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Oracle has released version 5.6 of the popular MySQL open source database. The update includes a host of changes, many of them designed to help MySQL compete against NoSQL databases, which are gaining popularity.
The Inquirer's Lawrence Latif reported, "Software developer Oracle has released MySQL 5.6, citing improved performance and NoSQL access to InnoDB tables. Oracle, which acquired MySQL when it bought Sun Microsystems, has been proclaiming its support to the free, open source database management system, promising it will continue to develop the immensely popular software product. Now the firm has released MySQL 5.6, saying it has up to 230 percent improvement in transactional performance and improved query optimisation tools."
InformationWeek's Doug Henschen noted, "The long list of upgrades, most of which have been previewed by the MySQL community, break into three categories: performance, availability and scalability. All three areas are important to all users, but key availability and scalability features are clearly aimed at would-be NoSQL database users. New online data definition language (DDL) operations available in 5.6, for example, let you change the database schema by renaming dimensions or adding indexes or columns. These sorts of changes previously had to be done offline, taking down applications with the database in a process that might have taken hours or even days."
Computerworld's Joab Jackson explained, "During development of this latest release, which lasted about two years, Oracle accelerated work on a number of enhancements that should make MySQL more competitive with NoSQL data stores, which have grown in popularity over the past few years. MySQL now offers a way to more quickly access data, by way of the Memcached API (application programming interface). MySQL doesn't actually use Memcached but harnesses its API -- familiar to many system administrators -- as an interface to fetch data directly from the database, without going through the database engine. The approach can deliver data up to nine times more quickly, for data that does not need to be parsed by SQL."
ZDNet quoted Oracle's Tomas Ulin, who said, "For read-only workloads we can see over three times faster execution times. This kind of improvement especially shows itself when you're running high-concurrency workloads on multicore machines. We can now show scalability linearly up to 48 cores in our labs."