While not a huge force in the web server market, Apple has turned some heads in the IT community by dropping evergreen database, MySQL, in favor of PostgreSQL in new versions of its Lion OS X server line.
Databases are the life blood of dynamic websites or content management systems (CMS) built by developers, especially in popular platforms such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.
In recent years, PostgreSQL, a free, GPL, open-source database, seems to have become a dark horse in the developer world, gaining in popularity, especially with the recent 9.0+ version(s) which lists sexy features including binary replication. It is also a good candidate for virtualized environments inside cloud computing, which are big discussion points these days.
PostgreSQL is fully ACID compliant (Atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability) considered to be primary attributes for a protecting data inside a database. MySQL, in certain modes, is not ACID compliant.
It is also the database of choice for a number of research projects, including one run by MIT, which is developing its own Database-as-a-Service (DaaS).
Apple mentions on it’s developer site that “PostgreSQL is a robust open-source database that’s ideal for web development on Mac OS X.”
“If you are using MySQL in v10.5.8 or later, MySQL is preserved during the upgrade or automated migration to Lion Server and continues to function.”
“However, you will be running an old version of MySQL (v5.0.67) that is no longer supported by the MySQL community. Also you will not have ServerAdmin interface support or Server Admin command-line interface support,” said Apple.
One reason that Apple may have taken this direction could be related to Oracle’s ownership of MySQL. Oracle acquired MySQL from Sun and some may be skeptical about its long-term intent to keep the database ‘open’.
Apple, as usual, takes the road less traveled, although its selection of PostgreSQL may signal that the open-source database is set to take center stage amongst the world’s leading databases.
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