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From:Sasha Pachev Date:March 12 1999 7:05pm
Subject:Re: Some questions/concerns about MySQL
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Eric Maryniak wrote:
> 
> Hello,
> 
> We have some internal discussions about the suitability
> of MySQL as a core (central) and/or satellite database
> (database that has a part of the total central database,
>  eg. on the web, usually read-only). We're about to change
> to a whole new setup for our databases and we have to make
> some "strategic" (longterm) decisions.
> A collegue of mine had serious difficulties with some missing
> features in MySQL, and I give his comments verbatim below.
> We have read the manual :) so we're aware of TcX's view and
> workarounds, and that some features are (more or less) on the
> (more or less in the future) TODO list.
> Personally I feel that the question of performance <--> some
> features is partly philosophical: it depends on the relative
> importance you give to performance vs. eg. referential integrity.
> Imho you never let it come to a ref.int. violation in your
> front end apps, because you don't want to confront a user with
> that error---you'll usually write some (PHP eg.) procedures
> that will consistently insert, update or delete an object and
> related objects (or refuse to after precondition checking that
> will usually be more complex than a simple ref.int. check).
> And the openness and programmability (and fast) is an extra+.
> It's a real "programmer's database", i think.
> 
> Anyways, what I would like to know is if anybody on this list
> did make a strategic choice for MySQL and how they handled
> (if so) some of the missing features in MySQL.
> Here are my collegue's thoughts, comments invited! :
> 
> ---snip---
> ...
> But studying the manuals I am confronted with several fundamental
> limitiations of MySQL in relation to the use NIWI wants to make of it.
> A www-online database in which NIWI can maintain it's documentation,
> client and suppliers data.
> 
> The problems are:
> 
> 1. No Sub-selects, which is very awkward, but can be surpassed in www
> applications, but they will be more complicated and will have more
> unnecessary fault possibilities and become bigger.
> 
> 2. Transacties, foreign keys, stored procedures, triggers en commit
> rollback are not supported. In other words referential integrity is not
> supported. Because the NIWI databases are primarily meant for (online)
> input and mutation of records this is a very fundamental problem.
> In fact NIWI doesn't do anything else as (online) transaction
> processing.
> For instance how to maintain a multithesaurus database that is used to
> index several objects in the databases without referential integrity
> implemented in the database engine.
> 
> 3. No views make life very complicated.
> 
> Conclusion: MySQL is a possible candidate (if it can search better and
> faster) to replace the NIWI search engine software PLweb. Because the
> data are stable. But that means unnecesarry  replication of data.
> Nicer would be of course a direct web interface to the database in which
> the data are maintained.
> 
> Online database applicaties become unnecesarry heavy and unreliable.
> Which is shown in the suggested solution for the deleting of
> mother-child related records on page 240 of the manual. Here the mother
> is killed before the children are removed. In case of problems there
> will be no way to find the children because the motherrecord is already
> deleted.
> 
> In a  good database I have only to implement refential integraty once
> when designing the database and that is independant of the application
> for which I use the database.
> ---snip---
> 
> Kind regards,
> 
> Eric Maryniak

Eric,

I thinks the limitations of MYSQL are not critical for
most applications. Sometimes they may cause an
inconvenience that quite often could be avoided
designing the schema with MYSQL limitations in mind.
MYSQL will soon have stored procedures, which will make
enforcing referencial integrity easier. 

Who is to say that the database cannot be viable if it
does not implement ANSI SQL 100% ? I have been amazed
and what various MYSQL users on this list have been able
to accomplish.

One of the greatest advantages of MYSQL is no cost or
low cost at most. When you need to scale, you buy
another Pentium II 233 or whatever, and install another
copy of MYSQL on it without worrying too much about your
budget. With a commercial database, you would have to
pay another exorbitant licencing fee for each copy.

And the last thing. What kind of money would you have to
pay the top Oracle developers to come to your site and
optimize your database or tweak the source to add the
functionality you need? TCX will give you a year support
for about the cost of what Oracle would charge for their
manuals :)
-- 
Sasha Pachev
http://www.sashanet.com/ (home)
http://www.direct1.com/ (work)
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