Monday, 19 September 2005

German c't 20/2005 has several MySQL related articles

Germany's highly regarded c't magazine has some articles on databases in their 20/2005 issue that should hit the stores today.

  1. A database comparison

  2. A database GUI comparison

  3. A database challenge (the only one available online)

The articles are very well researched. The only errors I could find were caused by myself when I didn't respond in time ot the author of the database comparison. Yes, MyISAM has full text search. Yes, MySQL 5.0 has stored procedures, triggers, views and subqueries, regardless of whether you use InnoDB or MyISAM as the table handler. Sorry, Peter Schüler, for not replying in time!

The first article compares MySQL, Firebird, PostgreSQL, MSDE 2000 and (conditionally) SQLite.

  • Firebird is portrayed as an "even more naked database than MySQL or Postgres", i.e. lacking UI

  • PostgreSQL is noted for its ambitious goals of being Object Relational. While noting that VACUUM is not as bad as it used to be, the author also comes with a few fresh notes that I probably should learn more about

    • "The complexity of functions and optimisation possibilities sets high requirements on DBAs of PostgreSQL DBs."

    • "Without professional practices, you easily run into a knife already when installing the system"

    • "leaving out the root PW has PostgreSQL issuing a 32 char long alphanumeric code, that is very hard to type"

    • "configuration decisions at installation time require intensive preparations"

  • MSDE 2000 or "Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine 2000" is included, being free of charge (although not Open Source as the other databases). However, the author claims that it "allows only five simultaneous clients, has a limit of 2GB on DB size, lacks Full Text Search, provides only oSQL.exe as GUI, and lacks documentation"

For MySQL,

  • the author finds it noteworthy that the MySQL GUIs are not provided as part of the standard MySQL downloads, but have to be downloaded separately ("BTW, during the last months, MySQL has added the GUI frontends MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query Browser, which however have to be downloaded separately or installed from our CD")

    • As a result, we already had an internal debate at MySQL where we agreed on a todo item of collecting not only the GUI frontends but also the Windows related Connectors into the Windows install package

    • Thanks for the tip, c't!

  • MySQL Stored Procedures are portrayed as "apparently not yet fully developed; docs are in English only; some SQL statements are not allowed in Stored Procedures; however, the most important Flow Control statements are included even if they don't belong to the standard -- mostly FOR..NEXT is missing"
    • Yup, we knew that, can't argue against it

  • not surprisingly, MySQL gets kudos for having plenty of interfaces and books
    • Thanks for the flowers, c't!

The MySQL GUIs get a lot of positive comments. "With the new frontend components, MySQL is on its way to establish itself as the most comfortable of the server databases"

  • MySQL Administrator is "worthy of its name". The article contains a good description of the Admin functionalities, which go "even beyond what the newest version, MySQL 5.0, has to offer"
    • "The extremely versatile tuning possibilities of MySQL Server puts quite some requirements on the administrator. The information rich MySQL Administrator finally offers the correspondiding tool that helps keep the settings under control and to manage their effects on disk space and other resources"

  • MySQL Query Browser is "chock full with useful functions".
    • "As can be expected, the Query Browser helps to write queries and browse the result set".

    • "It is extraordinary that QB offers an extensive, cut-and-pasteable command reference, as is the extra documentation on PHP 4 and the MySQL C API, as is the connection to MySQL Administrator"

On behalf of MySQL AB and the GUI team, I blush. OTOH, I take pride in having recruited Mike Zinner (together with Brian Aker based on a tip by Georg Richter) two years ago. It sure was a successful recruitment! I'm looking forward to meeting with Mike in Vienna this week.

And thanks, c't, for never taking the easy shortcuts and always preferring thorough research.

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