Friday Jul 27, 2012

Interview with Sarah Novotny about MySQL Connect

Dave Stokes and I tracked down Sarah Novotny Sunday night at the early bird registration for OSCON 2012. We had a few moments to interview her about MySQL Connect and her recent endeavors. I hope you enjoy:

Keith Larson: Thank you for joining us today.

Sarah Novotny: I am glad to be here.

Keith Larson: First just a general question, What were your thoughts when you heard that Oracle was going to do MySQL Connect ?

Sarah Novotny: I was very excited about it. I didn't expect Oracle to give us our own space. Even thought JavaOne had gotten that . JavaOne has existed as it's own conference before, and with the O'Reilly Conference no longer happening,  I didn't expect it and I was surprised. I know the first year after Oracle purchased MySQL, we had MySQL Sunday, which was great. We were told that this was such a big deal and it is really only a transition thing and with 140+ products nobody gets a big name like that. So when MySQL Connect came out I was very excited.

Keith Larson: Since we pulled you in as part of the MySQL Committee, what did you think of all the sessions that you saw or reviewed.

Sarah Novotny: The session looked very good. I always hope for more sessions and more opportunities to look through good sessions. That is one of the reasons I sit on conference committees, so I can learn about all the cool stuff people are working on. The sessions where pretty broadly varied and I was very excited to be able to also build some little story arcs within topics. So you could have a couple of replication sessions or a couple of backup sessions that all feed onto one another. So from story point, from the creation of the conference, there was some very interesting threads to follow through in order to get a really robust experience for people, both beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Keith Larson: So based on the story arcs you spoke of and saw, what type of session do you look forward to attending while your there?

Sarah Novotny: I am a total replication geek, because that is the way that you can maintain sanity within MySQL, making sure you have good replication. I love seeing all the way that people can replicate, really interesting architectures in order to meet the needs that they have for their application. So with the new replication features coming out in 5.6 it is very exciting. So the focus for me is MySQL 5.6 and the replication features in it.

Keith Larson: So I was going to ask what features do you look forward to the most in MySQL 5.6, I assume replication is it.

Sarah Novotny: Replication is a big one. There have been a lot of enhancements that have been a long time coming. We've seen them in the code tree and out there for integration to mainline someday and now we see them coming to fruition. So it is very exciting for me.

Keith Larson: You obviously travel a tremendous about of time and attend a lot of conferences. What would you recommend for people who attend this conference.

Sarah Novotny: I would recommend a couple of things. One, find that story that you want to learn at a conference. Maybe it is replication so you find three or four talks about that. Understanding what your goal is out of a conference is very important. Then making sure you have time to meet people,interact with people, ask questions, teach someone something, be able to have those interactions face to face with the community members that you know from blog posts or your support roles with Oracle. So, make sure that you make time to interact with people directly and always take advantage of the speakers. Most of the speakers who are up in front of an audience want to be engaging of the audience, you want to be understanding of what they need from your talk, and then how to engage with them to make a better talk next time.

Keith Larson: As a speaker at many events, you encourage the people to ask questions and ask questions afterwards.

Sarah Novotny: Absolutely, I actually have a couple of talks on giving presentations to technologists, to and by technologists. In those I often talk a lot about looking at the people that are engaged and even the disengaged ones. But not to spend to much time on the disengaged ones, they might have a sick kid and that is why they are texting and it has nothing to do with you. As an audience, being engaged with the speaker is part of your responsibility as well. Making sure you get what you need out of it, which could be asking questions afterwards or sending a note saying you liked it or that you didn't it, or I was interested in more things like this.

Keith Larson: So any additional tips you would give to people for handling the long hours at conferences, we typically have BOFs and after hour events as well so...

Sarah Novotny: I will give you my trick for surviving OSCON, which for me is like a ten day extravaganza . I start resting up the weekend up before. I make sure I get ten to twelve hours of sleep the two or three nights before OSCON. Then midweek I make sure I have night that I carve out time for myself. I put nothing on it. The other thing is, and this might sound absurd, but stay hydrated eat your vegetables. A salad will do wonders for your stamina in the middle of the week. It is very much just about taking care of your robot in that sense. Your brain might be willing and excited but if your body can't do it then your not going to enjoy it or even retain it. For the introverts among us, make sure you carve out quite time for you. It is important, otherwise I get way overloaded.

