBM and Oracle. And with Version 5, said Axmark, MySQL still "won't attack the data center installations, but there are thousands of other platforms out there for which, in some cases, an enterprise database may be too much."

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