Dear user of MySQL,

I'm proud and excited to announce the first Release Candidate of MySQL 5.0. This milestone signals that we are nearing what is certainly the most important release in MySQL's history.

MySQL 5.0 has new functionality that I hope will be welcomed, adopted, and put to productive use by the community of MySQL users -- you. On the commercial side, MySQL AB is getting a lot of good vibes from new enterprise customers who are beginning to understand the impact MySQL can have on their IT infrastructure and costs of running mission-critical applications.

The betas of MySQL 5.0 have already been downloaded two million times, and have thus been tested extensively in a lot of different scenarios. From the feedback we get from our community, we know it is already in production use at numerous sites. Go get your own copy at http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.0.html

Without question, MySQL 5.0 is the most ambitious release to date for MySQL AB. Of course, everything we do at MySQL centers around our three priorities of Performance, Reliability, and Ease of Use. Version 5.0 of MySQL is certainly true to these company-wide imperatives.

Key new features of MySQL 5.0 come in three groups:

a) ANSI SQL standard features formerly unknown to MySQL
b) ANSI SQL standard compliance of existing MySQL features
c) New MySQL Storage Engines, Tools and Extensions

The new ANSI SQL features include:

- Views (both read-only and updatable views)
- Stored Procedures and Stored Functions, using the SQL:2003 syntax, which is also used by IBM's DB2
- Triggers (row-level)
- Server-side cursors (read-only, non-scrolling)

Implementing ANSI SQL standard ways of using existing MySQL features means there will be fewer unpleasant surprises ("gotchas") for those migrating to MySQL from other database systems:

- Strict Mode: MySQL 5.0 adds a mode that complies with standard SQL in a number of areas in which earlier versions did not; we now do
strict data type checking and issue errors for all invalid dates, numbers and strings as expected
- INFORMATION_SCHEMA: An ANSI SQL-compliant Data Dictionary for accessing metadata, in parallel to the MySQL specific SHOW commands
- Precision Math: A new library for fixed-point arithmetic, giving high accuracy for financial and mathematical operations
- VARCHAR Data Type: The maximum effective length of a VARCHAR column has increased to 65,532 bytes; also, stripping of trailing whitespace no longer occurs

New MySQL Storage Engines, Tools and Extensions are:

- XA Distributed Transactions
- ARCHIVE Storage Engine for storing large amounts of data without indexes in a very small footprint, intended for historical data that
may be needed for future audit compliance (Sarbanes Oxley or otherwise)
- FEDERATED Storage Engine for accessing data ín tables of remote databases rather than in local tables (only in MAX version)
- Instance Manager: a tool to start and stop MySQL Server, even remotely

To find out more details on what's new in MySQL 5.0, follow the pointers from http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/mysql-5-0-nutshell.html

To find out the changes specific to MySQL 5.0.13 in relation to 5.0.12, see http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/news-5-0-13.html

MySQL 5.0 is also reflected in our GUI tools and Connectors:

MySQL Administrator 1.1.3 and MySQL Query Browser 1.1.15 are aware of the new MySQL 5.0 features, can be used to write and test stored
procedures, create views, include them in scheduled backups and much more.

The latest shipping versions of our Connectors work with MySQL 5.0, and all connectors (MySQL Connector/ODBC, Connector/J and Connector/NET) will support all flagship features before 5.0 goes GA.

We're pleased that we've reached a point of stability where it's been a while since we received a significant inflow of bugs that drastically impacted a large number of users. Of course, we recognize we haven't crossed the finish line yet, so we still very much need your involvement to ensure that MySQL 5.0 is the best that it possibly can be.

With MySQL 5.0 being that stable, I encourage you to do all of your new database development using MySQL 5.0:

1. Download 5.0 from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.0.html
2. Use the new features you need
3. Report any issues you find through our bug-reporting system at http://bugs.mysql.com/.

To show our appreciation for your efforts, we'll be fixing the bugs you find as fast as we can.

And, to provide a little extra motivation, we will be giving away Apple iPod nanos, and even full conference passes to our 2006 MySQL Users Conference, to those who deliver the most valuable feedback. Read more on http://dev.mysql.com/mysql_5_contest.html . Without your involvement and your excellent input, we at MySQL wouldn't be able to do our job: to produce high-quality database software for you to trust and use.

I look forward to your input

- in our MySQL Forums at http://forums.mysql.com/
- in the bug database at http://bugs.mysql.com/
- in our mailing lists at http://lists.mysql.com/
- in the PlanetMySQL blog aggregation via http://www.planetmysql.org/newfeed.php
- in the User Comments of our manual at http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/index.html (specifically for Documentation comments)
- and in the form of downloads from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.0.html

Thank you -- we look forward to hearing back from you -- not just about bugs but any feedback on how MySQL can help support you.

Kaj Arnö
VP Community Relations
MySQL AB

Kaj Arnö
MySQL AB, VP Community Relations
Martagränd 6B, 02700 Grankulla, Finland
Mobile +358-400-440812; internal VoIP 4401; Skype kajarno