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!