1.5. Overview of the MaxDB Database Management System

MaxDB is a heavy-duty enterprise database. The database management system is SAP-certified.

MaxDB is the new name of a database management system formerly called SAP DB. In 2003 SAP AG and MySQL AB joined a partnership and re-branded the database system to MaxDB. The development of MaxDB has continued since then as it was done before—through the SAP developer team.

MySQL AB cooperates closely with the MaxDB team at SAP around delivering improvements to the MaxDB product. Joint efforts include development of new native drivers to enable more efficient usage of MaxDB in the Open Source community, and improvement of documentation to expand the MaxDB user base. Interoperability features between MySQL and MaxDB database also are seen as important. For example, the new MaxDB Synchronization Manager supports data synchronization from MaxDB to MySQL.

The MaxDB database management system does not share a common code-base with the MySQL database management system. The MaxDB and MySQL database management systems are independent products provided by MySQL AB.

MySQL AB offers a complete portfolio of Professional Services for MaxDB.

1.5.1. What is MaxDB?

MaxDB is an ANSI SQL-92 (entry level) compliant relational database management system (RDBMS) from SAP AG, that is delivered by MySQL AB as well. MaxDB fulfills the needs for enterprise usage: safety, scalability, high concurrency, and performance. It runs on all major operating systems. Over the years it has proven able to run SAP R/3 and terabytes of data in 24×7 operation.

The database development started in 1977 as a research project at the Technical University of Berlin. In the early 1980s it became a database product that subsequently was owned by Nixdorf, Siemens Nixdorf, Software AG, and today by SAP AG. Along the way, it has been named VDN, Reflex, Supra 2, DDB/4, Entire SQL-DB-Server, and ADABAS D. In 1997, SAP took over the software from Software AG and renamed it to SAP DB. Since October 2000, SAP DB sources additionally were released as Open Source under the GNU General Public License (see Appendix J, GNU General Public License).

In 2003, SAP AG and MySQL AB formed a partnership and re-branded the database system to MaxDB.

1.5.2. History of MaxDB

The history of MaxDB goes back to SAP DB, SAP AG's DBMS. That is, MaxDB is a re-branded and enhanced version of SAP DB. For many years, MaxDB has been used for small, medium, and large installations of the mySAP Business Suite and other demanding SQL applications requiring an enterprise-class DBMS with regard to the number of users, the transactional workload, and the size of the database.

SAP DB was meant to provide an alternative to third-party database systems such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and DB2 by IBM. In October 2000, SAP AG released SAP DB under the GNU GPL license (see Appendix J, GNU General Public License), thus making it Open Source software.

Today, MaxDB is used in about 3,500 SAP customer installations worldwide. Moreover, the majority of all DBMS installations on Unix and Linux within SAP’s IT department rely on MaxDB. MaxDB is tuned toward heavy-duty online transaction processing (OLTP) with several thousand users and database sizes ranging from several hundred GB to multiple TB.

In 2003, SAP and MySQL concluded a partnership and development cooperation agreement. As a result, SAP's database system SAP DB has been delivered under the name of MaxDB by MySQL since the release of version 7.5 (November 2003).

Version 7.5 of MaxDB is a direct advancement of the SAP DB 7.4 code base. Therefore, the MaxDB software version 7.5 can be used as a direct upgrade of previous SAP DB versions starting 7.2.04 and higher.

The former SAP DB development team at SAP AG is responsible, now as before, for developing and supporting MaxDB. MySQL AB cooperates closely with the MaxDB team at SAP around delivering improvements to the MaxDB product, see Section 1.5, “Overview of the MaxDB Database Management System”. Both SAP AG and MySQL AB handle the sale and distribution of MaxDB. The advancement of MaxDB and the MySQL Server leverages synergies that benefit both product lines.

MaxDB is subjected to SAP AG's complete quality assurance process before it is shipped with SAP solutions or provided as a download from the MySQL site.

1.5.3. Features of MaxDB

MaxDB is a heavy-duty, SAP-certified Open Source database for OLTP and OLAP usage which offers high reliability, availability, scalability, and a very comprehensive feature set. It is targeted for large mySAP Business Suite environments and other applications that require maximum enterprise-level database functionality and complements the MySQL database server.

MaxDB operates as a client/server product. It was developed to meet the needs of installations in OLTP and Data Warehouse/OLAP/Decision Support scenarios and offers these benefits:

  • Easy configuration and administration: GUI-based Installation Manager and Database Manager as single administration tools for DBMS operations

  • Around-the-clock operation, no planned downtimes, no permanent attendance required: Automatic space management, no need for reorganizations

  • Sophisticated backup and restore capabilities: Online and incremental backups, recovery wizard to guide you through the recovery scenario

  • Supports large number of users, database sizes in the terabytes, and demanding workloads: Proven reliability, performance, and scalability

  • High availability: Cluster support, standby configuration, hot standby configuration

1.5.4. Licensing and Support

MaxDB can be used under the same licenses available for the other products distributed by MySQL AB. Thus, MaxDB is available under the GNU General Public License, and a commercial license. For more information on licensing, see http://www.mysql.com/company/legal/licensing/.