Keith Larson: So you have been very busy as of lately, we caught you after the big sale.

Sarah Novotny: I have, I have a couple of new exciting things yes. Blue Gecko was sold to datAvail which is very exciting. For me it is a very lovely , I founded it, I helped run it, I sold. It looks like a very nice little bow on the resume . We are making sure it is a smooth transition for the Blue Gecko internal staff as well as the external customers. We worked a long time to be able to sell this and yet still be able to maintain our culture.

Keith Larson: So are you going to go buy an island now?

Sarah Novotny: OH we will see... Terms have been undisclosed. (laughter) On a serious note, my day job which has been keeping me busy for the rest of my time, is of course Video Game Publishing. Which is going to be a lot of fun and really exciting. It is a big left turn for me but looks to be fun.

David Stokes: So if your Joe or Josephine DBA and trying to make the case to your boss to attend MySQL Connect. What is the killer argument as a boss that you would take from an employee to attend this show.

Sarah Novotny: I think what I would actually say is that this is a very important element of professional development for a few different reasons. One I get exposed to new content. Two I find additional resources that could include new people I meet that help me learn more about new content or websites or blogs I should read. Three, it gives me an opportunity to be an evangelist for my company. Four, I can recruit, trying to find a new DBA is harder than finding the Easter bunny. Everyone I know has changed jobs in the last year for reasonably large increases in salary so they are not going to jump again. It is like pulling hen's teeth.

David Stokes: Yes I have recruiters that offer money if I know anyone and I just don't.

Sarah Novotny: Yes I get that like four times a week and I just don't know anyone who is looking.

David Stokes: Anything else you want to add...

Sarah Novotny: Rock on ! I do want to say thank you to you guys for doing the community work that you do and pulling us all together.

Keith Larson & David Stokes: Oh no, thank you.

Monday Jul 09, 2012

EOL of MySQL Forge

Forge was intended to be a community wiki resource for sharing information with each other.   However, over the last few years, we have seen Forge used less and less by MySQL Community, and more by spammers. What happened?

MySQL Worklogs and MySQL Internals documentation will be moved to and with new anti spam measures in place.

The MySQL Wiki, which was the primary focus of has been migrated to

MySQL Forge will EOL on August 1st 2012.

Wednesday Jun 27, 2012

Interview with Ronald Bradford about MySQL Connect

Ronald Bradford,  an Oracle ACE Director has been busy working with  database consulting, book writing (EffectiveMySQL) while traveling and speaking around the world in support of MySQL. I was able to take some of his time to get an interview on this thoughts about theMySQL Connect conference.

Keith Larson: What where your thoughts when you heard that Oracle was going to provide the community the MySQL Conference ?

Ronald Bradford: Oracle has already been providing various different local community events including OTN Tech Days and  MySQL community days. These are great for local regions both in the US and abroad.  In previous years there has been an increase of content at Oracle Open World, however that benefits the Oracle community far more then the MySQL community.  It is good to see that Oracle is realizing the benefit in providing a large scale dedicated event for the MySQL community that includes speakers from the MySQL development teams, invested companies in the ecosystem and other community evangelists.

I fully expect a successful event and look forward to hopefully seeing MySQL Connect at the upcoming Brazil and Japan OOW conferences and perhaps an event on the East Coast.

Keith Larson: Since you are part of the content committee, what did you think of the submissions that were received during call for papers?

Ronald Bradford: There was a large number of quality submissions to the number of available presentation sessions. As with the previous years as a committee member for the annual MySQL conference, there is always a large variety of common cornerstone MySQL features as well as new products and upcoming companies sharing their MySQL experiences.

All of the usual major players in the ecosystem will in presenting at MySQL Connect including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Continuent, Percona, Tokutek, Sphinx and Amazon to name a few.  This is ensuring the event will have a large number of quality speakers and a difficult time in choosing what to attend.

Keith Larson: What sessions do you look forwarding to attending?

Ronald Bradford: As with most quality conferences you can only be in one place at one time, so with multiple tracks per session it is always difficult to decide. The continued work and success with MySQL Cluster, and with a number of sessions I am sure will be popular. The features that interest me the most are around the optimizer, where there are several sessions on new features, and on the importance of backups. There are three presentations in this area to choose from.

Keith Larson: Are you going to cover any of the content in your books at your MySQL Connect sessions?

