MariaDB to Add JSON Support

    Despite all the interest in a growing number of database platforms, most applications continue to run on relational databases. In fact, as SQL continues to evolve, it’s becoming possible to extend SQL to support technology such as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) that is at the core of most document databases.

    Speaking this week at a M|17 conference for users of the open source MariaDB database, Roger Bodamer, chief product officer for MariaDB Corp., revealed that a 10.3 release of MariaDB that is in the early stages of development will fully support JSON. That functionality comes on the heels of support for dynamic columns. Collectively, Bodamer says, these additions show that core relational model is more flexible than most IT organizations currently appreciate.

    Bodamer says IT organizations rewriting and refactoring applications wind up creating an excessive amount of technical debt. As the relational database model continues to evolve, Bodamer says, it will become simpler to build applications that make combined use of transactions and analytics involving large amounts of data without having to move data into a new platform such as a key/value store database except in the most extreme edge cases. In fact, Bodamer says that in terms of both performance and the amount of data that most organizations need to handle, relational databases will continue to be the primary workforce.

    “For most applications, there’s still plenty of headroom,” says Bodamer.

    In the meantime, MariaDB is adding support for Docker, Kubernetes and DCOS container orchestration engines. But Bodamer says he remains skeptical of the performance levels that can be attained when introducing another layer of software to access persistent storage via a container. In most cases, Bodamer expects relational database that need to meet specific service level agreements (SLAs) will continue to run on bare-metal servers.

    Created initially to provide an alternative to the MySQL database that was acquired by Oracle, Bodamer says the MariaDB open source community is now focused primarily on closing functionality gaps between MariaDB and other relational databases. As the pace of those improvements continues to pick up, it may not be too long before MariaDB becomes yet another mainstream relational database in the enterprise.


    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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