MySQL Workbench 6.0 – A Sneak Preview

The MySQL Developer Tools team is known for their steady release cycle, putting out a new MySQL Workbench release every 4-5 weeks. Now that it has been a bit quiet for a while you may wonder what is going on. Let me share some inside knowledge of what’s happening behind the scenes.

MySQL Workbench is a key component of our MySQL stack and extremely popular as shown by download numbers and interest in our white papers. It is the face of MySQL on the desktop, and we aim to make it even more popular for developers & DBAs than it is today. We have been looking for strong C++ and Python developers to grow the team further, and I’m happy to welcome Marcin Szalowicz from Poland and Miguel Tadeu from Portugal who started this Monday. They are going to work on both, the C++ backend and the native UI frontend of the product.

WB6.0SplashSmallFor some time the focus for the team has been on the next major release of MySQL Workbench which will be called 6.0. If you are familiar with the current version (5.2) you are going to see that we have been listening carefully to the feedback we’ve got. Here are the main areas that have been improved.

Simplified Workflow

The current WB 5.2 UI was designed for three specific workflows, SQL Development, EER Modelling and Administration. This is represented by the 3 main areas of the WB 5.2 Home screen and makes good sense if you have a very specific role in your company and use WB for that specific purpose, e.g. Administration of MySQL servers. What we learned is that e.g. many developers working in the SQL Editor also want to perform administrative tasks on their development machines and therefore also open an Administrator session. The same is true for DBAs using the SQL Editor to run scripts and queries.

For that reason we have unified SQL Development & Administration and made both available in a single session when you connect to your MySQL Server. The connections now take the main area of the new, redesigned WB 6.0 Home screen. We have also adopt a modern looking UI.WB6.0HomeScreenExSmall

Enterprise Feature Support

MySQL Enterprise Backup and the new Audit Log functionality found in MySQL 5.6 Enterprise are very compelling features for our customers. We got many requests to deliver a streamlined GUI for these features that will now be released as part of WB 6.0. MySQL Workbench will perform all tasks that are needed to configure your MySQL installation for the use of the backup feature and setting up an incremental backup is now as easy as clicking a button.


Improved Code Quality

Another area of focus was to improve the quality of the product. WB 6.0 will contain over 100 bug fixes and will be tested by a dedicated QA team. We are soon going to launch the public Beta test phase and with the help of the MySQL community the WB 6.0 will be the best MySQL Workbench release to date.

More Than 50 Improvements

Apart from working on the major UI changes a lot of work has been invested in improving and extending existing features like Server Status overview, Visual Explain, Editors, Schema Inspector, Table Data Search, and much more.

I hope you got interested in the upcoming MySQL Workbench 6.0 release and you will join the Beta test when it is first announced.


April MySQL Engineering News

On a regular basis I plan to summarize the latest news from MySQL Engineering. I hope you find it useful.

April highlights were the DMR’s coming out for both MySQL Cluster 7.3.2 and MySQL Server 5.7.1. For those that have been missing the launchpad versions of those, I apologize for the delay, but they should be there now if you want to dig into the changeset details. And to repeat what I’ve said in the past, there should not be a delay between releases on launchpad and src tar balls, so please keep bugging me when you see glitches there. Personally I also very much enjoyed the April Percona conference where I met a lot of old good friends and gave a keynote. You can see it here or just read the presentation. Here follows a summary of the engineering blogs from last month.

MySQL Support
The MySQL support team has some excellent blogs well worth reading.  The latest month includes for example “Migrating to InnoDB Full text search…”, “MySQL Utilities…”, and plenty of recent 5.6 info.

MySQL Performance Schema (PS)
This is a tremendously powerful tool, but it can be overwhelming to familiarize yourself with. Learn more about configuring performance schema from the author Marc Alff. Feel free to give him feedback directly on his blog, the good as well as constructive feedback. I’d also like to draw your attention to an older blog by Mark Leith, ps_helper. We are currently considering how we could include something like that in the product to make is easier to use PS. Ideas and input are greatfully received.

InnoDB continues to be the storage engine we focus on together with NDB for MySQL Cluster. You can learn more about the Data Organization in InnoDB, and the new 5.6 feature InnoDB transportable tablespaces and how to use them. Also have a look at Sunny’s presentation about 5.6 InnoDB features and scalability at Percona Live in April

MySQL Cluster and NoSQL
I mentioned the new DMR 7.3.1 for MySQL Cluster. Our efforts to improve ease of use of Cluster continues, please learn more about, and try out, the autoinstaller. MySQL Cluster was there as a “NoSQL” database long before the term was coined, and was just awarded the “storage engine of the year” the other week. This DMR also contains support for Foreign Keys which I know some of you have been waiting for. I’ll encourage the cluster engineers to write an in depth blog about the complexities in supporting foreign keys in a distributed databases. Meanwhile please get an overview here.

MySQL Performance
Dimitri is continuing his great work on benchmarking MySQL 5.6, comparing it with different 5.5 versions, including MariaDB and Percona servers. His blogs are excellent reads for anyone interested in MySQL performance.

MySQL Testing
In my keynote at Percona Live I talked about the big investment we have made in QA for MySQL. Please take a moment to learn about MySQL Server QA.

MySQL Replication and Big Data
MySQL 5.6 contains many new replication features, learn about the lesser known but equally important new replication features. Luis gave an excellent presentation at Percona Live on MySQL Replication, where you can learn more about performance enhancing features like multi-threaded slave and binary log group commit, as well as global transaction identifiers that can help you to do failover much better.

In my keynote at Percona Live I talked about how MySQL plays in important part in the Big Data lifecycle, and the new Hadoop applier for MySQL. Here is some more reading from Shubhangi, Hadoop applier part 1 and part 2.

MySQL Optimizer
MySQL 5.6 contained a lot of Optimizer enhancements. Here is a blog on subqueries from Øystein, a senior member of the Optimizer team, also aggregated to the MySQL Optimizer blog if you are interested in older posts.

MySQL on Windows
Our focused effort to on MySQL on Windows continues. New this month is the beta of the Connector/Net 6.7.2 which includes support for connecting to the MySQL memcached interface as well as load balancing. If you have not yet tried out MySQL for Excel I encourage you to try the newest version. You can follow the development of MySQL on Windows blog if you are interested.

MySQL General
Please have a look at Mikael’s insights about MySQL Engineering. And read about the fixing of a long standing trigger bug which is also aggregated on the MySQL Runtime blog.