In this primer I will show how to improve the security of your MariaDB installation by using two-step verification and how to use it from your Windows GUI client.

Let’s suppose you have your data in MariaDB, installed, say, on Ubuntu. And your users connect to it to run ad hoc queries, using some sort of a Windows GUI client. You don’t want them to write the access password on post-it notes or have it auto-entered by the client. And you don’t want anyone see the password when one of the salespersons connects to the mother ship from his laptop in the Internet café. So you decide to use the two-step verification, just like Google does, to secure the access to the data.

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Parts of the world are already celebrating Christmas Eve and it’s time to relax and spend time with family and friends. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas this is when there is time for less work. Here are a few words to round off MariaDB’s current state and where it’s heading.

This year culminated in MariaDB 5.3.3, the release candidate of 5.3. This is a significant release that makes years of work available by default in the database server. Earlier releases still required features to be explicitly switched on, but thanks to thorough testing assuring the quality of the new functionality we have now enabled them. It’s still called a release candidate which means it’s ready for general usage, but we want more user feedback before calling it stable. Make yourself familiar with the MariaDB 5.3.3 release notes.

Most of the new features and functionality of 5.3.3 are performance related making it possible to suddenly e.g. make use of subqueries, which previously has been a rare sight in MySQL® based applications due to the limitations that has existed. This is now addressed in MariaDB and we encourage you to start using subqueries. You will actually get a result to your query in a reasonable time.

Another nice addition in 5.3.3 is the new GIS (Geographic Information System) functionality. MariaDB introduces spatial functionality in accordance with the OpenGIS specification. If you have the need for GIS functionality in your application try MariaDB.

We had some challenges with the packaging of the authentication plugins and our release schedule was affected. Watch out for MariaDB 5.2.11 and MariaDB 5.5 in early 2012.

During 2011 we saw a huge increase in MariaDB popularity. We saw MariaDB being selected as the database for really critical systems (stay tuned for case studies of some of these systems). We saw some of the biggest IT companies making initial bets on MariaDB. A better basis for MariaDB’s 2012 couldn’t exist!

Thank You and Happy Holidays!

We have lately been talking about some upcoming features that we feel are important to MariaDB users, because the corresponding ones that will be provided with MySQL will be incompatible with MariaDB and closed source.

We’re happy to announce the following:

  • The next version of MariaDB, version 5.2.10 will include an open source PAM Authentication Plugin. MariaDB 5.2.10 is scheduled for release next week.
  • A Windows Authentication Plugin is in development and QA currently and will be part of MariaDB 5.2.11, which is scheduled for release before Christmas.
  • MariaDB 5.5 will include both of the above plugins and an open source thread pool implementation. The soon-to-be-launched first version however will not include the thread pool.

Stay tuned for more information as soon as we start launching the above features.

Mission critical services relying on MariaDB should be aware that SkySQL has familiarized themselves with the new features and are ready to support all of the above options.