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30 September 2010, 11:15

MySQL fork Drizzle goes beta

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With the release of Build 1802, Drizzle, the community driven fork of MySQL, is now officially "beta" software. The new version includes an enhanced version of drizzledump which can now be used to migrate databases from MySQL to Drizzle without any intermediate files. When connected to a Drizzle server it will perform a normal dump, but it it detects a MySQL server it converts all structures and data into a Drizzle compatible format which can be sent directly to a Drizzle server.

Other improvements in what is officially referred to as Drizzle7, include the introduction of Sphinx based documentation and the ability for the Drizzle server to understand MySQL's network protocol, which should allow MySQL applications to run with Drizzle with only minor changes. The current development work is expected to be completed in February 2011.

The Drizzle fork began in July 2008, lead by Brian Aker, at the time a Sun employee who left the company during the acquisition by Oracle. Drizzle was initially supported by Sun but Rackspace, the US hosting company, now shows most interest in the development and employs a number of Drizzle developers.

The motivation behind Drizzle is to produce a SQL database optimised for cloud and web applications, returning the free database to its roots in the web and moving away from the enterprise functionality which had been added to MySQL. To achieve this, the developers removed non-essential code from MySQL and then re-factored the code that remained while migrating that code to C++.

Drizzle uses InnoDB as its transactional storage engine, which is now also the default in the latest version of MySQL. Drizzle also supports PBXT as a storage engine and plug-ins are available for the the Embedded InnoDB engine and HailDB, which may become the default storage engine in the future. Like PostgreSQL, Drizzle can support various scripting languages for stored procedures. The MySQL fork is focussed on modularity and much of the functionality is outsourced to modules, allowing them to be more easily replaced by improved or specialised versions.


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