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Microsoft Joins MariaDB Foundation and Plans Azure Release

Microsoft is adding MariaDB to the list of open source relational database platforms it will bring to Azure. MariaDB will join MySQL and PostgreSQL, announced earlier this year and now available in preview mode, in Azure. In addition to adding it to the menu of open source databases available in Azure, Microsoft has joined the MariaDB Foundation as a Platinum sponsor.

MariaDB is a fork -- or, as the foundation describes it, "an enhanced, drop-in replacement" -- of the MySQL, developed in wake of Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which had earlier bought the popular open source database. MySQL Founder Monty (Michael) Widenius developed MariaDB to ensure an option that maintained its open source principles.

Microsoft announced its MariaDB support this week at the annual Connect conference, held in New York. While it's primarily SQL-based, it also has GIS and JSON interfaces and is used by notable organizations including Google, WordPress.com and Wikipedia.

Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's executive VP of cloud and enterprise, told analysts and media that MariaDB has become popular with a growing segment of developers. "Like our PostgreSQL and MySQL, options it's 100 percent compatible with all of the existing drivers, libraries and tools and can take full advantage of the rich MariaDB ecosystem," Guthrie said, during his Connect keynote address.

Microsoft announced MySQL and PostgreSQL as managed services offerings in Azure at its annual Build conference, which took place back in May in Seattle. Since releasing the previews, Microsoft has added PostgreSQL extensions, compute tiers and it's now available in 16 regions and on pace for release in all 40 regions, said Tobias Ternstrom principal group program manager for Microsoft's Database Systems Group, in a blog post.

Ternstrom visited Widenius in Sweden recently, where they discussed adding MariaDB to Azure and ultimately decided to join the foundation and participate in the open source project. "We are committed to working with the community to submit pull requests (hopefully improvements...) with the changes we make to the database engines that we offer in Azure," Ternstrom noted, in a blog post. "It keeps open source open and delivers a consistent experience, whether you run the database in the cloud, on your laptop when you develop your applications, or on-premises."

Microsoft has posted a waitlist for those wanting to test the forthcoming preview.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 11/20/2017 at 9:26 AM


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