MySQL 5.4 makes debut but won't ship soon

Is it coincidental that Oracle announced its planned purchase of Sun (and its MySQL) at the start of the open source database's annual conference this week?Probably not.

Is it coincidental that Oracle announced its planned purchase of Sun (and its MySQL) at the start of the open source database's annual conference this week?

Probably not. Yet as many speculate about the proprietary database giant's plans for its new open source asset, a new version of mySQL made its debut this week.

MySQL 5.4, which made its debut at the MySQL Conference & Expo in Santa Clara, Calif. on Tuesday, will offer significant performance and scalability enhancements, Sun said.

For instance, the open source databse's InnoDB storage engine can now scale up to 16-way x86 servers and 64-way CMT servers. MySQL says application performance is 40 percent faster, due to subquery optimizations and new query algorithms that use main memory to speed up execution of multi-joins, the company also said.

A preview version 5.4 is available for download now on Sun's web site for 64-bit versions of Linux and Solaris 10.

Still, availability is not imminent. Sun said a release date for 5.4 will be announced later this year. To me, this means it won't actually hit the market until Q4 of 2009 or 2010.

Version 5.4 will be available on Red Hat and SUSE Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, FreeBSD, HP UX, IBM AIX and IBM i5/OS.

Provided the Oralce-Sun deal is approved, it will be interesting to see how Larry Ellison and co. plan to develop and support its namesake database software alongside the popular open source MySQL.

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