April 15, 2010, 9:02 PM — Ever since Oracle's acquisition of Sun, MySQL users have been nervous about Oracle's commitment to the open source database, given Oracle's own database product line. At the O'Reilly MySQL Conference that began today in Santa Clara, Calif., Edward Screven, Oracle's chief corporate architect took to the stage to win over the hearts and minds of the users with a simple message: MySQL matters to Oracle.
"MySQL has some properties that Oracle does not," Screven said in an interview with InfoWorld before the keynote speech. "It's small, it's easy to install. It's easy for developers to get going with it."
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The MySQL open source database lets Oracle target a segment of the market it's not reaching with Oracle Database. "It's important for us as a business for MySQL to be successful. For that to happen, we have to keep investing in it," Screven said.
Screven said Oracle is already bringing some big performance improvements by integrating the MySQL and InnoDB teams -- increases of up to 35 percent for MySQL databases operating with several hundred concurrent connections. The forthcoming new version of MySQL gets its speed improvements from using even finer-grain locking of rows and avoiding some of the contention for tables.
MySQL is in charge of parsing the SQL queries and interacting with outside clients, but it delegates responsibility for storing the data to several different engines with different properties. The InnoDB engine offers transactional processing, a requirement for ensuring data consistency in case of hardware failure. (Oracle purchased the Finnish company Innobase in 2005, a move that led many to predict that the company would eventually move to purchase MySQL.)
"Part of the problem that used to exist between InnoDB and MySQL was that we didn't have coordinated review cycles. It was very hard to have improvements roll into the final product," Screven said.