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What is MariaDB?

·346 words·2 mins
SQL Databases
Alejandro Duarte
Alejandro Duarte
Alejandro Duarte is a Software Engineer, published author, and award winner. He currently works for MariaDB plc as a Developer Relations Engineer. Starting his coding journey at 13 with BASIC on a rudimentary black screen, Alejandro quickly transitioned to C, C++, and Java during his academic years at the National University of Colombia. Relocating first to the UK and then to Finland, Alejandro deepened his involvement in the open-source community. He’s a recognized figure in Java circles, credited with articles and videos amassing millions of views, and presentations at international events.

MariaDB is an open-source relational database management system that uses the Structured Query Language (or SQL) to manage and manipulate data. It provides features such as ACID compliance, support for various data types, multi-version concurrency control, a comprehensive set of SQL statements and functions, as well as a set of high-performant, enterprise-ready connectors for Java, Node.js, Python, C++, and others.

What makes MariaDB unique? (Especially when compared to MySQL)

Well, many think that MariaDB is just a fork of MySQL, but MariaDB has evolved much faster. For example, it has more storage engines tailored to different needs. So… do you need top-notch transactional performance? Use the battle-tested InnoDB engine. Are you looking for fast analytical processing? You can use ColumnStore. For read-heavy scenarios, Aria works really well, and for write-intensive tasks, there’s MyRocks.

The neat part? Switching between these engines is just a simple command like ALTER TABLE name_of_the_table ENGINE = ColumnStore. Done. You can join tables that use different storage engines in a single SQL query. That frees you from the hassle of juggling different databases, connections, query languages, and so forth.

Now, if you fancy NoSQL queries, want to push data straight to Kafka, or even implement automatic data masking, failover, or query result limits, you have arguably the most powerful database proxy in the market, which is MariaDB MaxScale.

What kind of projects or apps is MariaDB best suited for?

Keep in mind that MariaDB truly scales while ensuring ACID properties. That is atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability. It can be deployed on any cloud, on-prem, or in a hybrid setting.

So… It’s a great database for applications that handle operational processes on the web, mobile, and even IoT devices. It also offers analytical capabilities through ColumnStore which is designed to efficiently manage and query large datasets. So it’s a great fit for big data and analytics applications.

In addition to that, any application that requires high availability, scalability, and advanced routing of database queries—especially in environments with multiple servers or clusters—would benefit from MariaDB Enterprise and the MaxScale database proxy.


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