Ghosts of MySQL Past Part 5: The Era of Acquisitions

This week I’ve been writing based on my 2014 talk, which you can watch the recording of.

Also see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. My feed feel off Planet MySQL for a bit so you may have missed those posts.

Now we head into the era of acquisitions… there have been a few in MySQL history, and in 2005 came the second (the first was MySQL AB acquiring Alzato for NDB). In what was to be known as “InnoDB Friday”, the makers of InnoDB – Innobase Oy – was acquired by Oracle. That very same month….

MySQL 5.0 GA. The first GA release of MySQL 5.0 is infamous. It was nowhere near ready and everybody who tried to use 5.0 in the early GA days has a story about something obvious that was broken. Basically, the majority of the new features simply didn’t work. It took many point releases before people would consider 5.0 ready.

The real measure of 5.0 quality was that it took MySQL AB over a year before we started to use it for our support database.

At the end of 2005, the Maria project was started: a project to create a transactional storage engine. This should not be confused with MariaDB, which would come years later. This is Maria, now called Aria. The basic idea was to fork MyISAM and work on adding features. In hindsight, it’s easy to see that when you have a quality problem with your main product, you should probably not take a bunch of senior engineers and have them work on a different project. IIRC there was some initial estimate of a GA by the end of 2007. It’s now eight years since the project started and there’s still no stable release.

There were other efforts to get a transactional storage engine not owned by Oracle, and in 2006 MySQL AB acquired Netfrastructure and along with it Jim Starkey and Ann Harrison came to work for MySQL AB.

Originally named JSTAR, this would become known as Falcon (probably something to do with the Swedish beer by the same name).