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MySQL to set Falcon free

Open-source database company to provide technical details on homegrown storage engine, administration tools.

Open-source database company MySQL plans to provide technical details next week on its homegrown storage engine and upcoming administration tools.

The database engine, code-named Falcon and due for completion later this year, will be built specifically for running transactions, said Zack Urlocker, vice president of marketing at the company. A beta version is due out this summer, he said.

MySQL executives will detail Falcon and other upcoming tools at its user conference, which will take place Monday through Thursday in Santa Clara, Calif.

The company gained the beginnings of Falcon when it acquired Netfrastructure, a consulting company that employed database luminary Jim Starkey.

MySQL's database is built so that it can use a range of different storage mechanisms, tuned for different purposes, such as transactions or indexing large amounts of text.

"Rather than have one perfect engine, it's better to have a pluggable architecture," Urlocker said. "The idea is you can mix and match within a single application because data will be used in different ways."

He said that Falcon is being designed for "scale out" configurations, where an application, such as an e-commerce site, is powered by several, relatively low-priced servers, rather than a few, more powerful machines.

MySQL is expected to disclose the names of other software companies, including Solid Information Technology, that intend to write storage engines for the MySQL database.

Company executives also intend to show off MySQL Workbench, a graphical database design tool under development, which will be released under the open-source General Public License.