Ave Maria

Posted: 2012-12-06 19:01:31 by Alasdair Keyes

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What does your database choice say about you?

Well, I don't know if they actually do say anything, however I've been using MySQL for a long time. If I need a database for a project, either for work and personal I fall back to MySQL, it's like the comfy old pair of shoes that you always wear because you know where you are with them and it always feels comfortable.

I dabbled a bit with Oracle at uni and dipped my toe in the Postgres waters a couple of years ago to see what the fuss was about. Both seemed very functional, however my only reason not to switch was that I was comfortable with MySQL. As a developer I know the SQL syntax to do pretty much most things I'd want to do and as a Sys Admin, I know how to set it up in multiple configurations, upgrade it, manage it and debug issues. Beyond that I'd got a lot of projects currently running on it and no one needs the headache of changing a core part of a system such as the database, as the saying goes... "If it ain't broke..."

Those who follow such things will be aware that MySQL has had a somewhat rocky history over the past few years with, being bought in 2008 by Sun and then acquired by Oracle a couple of years later. This has worried a lot of people, after all what would Oracle want with a free Database solution that might take business away from their high-end, uber-expensive prized product?

I have to say, I'm also a little concerned so I've been following MariaDB with some interest recently. MariaDB is a drop-in replacement for MySQL forked from the MySQL community version. It also has a few extensions and little extras of it's own should you want to use them but still maintains the backwards compatibility with MySQL. They very nicely also provide repositories for some of the main Linux distributions CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Redhat and Ubuntu, so you can get the latest and greatest versions and bug fixes all at the cost of adding a repository into your package management system.

I'm not sure I want to migrate my work systems to it yet, however I think I'll be giving it a go for some of my new projects.

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© Alasdair Keyes

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