Six free/open source databases with commercial-quality features

Microsoft, Oracle offer impressive free versions of their commercial offerings, but MariaDB wins our test

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When Oracle took over MySQL, there was concern about whether Oracle would continue to keep MySQL open source, so a group of developers created MariaDB, which is based on MySQL and published under the GNU public license. MariaDB isn’t just a mirror image of MySQL, however. Developers are continually striving to build close-sourced features of the MySQL commercial edition into MariaDB, and to improve some of MySQL’s features. And, in our tests, MariaDB performed slightly faster than MySQL.

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