I think there is a sea change in the database market. Were serving a market that was really not being served previously. Theres a portion of the market that is commoditized, and thats what were focused on serving—bringing databases to the masses.
The database market has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, and it continues to change. The days are over when most companies created their own, homegrown database solutions. Now, they are instead regarding databases as a commodity and buying, using them as such.
Databases are also moving to new areas where they were not used before—home entertainment systems, PDAs, consumer devices, etc. The database market is also changing because databases are becoming less expensive and easier to use, which also helps to enlarge the user base.
Have you come to any decisions about whats going into 6.0?
We try to do development one step at a time and then watch the reaction from our users to know what is the best next step. One of the targets on the roadmap is complete ANSI SQL 2003 compliancy, but the needs of our users have the highest priority.
Youve mentioned that one technology challenge for MySQL was putting an embeddable MySQL server into a handheld. Where are you at with that, and why is that on your priority list?
One of the goals I have for MySQL is that it should be everywhere—geographically, in all kinds of devices and with all kinds of applications. This means that we must have a flexible design, and it should be easy to configure a MySQL server to work in a lot of different environments. The handheld is just one such environment.
The challenge with a handheld is that the database should not take up a lot of memory, and it should be trivial to move data into and out from the handheld. Its a technical challenge to do this in a portable, efficient and easy-to-use way.
I bought a little video/MP3 player that I took with me on the plane from Finland to Orlando, and even if its a very nice toy, I was missing an embedded relational database in it, as the device would then be so much easier to use—and thus more useful for me.
What new technical challenges do you foresee?
We integrated clustering into MySQL and added 10 more core developers to work on the server/cluster. The major challenge has been to integrate these people in the team and to ensure that the new code they produce never affects the stability of MySQL.