Ulf Wendel

The MaxDB series on planetmysql.org

Dear MySQL users, MaxDB users and friends,

We welcome you to a series of MaxDB postings on planetmysql.org.

Over the next weeks the MySQL MaxDB team will present MaxDB to you. We plan to write one posting per week, starting with today. Blog entries will be published every wednesday as our work constraints permit. All postings together might make a complete and comprehensive MaxDB course.

What is MaxDB by MySQL?

MySQL AB delivers two enterprise-level database systems. The first database is the MySQL Server. With more than 8 million active installations, it is the world’s most popular open source database. The latest General Available (GA) Release is MySQL 5.0. The freely downloadable version is called MySQL 5.0 Community Edition. Three different binary versions of the MySQL Server exist: Standard, Max and Debug. Do not mix up the Max version of the MySQL Server with MaxDB by MySQL.

MaxDB by MySQL is the second enterprise-level relational database management system delivered by MySQL AB. Formerly known as SAP DB, MaxDB is the result of a strategic alliance between MySQL and SAP to jointly develop and market an open source database for SAP/R3 .

The database development started in 1977 as a research project at the technical University of Berlin. In the early 80s it became a database product that subsequently was owned by Nixdorf, Siemens Nixdorf, Software AG and today by SAP AG. Along this line it has been named VDN, Reflex, Supra 2, DDB/4, Entire SQL-DB-Server and ADABAS. In 1997 SAP took over the software from Software AG and renamed it to SAP DB. In 2003 SAP AG and MySQL AB joined a partnership and re-branded the database system to MaxDB. – From this background on the MaxDB history you won’t be surprised that the MaxDB database and the MySQL Server are two very different products.

How do MaxDB and MySQL compare?

Let’s check which MySQL 5.0 flagship features can be found in MaxDB. MaxDB has Stored Procedures, Triggers, Views, Precision Match and an Information Schema counterpart. These features have been available in MaxDB for a decade.

MySQL 5.1 will offer a new Eventing and Scheduling feature. The service oriented architecture of MaxDB has introduced a scheduler in 7.5, which was released around 2004. Additionally MaxDB has an eventing feature that goes beyond temporal trigger of MySQL 5.1. MaxDB pro-actively warns the DBA if they have to perform some administrative tasks. For example MaxDB tells you if the database filling level falls below or goes above a certain fill-level. MaxDB offers built-in non-blocking hot backup. MaxDB is SAP certified, and, and, …

On the other hand does MaxDB has no counterpart to the unique Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture that the MySQL Server offers for maximum flexibility. For example, there’s no Archive Storage Engine for historical and audit data, that is compressed on-the-fly. MaxDB does not offer Partitioning, which will be available in MySQL 5.1 nor does it have a counterpart to the MySQL Cluster but MaxDB does support High Availability and Hot Standby setups.

The comparison could be easily extended. Depending on the focus of the writer, a comparison chart would show MaxDB ahead of MySQL or just the other way around with MySQL being better than MaxDB.

And features are not everything that counts. In the end only you can answer the question which system fulfills your needs. We encourage you to try out both systems! Both are enterprise-level, but have different optimizations and strengths, both are dual-licensed and thus, you can use them under the terms of the Free Software GPL licence.

A guide on using MaxDB

The MySQL MaxDB team hopes that we can create a guide that explains how to try ourtand use MaxDB in this article series. Note that we will not discuss how to use MaxDB with SAP applications. This series is about MaxDB when not used with SAP applications.

Before we start: we need your feedback! Every author needs feedback from the audience. All readers have different skills and expectations on an article. We do not know about your expectations. Please use the MaxDB Forum to tell us what you would like to see in the series.

Next issue: Overview on MaxDB

We plan to publish the first issue of our series on Wednesday, the 8th of February, 2006. The posting will be about MaxDB in the present and
the future, todays hottest MaxDB features, where to find more information on MaxDB, and we will try to give a first overview of the MaxDB software components.

Talk to you next Wednesday!

Ulf Wendel for the MySQL MaxDB team