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MySQL creator releases Maria, the new engine that will replace InnoDB

01.28.2008
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A blog posting from MySQL founder and original developer, Michael "Monty" Widenius, announces the release of a major new database engine called Maria. Over two years in the making, the Maria engine appears to be the open source database leader's answer to the problem posed by Oracle's acquisition of InnoDB. Here's a list of major features of Maria:

  • ACID
  • Commit/Rollback
  • Concurrent selects (thanks to MVCC)
  • Row locking
  • Group commit

For Java developers, users of LAMP stack architectures and many others, the reliability and stability of MySQL is serious business. The more advanced transactional capbilities of MySQL added since version 4.1 have been based on an underlying engine now owned by a key commercial competitor. Switching to a new engine, however, is a potentially daunting task for application developers and database administrators. Issues of compatibility and overall stability are inevitable. On that issue, Monty says:

We are now in a state of Maria 1.0 with 'no known bugs' (which of course doesn't mean that there isn't any bugs just that we belive we are in 'reasonable good shape') and we need the help from other developers to find the hidden bugs so that we can quickly fix them and make Maria stable!

Ordinarily I would just laugh and say "sure, no known bugs" but MySQL has a good track record of having a strong internal QA process. While it has seemed that recent versions are flying out of the company too quickly and with perhaps less rigorous testing, I have generally felt that a MySQL "beta" suggested a stability level as good as many vendor's "final" versions.

Monty's announcement also includes a FAQ that covers a lot of questions you may have about Maria. If you're using MySQL (or thinking about using it) I'd recommend you scan the FAQ to get a sense of where Maria is going and what it may mean to you.

 

Comments

Rick Ross replied on Mon, 2008/01/28 - 9:08am

We added a poll over in the forums. "MySQL Maria: How quickly will you start to experiment?"

Ismael Juma replied on Mon, 2008/01/28 - 10:46am

Hi,

It's worth mentioning Falcon[1]. It seems to me that Maria is a MyISAM replacement while Falcon is an alternative to InnoDB. However, given some of the functionality provided by Maria, it seems like things will be less clear-cut when it comes to making a choice between either Falcon or Maria (not to mention InnoDB itself).

Ismael

[1] http://forge.mysql.com/wiki/Falcon

Rick Ross replied on Mon, 2008/01/28 - 10:56am in response to: Ismael Juma

[quote=ijuma]It's worth mentioning Falcon[1]. It seems to me that Maria is a MyISAM replacement while Falcon is an alternative to InnoDB. However, given some of the functionality provided by Maria, it seems like things will be less clear-cut when it comes to making a choice between either Falcon or Maria (not to mention InnoDB itself).[/quote]

Thanks, Ismael - I wasn't aware of Falcon. I will go look at it right away. It does seem like there's some blurring of the lines between these two new engines. How do you think Maria fits into the bigger picture now?

Jesse Sightler replied on Mon, 2008/01/28 - 12:50pm

I agree that this is more of a MyISAM replacment at the moment.  Your feature list is the list for 2.0 features, not the list for the product being released today (which is non-transactional with poorer concurrency than MyISAM).

I am still not sure what they mean by this:

"Concurrent selects (thanks to MVCC)"

MVCC is not required for concurrent selects, and I'm not sure why they would imply that it is.

This line also struck me as disturbing:

"Maria 1.0 has one writer or many readers. (MyISAM can have one inserter and many readers when using concurrent inserts)"

It doesn't seem to me that there will be a compelling reason to use this until some future release (maybe 2.0). 

Alex(JAlexoid) ... replied on Mon, 2008/01/28 - 6:51pm

It's good that they are addressing a multitude of their Gotchas.

There are more storage engines like solidDB storage engine.

But for speed with reasonable reliability MySQL beats out anything.

Fred Grott replied on Tue, 2008/01/29 - 6:40pm

 Interesting..given the start up that I am at just started development sound slike the time to play with Maria is now..

 

Maria is not arpelcement for MYISAM..MySAM is not trasnaction safe as is InnoDB two very different enginess Maria is the replacement for InnoDB..

 

 

Fred Grott(aka shareme) sometimes a JavaZone(JavaLobby) and EclipseZone contributor. Top visited blog on Jroller.com at: http://www.jroller.com/shareme/

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 Interesting..given the start up that I am at just started development sound slike the time to play with Maria is now..Maria is not arpelcement for MYISAM..MySAM is not trasnaction safe as is InnoDB two very different enginess Maria is the replacement for InnoDB.. includingTiffany Bangles,Tiffany Bracelets,Tiffany Rings.

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