Databases Target Enterprises

MySQL, PostgreSQL upgrade open-source products.

Two open-source database developers are upgrading their respective software in an effort to make them more attractive to the enterprise.

Open-source database leader MySQL AB, of Uppsala, Sweden, this week will announce Version 4.0.5 of its namesake database with support for IBMs zSeries servers running the Linux and AIX operating systems.

While such support is already available elsewhere from individuals who took advantage of MySQLs open source code, the formal support will reassure conservative enterprise users who want to know that they have a professional service department to turn to for help if problems with the database arise, officials said.

Even though MySQL user CoreSense Inc. is not running the database on IBM servers, CEO Jason Jacobs welcomes the new support because it expands the pool of users contributing to open-source enhancements.

"The larger the user group, the better for all of us," said Jacobs, in New York. "[Enterprises are] going to look for something to be supported in order to bet their business on it."

Meanwhile, PostgreSQL Inc. last week rolled out PostgreSQL 7.3 with new features to appeal to enterprise users. New support for SQL schemata allows users to create objects in separate namespaces so that multiple people can have tables with the same names in a database.

This facilitates mobile users working in the same database, said company officials, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Also new in Version 7.3 is a public schema for shared tables, which lets database administrators more easily restrict permissions for creating tables and indexes.

Use of table functions that return multiple rows or multiple columns was enhanced so that database administrators can call a table function in the "select from" clause, treating its output like a table.

PostgreSQL 7.3 adds the capability to return record sets and prepared queries—features that appeal to power users. This is a good way to get open-source software accepted in the enterprise, said PostgreSQL user Christopher Kings-Lynne, lead programmer for Family Health Network Pty Ltd.

"More and more enterprises will see PostgreSQL as a viable back end for their operation," said Kings-Lynne, in Perth, Australia.