We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of MariaDB 5.5.20-alpha. MariaDB 5.5.20 is the first Alpha release in the 5.5 series. We hope to follow it up soon with a beta 5.5 release.
MariaDB 5.5.20-alpha is a merge of MariaDB 5.3 and MySQL 5.5 with some limited additional bug fixes. This is the first 5.5-based release, and we are releasing it now, intentionally without any extra features (and with it missing some planned features) to get it into the hands of any who might want to test it. Extra features planned for MariaDB 5.5 will be pushed into future releases.
As with any alpha release, MariaDB 5.5.20-alpha should not be used on production systems.
The Release Notes page has some notes on the release. There is also a Changelog available for those who are interested.
The laptop I’m using had MySQL 5.1.55 installed with one database (apart from the system database). Installing MariaDB does not impact existing data in any way and once the install completed I had instant access to my data.
As part of the install you are given the option to set a new password for the root user. I choose to do it in the video, but you don’t need to. If you leave the password field blank the root password will not be changed. Other database users are preserved, of course.
As with any database upgrade, before doing this to a production system you should have backups and test.
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!