Oracle issued on May 17 a new edition of MySQL Enterprise, the first major upgrade of the open-source relational database since Oracle completed the acquisition of MySQL's former parent, Sun Microsystems.
But the release will do little to assuage the suspicions of MySQL users and open-source community members that Oracle won't give the database full and enthusiastic support since it acquired the technology in the buyout of Sun Microsystems. That's because this release was under development well before Oracle closed its $7.4 billion buyout of Sun.
The most important component of the latest release is MySQL Enterprise Monitor 2.2, which provides performance monitoring tools that Oracle officials say will enable user organizations to more efficiently manage MySQL servers and reduce downtime by discovering performance problems before they cause service outages.
Enterprise Monitor 2.0 provides GUI-based tools that continuously monitor the MySQL database and guide developers in implementing MySQL best practices.
Database administrators and developers need tools "that help them manage their MySQL servers efficiently and allow them to identify performance issues before they become expensive, time-consuming problems," Tomas Ulin, director of MySQL Development with Oracle, said in a statement.
It also provides improved database query performance, improved security and integration with MySQL Support, which provides 24/7 support for the development, deployment and management of MySQL applications.
The integration with MySQL Supports eliminates that time that database administrators spend examining the results of the common diagnostic tools used to discover problems by automating the process. The User and Security Model is integrated with existing LDAP authentication and other commonly accepted security methods.
Enterprise Monitor 2.2 includes enhancement for collecting, viewing and searching query performance data, which allows developers to analyze query response patterns that may slow system resources and response times.
The monitor also includes Query Analyzer Execution Notices that are designed to pinpoint problem queries to allow database administrators and application developers to fix performance problems.
Another major feature is MySQL Enterprise Connector Plug-ins, which link up with an application's existing connectors to enable users to gather and send SQL Query responses and other performance data to a query analyzer.
One analyst suggested that Oracle can hardly take credit for a new release it really had little to do with. "The release was well under way before the acquisition, so this really has very little to do with Oracle in my opinion," said Joseph Martins, managing director of Data Mobility Group, an IT industry analyst.
Giving Oracle the credit "would be a bit like giving an incoming [president of the United States] credit for the programs implemented by an outgoing [president of the United States]. All this says to me is that Oracle hasn't rocked the boat-yet."
But Martins said he isn't very concerned that Oracle will try to suppress the open-source database. "I'm sure MySQL will survive whether it's in the hands of Oracle or elsewhere. Customers can be certain of that. The community isn't going to let MySQL fail. It's really that simple," he said.
However, Martins declined to comment on the potential performance or feature improvements of the new version, which he has yet to evaluate. "Let's hope it's of higher quality than the last one. If Oracle could make any contribution to MySQL, it would be in cleaning up that horrendous development cycle and overall quality control," he said.
Oracle completed the $7.4 billion buyout of Sun Microsystems in late January 2010 after battling for the best part of a year with U.S. and overseas regulatory authorities to gain approval of the deal. Less than a month before the deal closed, more than 14,000 MySQL enthusiasts around the world signed a petition asking regulators to reject the deal on the grounds that Oracle, as one of the world's largest producers enterprise relational databases, would not effectively support the competing open-source MySQL database.
Oracle issued statements before and after the deal denying that it wouldn't fully support and invest in MySQL, and it also rejected suggestions that it would somehow divest itself of MySQL or turn management of it over to the open-source community as a compromise that would win regulatory approval of the deal.