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Oracle Points Windows Developers to MySQL

Forget all this touchy-feely open-source LAMP stack stuff--throw away your SQL Server and run our MySQL database on Windows.

Okay, maybe the message wasn't quite that stark, but there's no doubt Oracle upped the ante in the database wars today when it launched a comprehensive program to entice SQL Server developers, DBAs and such to run its Linux-borne MySQL database on Windows.

"It's a really nice implementation. I think it exceeds what Microsoft provides in their SQL Server implementation," quipped Rob Young, an Oracle senior product manager, during a three-hour Webcast. Talk about a direct attack on Microsoft's home turf: He was referring to Connector/NET, a tool that helps developers build .NET apps with MySQL. It was even noted that Connector/NET was written entirely in C#!

Oracle devoted an entire presentation to .NET development during its Webcast (but the audio was bad, so I have no idea what they said; the audio was fine before and after that presentation). And in the opening segment it trumpeted MySQL's improved "Windows eco-system support" for Visual Studio, Entity Framework, Windows administration tooling and connector enhancements--all deemed priorities for fiscal year 2011-12.

Connector/NET lets developers create C#, ASP.NET and VB.net apps, Oracle said, while implementing the ADO.NET interfaces, integrating into ADO.NET-aware tools and sporting a fully managed ADO.NET driver.

It almost seemed as if Oracle was adopting a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality with MySQL. "Windows is, and will continue to be, No. 1 for development and deployment and we really want to stay focused and make sure that the performance capability [of MySQL development on Windows] is top-notch," said Tomas Ulin, vice president of MySQL Engineering when discussing upcoming enhancements to Oracle's Windows development tools.

Young summarized the state of the latest version of Connector/NET (6.3) and where it's going: "We have Visual Studio 2010 compatibility. We have support for .NET 4.x and we go back to 2.x as well, so if you're using an older version and haven't upgraded yet, our Connector will work back a couple of versions. We've also got this Model First development using the Entity Framework, so Connector 6.x will support that, so you can actually develop objects, tables, that type of thing, within the Entity Framework environment and then forward-engineer those into actual DBL and ultimately into database objects. If you're familiar with the SQL Server editor within Visual Studio, the MySQL editor looks, basically, exactly the same."

He also discussed MySQL compatibility with Visual Studio wizards and Web site wizard integration. "They look and feel and function exactly like they do for SQL Server. So you can use our Connector along with MySQL along with Visual Studio and feel very comfortable if you're already using those things for SQL Server as well. So no surprises here, just complete, simple integration with the Visual Studio environment."

Young also discussed the MySQL Workbench, which he noted was the No. 2 download from the MySQL family and, according to a slide, has a "growing, enthusiastic developer community." He said "it puts a face--a visual, point-and-click face--on the front of MySQL."

He said Workbench has a graphical design aspect that lets users reverse engineer a database, for example, and see it graphically, change things around and roll those changes into a new, physical database.

"It's got the ER design, development aspect to it as well," Young said. "You can work with code, and it's just a very nice, slick implementation. And what we've done is we've gone to great lengths to make sure the features and functionality within Workbench match very closely that of Visual Studio 2010. It very much feels like a Windows product because it is a Windows product. And just know that this is here, specifically, to extend what Visual Studio does for MySQL and provide a lower-level development tool for those that would like to use MySQL in a big way."

So there you have it. MySQL goes Windows. While Microsoft woos the open-source community to embrace SQL Server, Oracle is enticing Windows developers to move from SQL Server to open-source MySQL.

And with that, I pose a few questions: What will developers say about this? What will the Linux fanbois say about this? And why do they pronounce SQL Server as "sequel server" while pronouncing MySQL as "my s-q-l"?

I need answers to these burning questions. Comment here or send me an e-mail.

Posted by David Ramel on 03/16/2011 at 1:15 PM


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