Yaakov Menken, CEO of Capalon Internet Solutions, has been using MySQL since 2000, when he migrated from Microsoft Access. He told me his company had made the "grave error" of building a database on top of Access and having a situation where multiple people were trying to update the database, if not down to the second, at very close times, thereby resulting in data corruption.His company moved off of Windows not just because of the database, however, but because Linux and Apache were more stable than Windows and IIS (Internet Information Services) 4. "Certainly the fact that you could add the pieces together and move from [Windows] to LAMP [Linux/Apache/MySQL/Perl, Python, PHP], and do so with no software costs, was a powerful motivation to go in that particular direction," he told me. Hes "delighted" with MySQL and has never seen any reason to go back, nor to ponder using a lite version of a proprietary database. Going over to Oracle, for example, would introduce an arduous learning curve. But he finds a side-by-side comparison of MySQL to the lite databases to be relevant because theyre both aimed for low-budget situations. "Theres a lot of small businesses for whom the full versions are not financially viable at this point," he told me. "Theyre going to go with an express version." Wilkes backed him up on this one, with cost again being a big part of the equation. "Why choose a light commercial database for a business? Cost is one, since companies that once had one database now have dozens," he said. Beyond that, Wilkes said, feature bloat is another good reason why a small business might want to go with a lite database. " Modern Enterprise databases have become bloated with so many extended features that the simple task of storing data is almost an afterthought. If you compare the feature sets of a light vs. enterprise database, youll find things like internal security and encryption, back-end compression, OLAP workspaces, etc. I dont need those things. A lot of other companies dont either, or if they do, they dont need them for all their data. I think the question for everything but the largest monolithic deployments is, why not choose the standard edition and save a bundle?" So after listening to users, at least on the MySQL side, I can see why there might be some good reasons to compare MySQL with the light databases. Theyre closer in pricing and feature set. Plus, as Wilkes pointed out, the light databases arguably came into being in great part because the proprietary vendors had to respond to MySQL and the pressure its putting on the lower end of the market. So, funky premise or no, congratulations, MySQLit was a nice recognition of how far youve come to get the editors choice. Are you plugging into the light database versions? Tell me why they appeal: Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lisa Vaas is Ziff Davis Internets news editor in charge of operations. She is also the editor of eWEEK.coms Database and Business Intelligence topic center. She has been with eWEEK and eWEEK.com since 1995, most recently covering enterprise applications and database technology. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.
Its not surprising, given that bad experience, that MySQLs master/slave database replication is his favorite feature. It gives users a live backup copy of any database, already having given him his database back up in a matter of minutes, as opposed to what would have been hours.