MySQL AB offers MaxDB technical support to non-SAP customers. MaxDB support is available on various levels (Basic, Silver, and Gold), which expand from unlimited email/web-support to 24×7 phone support for business critical systems.

MySQL AB also offers Licenses and Support for MaxDB when used with SAP Applications, like SAP NetWeaver and mySAP Business Suite. For more information on licenses and support for your needs, please contact MySQL AB. (See http://www.mysql.com/company/contact/.)

Consulting and training services are available. MySQL gives classes on MaxDB at regular intervals. See http://www.mysql.com/training/ for a list of classes.

1.5.5. Feature Differences Between MaxDB and MySQL

MaxDB is MySQL AB's SAP-certified database. The MaxDB database server complements the MySQL AB product portfolio. Some MaxDB features are not available on the MySQL database management server and vice versa.

The following list summarizes the main differences between MaxDB and MySQL; it is not complete.

  • MaxDB runs as a client/server system. MySQL can run as a client/server system or as an embedded system.

  • MaxDB might not run on all platforms supported by MySQL.

  • MaxDB uses a proprietary network protocol for client/server communication. MySQL uses either TCP/IP (with or without SSL encryption), sockets (under Unix-like systems), or named pipes or shared memory (under Windows NT-family systems).

  • MaxDB supports stored procedures and functions. MySQL 5.0 and up also supports stored procedures and functions. MaxDB supports programming of triggers through an SQL extension. MySQL 5.0 supports triggers. MaxDB contains a debugger for stored procedure languages, can cascade nested triggers, and supports multiple triggers per action and row.

  • MaxDB is distributed with user interfaces that are text-based, graphical, or Web-based. MySQL is distributed with text-based user interfaces only; graphical user interfaces such as MySQL Query Browser or MySQL Administrator are shipped separately from the main distributions. Web-based user interfaces for MySQL are offered by third parties.

  • MaxDB supports a number of programming interfaces that also are supported by MySQL. For developing with MaxDB, the MaxDB ODBC Driver, SQL Database Connectivity (SQLDBC), JDBC Driver, Perl and Python modules and a MaxDB PHP extension, which provides access to MySQL MaxDB databases using PHP, are available. Third Party Programming Interfaces: Support for OLE DB, ADO, DAO, RDO and .NET through ODBC. MaxDB supports embedded SQL with C/C++.

  • MaxDB includes administrative features that MySQL does not have: job scheduling by time (included in MySQL as of 5.1), event, and alert, and sending messages to a database administrator on alert thresholds. (MySQL has scheduling support starting with version 5.1.6.)

1.5.6. Interoperability Features Between MaxDB and MySQL

MaxDB and MySQL are independent database management servers. The interoperation of the systems is possible in a way that the systems can exchange their data. To exchange data between MaxDB and MySQL, you can use the import and export tools of the systems or the MaxDB Synchronization Manager. The import and export tools can be used to transfer data in an infrequent, manual fashion. The MaxDB Synchronization Manager offers faster, automatic data transfer capabilities.

The MaxDB Loader can be used to export data and object definitions. The Loader can export data using MaxDB internal, binary formats and text formats (CSV). Data exported from MaxDB in text formats can be imported into MySQL using the mysqlimport client program. To export MySQL data, you can use either mysqldump to create INSERT statements or SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE to create a text file (CSV). Use the MaxDB Loader to import the data files generated by MySQL.

Object definitions can be exchanged between the systems using MaxDB Loader and the MySQL tool mysqldump. As the SQL dialects of both systems differ slightly and MaxDB has features currently not supported by MySQL like SQL constraints, we recommend to hand-tune the definition files. The mysqldump tool offers an option --compatible=maxdb to produce output that is compatible with MaxDB to make porting easier.

The MaxDB Synchronization Manager is available as part of MaxDB 7.6. The Synchronization Manager supports creation of asynchronous replication scenarios between several MaxDB instances. However, interoperability features also are planned, so that the Synchronization Manager supports replication to and from a MySQL server.

1.5.7. MaxDB-Related Links

The main page for MaxDB information is http://www.mysql.com/products/maxdb, which provides details about the features of the MaxDB database management systems and has pointers to available documentation.

The MySQL Reference Manual does not contain any MaxDB documentation other than the introduction given in this section. MaxDB has its own documentation, which is called the MaxDB library and is available at http://dev.mysql.com/doc/maxdb/index.html.

MySQL AB runs a community mailing list on MaxDB; see http://lists.mysql.com/maxdb. The list shows a vivid community discussion. Many of the core developers contribute to it. Product announcements are sent to the list.

A Web forum on MaxDB is available at http://forums.mysql.com/. The forum focuses on MaxDB questions not related to SAP applications.