New features in MySQL 6
For normal users, identifying with MySQL is not very common. A HTML file or even a PHP file could be understood to be something related to web pages, but however, MySQL doesn’t ring a bell in the minds of most people. For developers, the scenario is completely different. MySQL happens to be one of the best things that could happen to the World Wide Web, and developers know it very well! The database software is the backend of most web applications, thus accounting for its unfamiliarity with normal web users.
Databases are used with the purpose of storing user information and other data in the server and are useful for maintaining the application. Server-side scripting languages like PHP and Perl can access data from the database and represent them in web pages for public display. However, the storage and the communication with the database are not very simple. Databases need to be very secure applications themselves, and under no circumstances should data be modified or deleted without proper authorization. The fact that MySQL is used as the database application for over 30 million web applications puts an end to all questions over its integrity and efficiency.
Sun Microsystems, the owner of MySQL software, does a good job in adding new features to the core package, and publish it as a new edition. The latest version family under release is the MySQL 6.x. There are some extremely promising features in the latest package that has the potential to redefine the way web applications are made. Here, we will discuss some of the features that have been newly introduced in MySQL 6.x.
MySQL 6 Features
1. Supplementary Characters: MySQL has always been a supporting different improvement of Unicode character set. Previously in its older editions, it has supported two character sets of Unicode: utf-8 and ucs-2. These are good enough till the Unicode version 3.0 where the code values range from 0 to 65535 and are encoded with a maximum of 24 bits. However, in the latest version 5.0 there are 99089 characters that are defined. All these characters cannot possibly fit into the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP) as in version 3.0. Hence the additional characters are called supplementary characters. MySQL 6.x has taken a step ahead to support these supplementary characters, along with supporting utf-8, utf-16 and utf-32 too. The other reason why the change has been inevitable because Windows Vista, the latest operating system by Microsoft supports supplementary characters.
2. Online backup – Backup is an important aspect of any database software. Data cannot be lost under any circumstances, and thus backups come in handy in case some unforeseen incidents happen with the original database. The online backup database can read one or more databases into a backup image file. Similarly, the image file can also be written on to one or more databases. Therefore, in case a database is lost, all one needs to do is to make use of the backup database. However, the word “online” does not refer to the fact that the backup image resides on a web server, but only means that there would be “no blocking” during the backup process.
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