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Interview with Tomas Ulin at the MySQL Innovation Day

MySQL Innovation Day held on June 5, 2012 was a great event for the MySQL engineers, users and customers to gather, share and network. I was able to get a few minutes with Tomas Ulin, Vice President of MySQL Engineering at Oracle, to ask him some questions. Here are the highlights of my interview with Tomas.

Monica: This was the first MySQL Innovation Day, correct?  Why now, what was the strategy behind hosting this kind of event?

Tomas: In the last year, we have rolled out an incredible number of MySQL events worldwide – some targeted at developers that are new to MySQL and others for the MySQL savvy. At the MySQL Innovation Day, our first event of this kind,, we had a number of our key engineers presenting lightning talks delivering previews of key new features as well as discussing roadmap. Our goal is to keep an open dialogue with the MySQL community.

In fact, we are hosting a two-day conference, another first, for the MySQL community called MySQL Connect on Sept. 29-30 in San Francisco. If you attended the MySQL Innovation Day and liked what we did, you are going to love MySQL Connect. We’ll have a lot more of our engineers and many users and community members presenting hour long sessions and hands on labs. Our engineers will be presenting new MySQL features as well offer previews of upcoming enhancements.

Monica: What's the big take-away from today's MySQL Innovation Day?

Tomas: I hope the most important takeaway for attendees was to see that Oracle has been driving, and continues to drive MySQL innovation with a steady stream of new great GA and Development Milestone releases.

Monica: What were attendees most interested in? What feedback did they have?

Tomas: Feedback from attendees was incredibly positive and encouraging. In particular, they liked the interaction with the MySQL engineers and were also excited about the new early access features in MySQL 5.6 and MySQL Cluster 7.3. In addition, sessions delivered by MySQL users like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter were very well received. For example, Pinterest talked about using MySQL to scale from 0 to billions of page views/month, Twitter talked about “Scaling twitter with MySQL” and Facebook discussed the many options to implement MySQL master failover solutions. The presentations are already available for download while some of the session videos will be made available on the MySQL Innovation Day web page shortly.

Monica: How would you distinguish the use of MySQL vs. Oracle Database? What key factors should customers consider?

Tomas: MySQL and Oracle Database complement each other. They are very different products, best suited to different use cases. Customers can choose world-class solutions from Oracle to fulfill a variety of needs. MySQL is a great choice for enterprise web-based, custom and embedded apps. Oracle Database is the leading choice for enterprise packaged applications such as ERP, CRM as well as high-end data warehousing and business intelligence applications.

Monica: What are the highlights of the current MySQL 5.6 Development Milestone Release and early access features for MySQL Cluster 7.3?

Tomas: MySQL 5.6 development milestone release builds on MySQL 5.5 by improving:

  • Optimizer for better Performance, Scalability
  • Performance Schema for better instrumentation
  • InnoDB for better transactional throughput
  • Replication for higher availability, data integrity
  • NoSQL options for more flexibility

We announced some new early access features in MySQL 5.6, including binary log group commit. We also announced early access features in MySQL Cluster 7.3 including support for foreign key constraints.

Monica: How do people get these releases?

Tomas: You can access development milestone releases by going to: http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql
Then select the “Development Release” tab.

The MySQL Cluster 7.3 and other early access features can be downloaded at: http://labs.mysql.com

Monica: What's coming up next for MySQL?

Tomas: Our development team is working in overdrive, cranking out new features with community feedback. Don’t miss the MySQL Connect conference being held in San Francisco on Sept. 29 and 30th. My team and I will be there. I hope you can join us!

Monica: Thank you for your time, Tomas. I look forward to seeing you at the MySQL Connect conference. To our followers, I hope you found this interview informative. I welcome your comments. Please stay tuned here for more updates on MySQL.

Note: Monica Kumar is Senior Director of product marketing for Linux, Virtualization and MySQL at Oracle.

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