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Issue of May 2003 
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Database source code goes open

MySQL has released the source code of its upcoming database MySQL 5.0. The Swedish company that develops open source database software, is making its way into markets once dominated by proprietary database vendors like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and Sybase. The company claims that more than 29,000 people are downloading MySQL each day, and that it has more than 4 million users worldwide.

MySQL offers a dual licensing model for its software. Those who download the company's database software for free can make any modifications available to the public. Alternatively, people can pay to keep their changes private. The company gets its revenue by selling services, certification courses, and paid versions of the product.

Version 5.0 will include higher-speed key caching, which is a core component that handles memory allocation; subqueries, which provide for more tailored searches; and a feature that allows searches based on geographical data. Other enhancements are foreign key support; a system that would automatically alert administrators when there's a problem; and the long-awaited stored procedures, which allow a command or series of commands to be prebuilt for later use.

Nearly all of the features planned for upcoming products are already available in database products offered by the bigger vendors. MySQL tries to differentiate itself by offering database software that is cheaper and open source, meaning people can tinker under the hood and keep the company on its toes by testing early versions of the product and reporting bugs.

Yahoo and Google use the software to run many sections of their websites.

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