Ronald Bradford: I will be giving two presentations at MySQL Connect. The first will include the techniques available for creating better indexes where I will be touching on some aspects of the first Effective MySQL book on Optimizing SQL Statements.  In my second presentation from experiences of managing 500+ AWS MySQL instances, I will be touching on areas including SQL tuning, backup and recovery and scale out with replication.   These are the key topics of the initial books in the Effective MySQL series that focus on performance, scalability and business continuity.  The books however cover a far greater amount of detail then can be presented in a 1 hour session.

Keith Larson: What features of MySQL 5.6 do you look forward to the most ?

Ronald Bradford: I am very impressed with the optimizer trace feature. The ability to see exposed information is invaluable not just for MySQL 5.6, but to also apply information discerned for optimizing SQL statements in earlier versions of MySQL.  Not everybody understands that it is easy to deploy a MySQL 5.6 slave into an existing topology running an older version if MySQL for evaluation of many new features.  You can use the new mysqlbinlog streaming feature for duplicating master binary logs on an older version with a MySQL 5.6 slave.  The improvements in instrumentation in the Performance Schema are exciting.   However, as with my upcoming Replication Techniques in Depth title, that will be available for sale at MySQL Connect, there are numerous replication features, some long overdue with provide significant management benefits. Crash Save Slaves, Global transaction Identifiers (GTID)  and checksums just to mention a few.

Keith Larson: You have been to numerous conferences, what would you recommend for people at the conference?

Ronald Bradford: Make the time to meet and introduce yourself to the speakers that cover the topics that most interest you. The MySQL ecosystem has a very strong community.  The relationships you build with presenters, developers and architects in MySQL can be invaluable, however they are created over time. Get to know these people, interact with them over time.  This is the opportunity to learn more then just the content from a 1 hour session.

Keith Larson: Any additional tips to handling the long hours ?

Ronald Bradford: Conferences can be hard, especially with all the post event drinking.  This is a two day event and I am sure will include additional events on Friday and Saturday night so come well prepared, and leave work behind. Take the time to learn something new.   You can always catchup on sleep later.

Keith Larson: Thank you so much for taking some time to do this I look forward to seeing you at the MySQL Connect conference.

 Please stay tuned here for more updates on MySQL. 

Monday Jun 25, 2012

Meet The MySQL Experts Podcast: MySQL Utilities

Managing a MySQL database server can become a full time job. In many occasions, one MySQL DBA needs to manage multiple, even tens of, MySQL servers, and tools that bundle a set of related tasks into a common utility can be a big time saver, allowing you spend more time improving performance and less time executing repeating tasks. While there are several such utility libraries to choose, it is often the case that you need to customize them to your needs. The MySQL Utilities library is the answer to that need. It is open source so you can modify and expand it as you see fit.

In the latest episode of the "Meet the MySQL Experts" podcast series, Chuck Bell, Sr. MySQL Software Developer at Oracle, introduces a variety of recently released MySQL Utilities, and how DBAs can save significant time using the utilities.

Listen to the podcast and learn the highlights in 10 minutes. If you want to gain further details, attend the on-demand webinar for a more complete introduction, including:

  • Use cases for each utility
  • How to group utilities for even more usability
  • How to modify utilities for your needs
  • How to develop and contribute new utilities


Wednesday May 23, 2012

Thanks to the MySQL Connect Content Committee

A big thanks goes out to everyone involved with the MySQL Connect Content Committee. We had a great response to the call for papers and realize that it took a considerable amount of time and effort to review the submitted sessions and BOFs. While Oracle employees aided with this effort, the MySQL Community deserves to be acknowledged for the time they took out of their busy schedules to help with our conference. Their input was invaluable to the support of the MySQL Community. Continued support such as this from the community is another reason that MySQL continues to be #1 open source database. We'll keep you posted as we finalize and publish the sessions, BoFs and HOLs for MySQL Connect.

Thanks to the following committee members:

MySQL Community:

Oracle Employees:

Wednesday May 09, 2012

Case Study: Waiting Room Solutions Relies on MySQL for Web-Based Medical Management Systems

Waiting Room Solutions (WRS) is an award-winning web-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Practice Management System for physicians’ offices. Based in Goshen, NY, WRS serves almost 3,000 users for their needs in charting, medical record filing, payment tracking, prescription and reporting via the SaaS (Software as a Service) model, and WRS has sent over 20,000 electronic prescriptions a month over its secure network.

