Database administrators hate to upgrade their databases. At MySQL, we like to think that we have been early to recognise this, and we have given more or less unlimited support to even very old releases, on a multitude of platforms. However, this has not been without cost to ourselves.
Many of our users know that the cost of maintaining several releases is high. We have thus been asked to clarify our support lifecycle policy. After long internal discussions, that were not always easy, we are now pleased to say that we have an explicit support lifecycle policy. It addresses the timeframes we will provide updates and continued support for current and older versions of the MySQL server.
Keeping older versions alive for a long time is appreciated by our community and our customers alike. However, we are no longer in a position to maintain our older versions without remuneration. This means that those wishing to enjoy MySQL's support in their usage of MySQL 3.23 and MySQL 4.0 need to plan for their future, as our support of these releases will be limited to those covered by a MySQL Network subscription, starting in 1 Aug 2006 (for MySQL 3.23) and 1 Oct 2006 (for MySQL 4.0).
This means that we are no longer offering publicly available binary updates for our 3.23 and 4.0 releases. The sources of these will still be provided. We are also evaluating whether we will continue hosting archived versions of old binaries, as well as the timeline for the support of MySQL 4.1.
We hope the clarity offered by this explicit support lifecycle policy will give a good base to our Customers and Users alike, when planning for their future use of MySQL!