Ulf Wendel

MySQL Connector/OpenOffice.org: the project is alive!

Alpha 2?!
The MySQL Connector/OpenOffice.org project is still alive. The code of the alpha version has been "frozen". The Hamburg based Sun OpenOffice.org QA team is testing the alpha builds of the OpenOffice.org extension for OpenOffice.org 3.1. Initial feedback is very promising. Under the hood, the alpha version is using the recently released beta of the MySQL Connector/C++. The MySQL Connector/OpenOffice.org is implemented as an OpenOffice.org extension. OpenOffice.org extensions are extremly easy to install Plug-Ins for OpenOffice.org.

The MySQL Connector/OpenOffice.org is also refered to as "native driver". The term "native driver" in MySQL speech means that the driver implements the MySQL Client Server Protocol. This is not the case for the MySQL OpenOffice.org driver. OpenOffice.org and MySQL wordings are clashing a bit. "Native driver for OpenOffice.org" means that you get an out-of-the-box solution. You install exactly one extension and everything works (or should work ;-)). It has been possible to connect from OpenOffice.org to MySQL for a long time. But it has never been as easy as now: download the extension, install it, enjoy MySQL!

Where has "release often" gone?

The project has seen many delays and challenges. The MySQL driver for OpenOffice.org has been waiting for the MySQL Connector/C++ to mature for a long time. And MySQL Connector/C++ in turn, would love to see a GA release of the MySQL Connector/C. OpenOffice.org is written in C++. So is MySQL Connector/C++. The OpenOffice.org database API is called SDBC resp. SDBCX. SDBC(X) is derived from JDBC. The MySQL driver for C++ implements a JDBC-like API. But MySQL Connector/C++ is not a native driver in the MySQL sense. It needs the MySQL Connector/C (or the libmysql) for connecting to MySQL. You see the dependencies? There is more. Both Connector/C++ and Connector/C use CMake. The OpenOffice.org build system does not support CMake… yet? And so on.

The work on the MySQL Connector/OpenOffice.org has helped us tremendously identifying meta-data related issues in the alpha version of MySQL Connector/C++. Thanks to the feedback from the OpenOffice.org Base team we have identified this weakness and improved the driver. You probably would not have had much fun using earlier versions of the extension. Honestly, they have been terrible.


Credits go to:

  • Georg Richter from the MySQL Connectors team – for the initiative and killing his notebooks HDD compiling OO.org
  • Frank Schoenheit from the OpenOffice.org Base team – he is truly a tech lead with excellent communication skills!
  • Ocke Janssen from the OpenOffice.org Base team – in particular for porting JDBC tests
  • Andrey Hristov from the MySQL Connectors team – why don’t we call him senior developer yet – he has written 70% of the drivers code!
  • Rene Engelhard from the OO.org community – for most valuable build system hints&tricks and integrating the extension into it!
  • Mechtilde Stehmann from the OO.org community – for being around, simple as that! In the future – hopefully – for QA

More? Stay tuned. Alpha is not far from now.

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