The Business Challenge

WRS was looking for a robust database for enterprise-class web-based applications with the following features:

1. Security

Medical records and health information are highly confidential, and WRS expected to be fully incompliance with privacy regulations such as the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

2. Data Integrity

It is important to minimize data corruption and inconsistency for medical records, because they directly impact critical medical judgment and decisions.

3. Speed/Performance

Doctors work in a fast-paced environment and are not known for being patient. WRS was looking for a database with high performance, and was aiming to deliver the speed of an on-premise system with the SaaS model.

4. Low Cost and Scalability

WRS serves customers ranging from small practices to large enterprises. Therefore, WRS needed a database solution that was affordable to the smallest healthcare provider, while being able to scale to meet the demands of the largest providers who have hundreds of facilities.

The MySQL Solution

WRS evaluated both MySQL and PostgreSQL for its EMR and Practice Management System, and decided to use MySQL for the following reasons:

1. Ubiquity

MySQL is the world’s most popular open-source database with millions of installations. It is widely used and is a proven technology.

2. Better Support

In addition to the community users who actively share knowledge and best practices, it was also important for WRS to know that there is an enterprise behind the product that they can turn to for help if needed. MySQL was created by MySQL AB, and subsequently was developed and improved by Sun Microsystems and now Oracle through acquisitions.It provides WRS with Scalability.

3. Open Source / Open Standard

MySQL is the “M” in the open-source LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Python/Perl) stack. By leveraging and integrating the existing open-source technology, WRS was able to develop products and features more quickly, and with better interoperability.

WRS uses MySQL replication to achieve scalability, deploying the master-slave topology. “With MySQL, we can scale as we need. I can install it on many machines and handle any required volume,” said Brad Hall, Systems Administrator at WRS. “This gives us far more flexibility with hardware.” Three primary slaves all have to handle the volume of over 6,000 queries per second throughout the day, and WRS uses partitioning to increase speed.

With MySQL, WRS was able to develop a modular EMR and Practice Management solution to support thousands of medical practices, with the following features: electronic medical and health records; billing; scheduling; electronic prescriptions; online patient registration; practice website; messaging; order tracking; transcription; document management; and disease management. “We required an open source solution that was well maintained, stable, and actively growing. In addition, we required a solution that offered access to enterprise support when needed. MySQL was the right choice for us,” said Hall. “The performance, scalability, and reliability delivered by MySQL with InnoDB has been excellent.”

Learn more about Waiting Room Solutions:

Read more MySQL customer stories:

Monday Apr 30, 2012

OTN Developer Day: MySQL - New York

If you have not signed up yet for the OTN Developer Day: MySQL in NYC, hurry time is running out! This is shaping up to be one of the largest developer days yet. We have a great line up of speakers. I look forward to seeing them and a great community turn out Wednesday.

You can review the agenda here and register here.

Friday Apr 13, 2012

The Ubuntu Developer Summit

The Ubuntu Developer Summit takes place at The Oakland Marriott City Center, Oakland, California from 7–11 May 2012. 

If your attending this event, you will have a few different MySQL opportunities to attend:

Oracle is proud to also be a Sponsor of the Ubuntu Developer Summit. A full schedule of the event is available here.

 Join us as we help support and grow the MySQL Communities. 

Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

MySQL Events in Germany, France & Sweden

Following the success of our OTN MySQL Developer Day in London last October, we are running additional MySQL Developer Days in Europe!

Join us in:

The MySQL Developer Day is a one-stop shop for you to learn all the essential MySQL skills. In this free, one-day seminar, we will cover everything you need to know to successfully design, develop, and manage your MySQL databases. You'll also learn the guidelines and best practices in performance tuning and scalability. Space is limited so register now!

Additionally, we will also be holding a MySQL High Availability Seminar in Stockholm on February 23rd. During this free Oracle seminar we will review the various options and technologies at your disposal to implement highly available & highly scalable MySQL infrastructures, as well as best practices in terms of architectures. Register Now!

And…remember our MySQL Embedded Online Forum today from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm PT!

Monday Oct 31, 2011

Spotlight On: MySQL & Oracle GoldenGate

A few weeks ago we announced New MySQL Enterprise Oracle Certifications making it easier and faster for Oracle customers to deploy & manage MySQL within their existing environment.

