MySQL to unveil new transaction engine

MySQL AB unveiled a new transaction database engine at its Santa Clara, Calif. user conference this month. The open-source database vendor will also be showcasing database engines from third parties, said Zach Urlocker, vice-president of marketing at MySQL.

The new transaction database was developed by Jim Starkey, a noted database software architect who joined MySQL when it acquired his Web application technology company in February, Urlocker said in an interview at the LinuxWorld conference in Boston.

When Starkey joined MySQL from Netfrastructure Inc., rumors immediately circulated that he had been hired to develop a new transactional engine for the company.

Starkey and his wife Ann Harrison did occasional consulting work for MySQL over the years, according to Urlocker. MySQL recognized that Starkey’s Netfrastructure had a full relational database. The database is “a jewel in the rough, a new engine with a more modern architecture,” oriented for use with large-scale applications, Urlocker said.

Starkey was the founder of InterBase Software Corp. where he developed the InterBase relational database. His company was acquired by Borland Software Corp., which later released the database to the open-source community where the source code resulted in the Firebird project.

MySQL’s modular approach to development of its database means that the software can support multiple storage architectures, according to Urlocker.

Currently, users can choose from a variety of engines depending on what they want to use the database for. The engines include Oracle Corp.’s InnoDB database for transaction processing and the MyISAM database, on which MySQL is based, for data warehousing. There’s also MySQL Cluster, a database engine based on technology the company acquired in 2003 when it purchased Alzato, as well as a federated engine and an archive engine.

The open-source database company will also be announcing third-party database engines at its conference from both the commercial and open-source software communities, Urlocker said. He declined to name any of those companies or organizations. Already, MySQL users like Google Inc. and social networking Web site Friendster Inc. have created their own database engines, he added. MySQL encourages developers to study the source code it makes available on its Web site including the MyISAM or InnoDB code and then build their own database engines, he said.

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