# RootPrompt.org   Nothing but Unix.[Home] [Features] [Programming] [Mac OS X] [Search]

 An Interview with Zack Urlocker, MySQL

OrangeCrate is pleased to present an interview with Zack Urlocker, Vice President, Marketing for MySQL AB:
Zack Urlocker: They are separate technologies. MaxDB is a great database for SAP R/3 applications. There are a couple of thousand companies running it today. It has its own replication fail over. The MySQL Cluster technology works at the storage engine level for our flagship MySQL database server. But MaxDB and MySQL are really two different code bases and we won't try to merge them.

 (Submitted by Chuck Talk Mon May 3, 2004 )

  OC Editor: MySQL has been very successfully developing the MySQL DB for some time now, but has recently begun partnering with many well-known technology companies such as Novell, SAP, Sun Microsystems in addition to the traditional Linux distributions such as Red Hat, SuSE (now Novell), Mandrake and others. Do you foresee this trend continuing for MySQL?

Zack Urlocker: Absolutely. We are keen to partner with many companies to build out a MySQL ecosystem. It's important that other people build products, services around MySQL; we can't do it all. And it's not only the larger companies. I think there are a lot of opportunities for new startups to be built around MySQL. So we've created a new partner program, a new partner web site, and there's a lot of innovation with products like Quest Software's Toad for MySQL and Rackspace offering certified MySQL hosting.

OC Editor: What do you think is the most important technology initiative for MySQL in the next year?

Zack Urlocker: I think there are two major trends here. First of all, we want to continue to make the technology easier to use with graphical tools, whether they are from us or from our partners. Most companies never have enough time to become experts in new technology, so having graphical tools can help out a lot. That's one reason we introduced MySQL Administrator, but there's plenty of room for other types of tools. The second big technology initiative is really about meeting the needs of enterprise customers with features like stored procedures, triggers, views, subqueries and clustering. MySQL Cluster will be very important for us and for our customers. Of course, you don't have to be a big company to use these features. They're helpful even for those in small organizations.

OC Editor: As MySQL AB has released MySQL Cluster, do you see MySQL taking a more prominent role in Data Centers for mission-critical applications?

Zack Urlocker: Yes, I think we'll expand there. Historically, we've been the world's most popular web database. As web applications have become more business critical, so has MySQL. Applications that start off as maybe departmental or tactical sometimes grow up to be hugely important. So we've seen MySQL applications migrate into the datacenter. I think MySQL Cluster also gives our customers the ability to have "5 9's" availability with MySQL, which is important for ecommerce, and other business critical applications.

OC Editor: Does the MySQL Cluster include technology from the MaxDB(tm) product line, or are they two separate lines? If they are, will the MaxDB inherit the capabilities of the MySQL Cluster at some point?

Zack Urlocker: They are separate technologies. MaxDB is a great database for SAP R/3 applications. There are a couple of thousand companies running it today. It has its own replication fail over. The MySQL Cluster technology works at the storage engine level for our flagship MySQL database server. But MaxDB and MySQL are really two different code bases and we won't try to merge them.

OC Editor: MySQL is well known for being very open to the ISV (Independent Software Vendor) community and channel. What initiatives does MySQL have in place for the ISV channel today, and what new programs and ideas are coming on in the near future?

Zack Urlocker: We have announced our partner program recently that makes it easier to work with ISVs. And of course, we try to be very easy to work with. For a software ISV, MySQL is going to be an order of magnitude or two cheaper than other databases. And unlike some of the other database vendors, we aren't going to compete with our partners.

OC Editor: One of my developers has asked that I tell you that the limit feature is a "treasure" when retrieving records. He says this makes life a lot easier for him. What other new features are on the MySQL 5 release roadmap that will make life easier for developers?

Zack Urlocker: Yeah, limits are really appreciated. Its one of the things that helped make us very popular among web developers. There's a raft of new features in MySQL 4.1 and in MySQL 5.0. Some of them are along the lines of the "classic" enterprise database features, stored procedures, triggers, views, etc., but there will always be new features for developers. We listen carefully to our customers to figure out how we can help make their lives easier.

OC Editor: I would like to congratulate MySQL for its true cross-platform capabilities. One of our projects was recently developed to use MySQL data on a Mac OS X workstation for an educational entity, and the product worked flawlessly. The MySQL Mac OS X database imported data from a web MySQL interface and allows our Mac customers to have access to their data without any transformation or translation across platforms. What embedded platforms does MySQL work on or with at this time?

Zack Urlocker: Right now we support about two dozen platforms. All of the usual suspects are supported: Mac, Windows, Linux, Netware, Solaris, AIX, and many, many more. We try to make sure we build and have full compatibility on all platforms. We also occasionally look at some of the traditional deeply embedded platforms (e.g. running on Palm OS) but it hasn't been a priority for us. But since the source code is out there, if someone wants to port to other platforms, they can do that. That's one of the beauties of open source.

OC Editor: MySQL has been shown the way with the dual-licensing model, do you plan to keep that model, or do you see any refinements as becoming necessary in the future?

Zack Urlocker: Dual license is a good model. It enables us to have a real business model, which is important. MySQL has always been a commercial business and we think it's important. The more paying customers, the more development we can do. Over time, I think we will look at ways of offering additional services also, but in many respects we're just like other software companies. And the good thing is corporate customers want to pay to get good support, training and so on.

OC Editor: Finally, is there anything that you would like to say to my audience about MySQL or your future plans?

Zack Urlocker: One of the things that I think is really important about open source in general and MySQL in particular, is it's a great way for people to develop new skills and new careers. With MySQL or any of the LAMP stack, you can download the software, buy a couple of books and start learning new skills that can help you in your career. That's something I really like about open source.

Also, if you missed out on the MySQL Users Conference in April, you can still find blogs about the conference. And we'll also be recreating some of that content with Geekcruises.com putting on the MySQL Swell. It's kind of an interesting opportunity to learn MySQL from the founders while on a Mediterranean cruise. Check it out at:

MySQL Geek Cruises

OC Editor: Thanks Zack, for taking the time to talk with me today. It is appreciated.

Zack Urlocker: My pleasure.

Our content can be syndicated: Main page Mac Page

Copyright 1999-2005 Noel Davis. Noel also runs web sites about sailing and kayaking.
All trademarks are the property of their owners.
All articles are owned by their author