As we regularly get questions from customers about using Oracle GoldenGate with MySQL, we put together a “Spotlight On” document briefly presenting the products and the most common use cases.

For those less familiar with Oracle GoldenGate, organizations can leverage it to move transactional data in real time between MySQL and other systems without impacting the performance of source or target systems.

You can find the "Spotlight On" document here (under "Brochures & Data Sheets") along with additional information about Oracle GoldenGate.

For more information about MySQL Enterprise Edition, get the White Paper.

Tuesday Aug 30, 2011

2nd Episode of "Meet The MySQL Experts" Podcast Series

We’re pleased to let you know that the 2nd episode of our “Meet The MySQL Experts” podcast series, where Oracle engineers share their expertise, is now available.

Wei-Chen Chiu interviews InnoDB team member Inaam Rana who comes back on the new InnoDB features and improvements delivered in MySQL 5.5 and in the first development milestone release of MySQL 5.6. Inaam also talks to us about the InnoDB features available in


Monday Aug 08, 2011

OTN Developer Day: MySQL is Coming to Washington, DC

We organized our first OTN Developer Day: MySQL earlier this year in Santa Clara, CA, and the result far exceeded our expectation. Before we kicked off the seminar at 9am, the attendees had already taken every single seat in the beautiful auditorium in Oracle's Santa Clara campus, and there was still a line in front of the registration desk. We recruited MySQL experts from several teams to present, and had great questions and discussions along the way and at the end. I personally received many positive comments saying that the seminar was very useful and informative.

This time, we're bringing the Developer Day to the East Coast! On August 24, we'll host a full-day event in Washington, DC, where you can learn all the essential skills to successfully design, develop, and manage your MySQL and MySQL Cluster databases. You’ll also learn the guidelines and best practices in performance tuning and scalability.

The event located near the Washington Convention Center, so if you're attending GOSCON/Innovation Forum on August 23, stay one more day to learn about MySQL!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Renaissance Washington, DC
Downtown Hotel
999 Ninth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to learn tips and tricks from the MySQL experts at Oracle, and network with your peers. Whether you’re a DBA or a developer, register now and find out how you can make the best of MySQL in your IT infrastructure or in your commercial products and applications.

Thursday Jul 14, 2011

New “Meet The MySQL Experts” Podcast Series

During the past year, we’ve put a lot of emphasis at Oracle on sharing information with the MySQL Community. Actions included PR and communications not only about GA products but also about development milestone releases and features available in, as well as more technical articles, more blogs, participation to conferences…etc. We very much value the feedback and discussions such communications generate.

We therefore plan to keep communicating this way, and do even more. This is why we’re now very pleased to announce a new Oracle podcast series entitled “Meet the MySQL Experts”! We plan to, once a month, interview an Oracle MySQL Engineer who will share information about his/her domain expertise, and what he/she is currently working on.

For the first edition, it was my pleasure to interview Mats Kindahl about MySQL Replication.

We hope you enjoy the new podcast series, which we think will be a good complement to the great “OurSQL” podcast that Sheeri and Sarah are running.

Feedback welcome, including about topics that you would like us to cover in subsequent editions.

Tuesday Jun 28, 2011

MySQL HA Events in the UK, Germany & France

Oracle is running MySQL High Availability breakfast seminars in London, Düsseldorf and Paris.

During these free seminars, we will review the various options and technologies at your disposal to implement highly available & highly scalable MySQL infrastructures, as well as best practices in terms of architectures.

The packed agenda will include High Availability features in MySQL 5.5, MySQL Replication, MySQL Cluster, the newly released Oracle VM Template for MySQL Enterprise Edition as well as what's new in MySQL 5.6 and MySQL Cluster 7.2, including NoSQL access methods to MySQL.

There are a few places left for the seminar in London taking place tomorrow, June 29th, Register Now!

Learn more and register for the event in Düsseldorf, July 13th.

Learn more and register for the event in Paris, September 7th.

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday Jun 14, 2011

Oracle OpenWorld: Get an Extra Discount!

A special early bird extra discount is available to MySQL Community members, take advantage of it!

Register Now here using the code “MYSQL11” and you will save $1,000 on your Oracle OpenWorld registration!

We look forward to seeing you there.


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