LinuxPR: MySQL 5.0 Release Candidate is Here

A letter from Kaj Arnö, MySQL’s VP of Community Relations,

MySQL 5.0 has new functionality that I hope will be welcomed,
adopted, and put to productive use by the community of MySQL
users–you. On the commercial side, MySQL AB is getting a lot of
good vibes from new enterprise customers who are beginning to
understand the impact MySQL can have on their IT infrastructure and
costs of running mission-critical applications.

The betas of MySQL 5.0 have already been downloaded two million
times, and have thus been tested extensively in a lot of different
scenarios. From the feedback we get from our community, we know it
is already in production use at numerous sites. Go get your own
copy at http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.0.html

Without question, MySQL 5.0 is the most ambitious release to
date for MySQL AB. Of course, everything we do at MySQL centers
around our three priorities of Performance, Reliability, and Ease
of Use. Version 5.0 of MySQL is certainly true to these
company-wide imperatives.

Key new features of MySQL 5.0 come in three groups:

  1. ANSI SQL standard features formerly unknown to MySQL
  2. ANSI SQL standard compliance of existing MySQL features
  3. New MySQL Storage Engines, Tools and Extensions

The new ANSI SQL features include:

Views (both read-only and updatable views)
Stored Procedures and Stored Functions, using the SQL:2003 syntax,
which is also used by IBM’s DB2
Triggers (row-level)
Server-side cursors (read-only, non-scrolling)

Implementing ANSI SQL standard ways of using existing MySQL
features means there will be fewer unpleasant surprises (“gotchas”)
for those migrating to MySQL from other database systems:

Strict Mode: MySQL 5.0 adds a mode that complies with standard
SQL in a number of areas in which earlier versions did not; we now
do strict data type checking and issue errors for all invalid
dates, numbers and strings as expected
INFORMATION_SCHEMA: An ANSI SQL-compliant Data Dictionary for
accessing metadata, in parallel to the MySQL specific SHOW
Precision Math: A new library for fixed-point arithmetic, giving
high accuracy for financial and mathematical operations
VARCHAR Data Type: The maximum effective length of a VARCHAR column
has increased to 65,532 bytes; also, stripping of trailing
whitespace no longer occurs
New MySQL Storage Engines, Tools and Extensions are: XA Distributed
ARCHIVE Storage Engine for storing large amounts of data without
indexes in a very small footprint, intended for historical data
that may be needed for future audit compliance (Sarbanes Oxley or
FEDERATED Storage Engine for accessing data ín tables of
remote databases rather than in local tables (only in MAX
Instance Manager: a tool to start and stop MySQL Server, even

To find out more details on what’s new in MySQL 5.0, follow the
pointers from

We’re pleased that we’ve reached a point of stability where it’s
been a while since we received a significant inflow of bugs that
drastically impacted a large number of users. Of course, we
recognize we haven’t crossed the finish line yet, so we still very
much need your involvement to ensure that MySQL 5.0 is the best
that it possibly can be.

With MySQL 5.0 being that stable, I encourage you to do all of
your new database development using MySQL 5.0:

Download 5.0 from
Use the new features you need Report any issues you find through
our bug-reporting system at http://bugs.mysql.com/.
To show our appreciation for your efforts, we’ll be fixing the bugs
you find as fast as we can.

And, to provide a little extra motivation, we will be giving
away Apple iPod nanos, and even full conference passes to our 2006
MySQL Users Conference, to those who deliver the most valuable
feedback. Read more on http://dev.mysql.com/mysql_5_contest.html .
Without your involvement and your excellent input, we at MySQL
wouldn’t be able to do our job: to produce high-quality database
software for you to trust and use.

MySQL 5.0 is also reflected in our GUI tools and Connectors:

MySQL Administrator 1.1.3 and MySQL Query Browser 1.1.15 are
aware of the new MySQL 5.0 features, can be used to write and test
stored procedures, create views, include them in scheduled backups
and much more.

The latest shipping versions of our Connectors work with MySQL
5.0, and all connectors (MySQL Connector/ODBC, Connector/J and
Connector/NET) will support all flagship features before 5.0 goes

I look forward to your input

in our MySQL Forums at http://forums.mysql.com/
in the bug database at http://bugs.mysql.com/
in our mailing lists at http://lists.mysql.com/
in the PlanetMySQL blog aggregation via
in the User Comments of our manual at
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/index.html (specifically for
Documentation comments)
and in the form of downloads from

Thank you — we look forward to hearing back from you — not
just about bugs but any feedback on how MySQL can help support

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