MySQL is a fine database, but the open source community has been nervous about its future since it was acquired by Oracle in 2009. Some users have sought alternatives in MySQL forks such as MariaDB. Others have considered migration to PostgreSQL, a mature database with a track record of more than 15 years. If you want to explore PostgreSQL, here's how to get started.
For years, MySQL has been the king of open source database servers. It powers a large part of the web and numerous applications worldwide. However, concerns about the future of MySQL since its acquisition by Oracle, combined with an increasing demand for performance and scalability, have driven people to consider alternative options, such as PostgreSQL and MongoDB. Switching to either of those alternatives, however, is not a simple proposition. MariaDB, by contrast, offers enhanced performance in a DBMS that can be a drop-in replacement for MySQL.
The MySQL relational database serves as a back end for millions of websites, and powers millions of non-Internet data-handling applications. In 2009 ownership of MySQL passed to Oracle when it bought Sun, which had acquired MySQL the previous year. Since then developers and IT managers have worried that Oracle would someday cease support for MySQL because it competes with the company's profitable proprietary database products. This fear may be justified. In August, Alex Williams wrote at TechCrunch, "Oracle is holding back test cases in the latest release of MySQL. It’s a move that has all the markings of the company’s continued efforts to further close up the open source software and alienate the MySQL developer community." We tried to get Oracle to rebut that accusation, but multiple emails and phone calls did not get a response. Does this mean it's time to move from MySQL to another open source database – and if so, which one?
You can get optimum performance from your database by tuning your system in three areas: the hardware, the database, and the database server. Each increasingly more specialized than the last, with the tuning of the actual database server being unique to the software being used. If you're already familiar with tuning MySQL databases, you'll find tuning a PostgreSQL database server to be similar, but with some key differences to watch out for.
People putting together web applications often overlook PostgreSQL in favor of MySQL, yet PostgreSQL is enterprise-ready and has been used by familiar names such as Instagram and Disqus. One advantage is a license that grants the right to use, copy, modify, and distribute the software as long as the relevant copyright notices are maintained, and that doesn't force projects that use PostgreSQL to be released as open source code. You can use PostgreSQL and PHP to build a dynamic web site with data residing in a PostgreSQL database, and if you are familiar with using PHP to communicate with MySQL, it is relatively easy to make the transition to Postgres. If you don't know anything about PostgreSQL, start by reading PostgreSQL Administration for MySQL Admins to learn how to install PostgreSQL and create a simple database.
Storing arrays in database fields provides a number of challenges, but also a number of opportunities for RDBMS developers. We'll illustrate some of those issues using PostgreSQL as an example, but the principles can be applied to other database systems as well, including MySQL.
One of the challenges of working within today's enterprise space is trying to juggle a multitude of web applications to handle all of your company's needs. You may be able to meet a significant number of those needs with a single application: Alfresco. This enterprise content management portal uses multiple software packages to provide document management, web content, records management, and general collaboration.
When people think about deploying an open source web ecosystem, they often choose Linux, along with Apache, PHP, and the MySQL database. However, MySQL isn't the only mature and feature-rich open source option; rival PostgreSQL can be an equally good choice. While the two are both relational databases, they differ when it comes to implementation details. But don't worry – if you know how to manage MySQL, you can learn how to handle PostgreSQL fairly quickly.
Would you expect to write code in a language proposed by the Walt Disney Internet Group? Yep, Disney created its own language and IDE, plus several other utilities, to use in the creation and maintenance of its website, as well as others under its corporate umbrella, such as ESPN and ABC News. The Tea language owes a lot to Java, and so do the rest of the tools – for example, Beandoc converts JavaDoc comments to JavaBean comments. If you know Java, Tea will be right up your alley. If you are familiar only with languages like C++ or C#, it may take a little more getting used to.
A directory service stores information about users and other entities, such as clients and printers, in a database that maps values to names and vice versa. This data offers a centralized repository that you can use to simplify network security management. Directory services, properly implemented, lessen the possibility of chaos and disorder on a large network.