MariaDB alpha taps into MySQL 5.6 to boost its own new features

As well as taking features from Oracle's MySQL 5.6 database, the latest alpha of the MariaDB branch now integrates with the Apache Cassandra NoSQL database management system.
Written by Toby Wolpe, Contributor

MariaDB, the community-developed branch of Oracle's open-source MySQL database, has released a second alpha of version 10.0 that uses features from the recently released MySQL 5.6 and adds a number of its own.

With alpha 10.0.1, MariaDB now integrates Apache Cassandra, allowing data from MariaDB and the NoSQL database management system to be combined. That integration also enables reading and writing to Cassandra from MariaDB and the use of SQL's Select, Insert, Update and Delete.

The new alpha, which follows November's 10.0.0 version, also offers engine-independent statistics. According to a blog entry by MariaDB COO Rasmus Johansson, statistics are now provided separately from storage engines.

"Before, statistics were supplied by the storage engines themselves and the quality of the statistics were usually quite poor. Also, since before this they were provided through the storage engine interface, a lot of restrictions were put on them," Johansson wrote.

"These statistics are used by the query optimizer to choose the best execution plan for each SQL statement. Better statistics results in better execution plans and end users will experience faster results in general," he said.

Improvements to Dynamic Columns

In Alpha 10.0.1, users will also find improvements to Dynamic Columns, which allows a different set of columns to be stored for every row in a table.

"With Dynamic Columns and the Cassandra Storage Engine you can now combine data residing in Cassandra with data inside MariaDB and this is done through normal-looking queries on the MariaDB side," according to Johansson.

Other features added in the alpha include the ability to use Dynamic Columns to request a row in the popular JSON standard format for data interchange, along with the analysis of thread-specific memory usage and significant speed improvements in Alter Table, with unique keys for Aria and MyISAM storage engines.

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