Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Oracle Releases MySQL 5.5

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One of the biggest hurdles that Oracle faced when acquiring Sun Microsystems was handling the open source MySQL database.

There were concerns about how the open source database would fare under Oracle’s leadership, but those concerns are now being put to rest by Oracle with the release of MySQL 5.5

“MySQL 5.5 delivers significant performance and scalability enhancements,” Monica Kumar senior director of product marketing at Oracle told “Oracle is committed to MySQL and we’re very focused on growing the community.”

MySQL 5.5 was first available in development milestone builds at the end of 2009. In April, Oracle released the first public beta of MySQL 5.5, enabling InnoDB as the default engine for MySQL.

Tomas Ulin, vice president of engineering for MySQL at Oracle, explained that as was the case under Sun, Oracle is releasing both a GPL open source licensed version of MySQL 5.5 as well as a commercially licensed version.

“MySQL 5.5 remains and future versions will remain, open source under the GPL license,” Ulin said.

Among the new features in MySQL 5.5 are new semi-synchronous replication capabilities that improve the overall reliability of the database.

“Semi-synchronous synchronization was originally committed as a patch for InnoDB, but we have now generalized it for any storage engine,” Ulin said. “We’ve stabilized the code and fixed bugs and done more testing with it as well.”

Other key new features include SIGNAL/RESIGNAL support which is an exception handling feature for stored procedures.

“We have also added a performance schema so you get more structured insight into what is going on in a server, so you can more easily tune the database,” Ulin said.

While Oracle still has its own namesake database, MySQL is now seen as a complementary technology to it.

“We have customers that deploy both together,” Kumar said. “We have different use cases that show that both databases are complementary and can be used across the application spectrum.”

The official general availability of MySQL 5.5 is the first major version update of the open source database since the 5.1 release in 2008. Moving forward, Oracle is still working on new features and releases for MySQL, though there is not yet a fixed date for the next MySQL database release.

“We will continue to grow the MySQL product line and we are continuing to invest in MySQL and that’s the point,” Kumar said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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