Why MariaDB Scores Over MySQL

This article gives readers an insight into MariaDB as well as MySQL. Both are analysed and the differences between them are discussed. There is also a section on why MySQL users should switch to MariaDB.

Today, organisations have a range of database options to choose from – whether commercial or open source. There was a time when most database management systems (DBMSs) were commercial. But now, with a number of open source databases available, industry professionals prefer to use them. In fact, open source databases have gained a signifcant share of the market today, because users have the freedom to implement these systems as per requirements and get the best out of them.

Open source database systems are available from various vendors like Oracle, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Rackspace. The history of open source DBMSs is not very old. The frst operational open source DBMS was MySQL, which was launched in 1995 and till date, lots of signifcant improvements have been incorporated in it, which has made it a strong competitor even to commercial database software.

Open source DBMSs are gaining popularity not only because they are feature-rich and low cost, but also due to their operational effciency. The freedom users enjoy in customising the source code as per individual needs, and with little programming knowledge, is a plus point. Gartner reports that open source DBMSs are growing by 42 per cent each year, and this industry will be worth US$ 8 billion by 2020. About 80 per cent of the users polled for the report use some sort of open source software, including DBMSs. Various commercial vendors like Microsoft and IBM are also offering ‘Express Editions’ of their DBMS software.

The most widely adopted open source DBMSs are MySQL and MariaDB. This article discusses their similarities, differences and relative merits, before going on to suggest why users ought to migrate to MariaDB.

Databases

Databases are specifc structures that hold data in the form of tables. The software that enables the flow of data through a table-based structure is called a DBMS. The most widely used DBMS is a relational database management system (RDBMS). A DBMS is a computer software application that interacts with end users, other applications and the database itself to capture data. A general-purpose DBMS allows defnition, creation, querying, updation and the administration of databases.

The functions of a database and its data are:

  • Data defnition: Creation, modifcation and removal of defnitions that lay the foundation for data organisation
  • Data updation: Insertion, modifcation and deletion of data
  • Retrieval: Retrieval of data from the entire database by making specifc queries
  • Administration: User creation and modifcation, data  security, performance monitoring, data integrity, concurrency control and data recovery.

So, a database system is a combination of a database model, a DBMS and a database.

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