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21 May 2010, 15:43

Apache Derby gains sequences and user defined types

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The Apache Derby project, which produces an open source SQL database in pure Java, has released Derby, introducing sequences and user defined types to the features. The new CREATE SEQUENCE and CREATE TYPE commands follow a syntax which is very similar to commercial competitors. Sequences allow the database to generate shared incrementable values for populating fields while user defined types in Derby allow fields bound to serialisable Java objects.

Other additions include the addition of ROLLUP to the GROUP BY clause, allowing interim results for groups to be calculated. NATURAL JOIN has been added to simplify the creation of JOIN queries in some cases, as does a newly added USING clause. Statistics from the execution of query plans can now be stored in a separate table for later analysis.

The new release also fixes a security hole; the authentication method BUILTIN had a flaw which meant it was easy to crack passwords managed by the command. The command was originally only intended for testing purposes, but the documentation suggested that it was production-ready and many users are relying on BUILTIN authentication. The developers have fixed the problem and newly created databases will not have the problem, but existing users are urged to "hard-upgrade" to and reset all passwords with stronger encryption or migrate production systems away from using BUILTIN.

Further details of the changes in are available in the announcement. The new version is available to download from the Apache Derby project site.


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