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:
- 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.