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MySQL 5.7 End of Life: What You Can Do Next?

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MySQL is an extremely popular open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). It is a software that helps users store, organize, and manage their data in a structured manner. Developed by Oracle Corporation, MySQL is known for its reliability, ease of use, and scalability. It uses SQL (Structured Query Language) for managing and manipulating data. Unfortunately, the most popular version, MySQL 5.7, is reaching the end of its life.

MySQL is commonly used for various applications and websites, serving as the backend database. It supports multiple storage engines, allowing users to choose the one that best fits their needs. Almost all popular websites, applications, and organizations range from small-scale projects to large enterprises. However, because MySQL 5.7 is reaching the end of its life, project managers are looking for options to counter this problem. We will help you with that.

MySQL 5.7 Overview

MySQL 5.7 End of Life: What You Can Do Next?

If you have been using MySQL 5.7 in your organization you might already know its features. However, here’s a quick breakthrough of the features that you already had:

  • Performance Improvements: MySQL 5.7 brings enhancements to performance, including improved InnoDB storage engine performance, better query execution speed, and optimizations for multi-threaded operations.
  • Security Enhancements: There were several security-related improvements, such as the introduction of the MySQL Enterprise Firewall, allowing administrators to create a policy to prevent SQL injection attacks. Additionally, it includes the deprecation of the use of old authentication methods for better security practices.
  • InnoDB: InnoDB, the default storage engine for MySQL, receives several improvements in MySQL 5.7, including support for spatial data types, online DDL operations, and increased scalability.
  • JSON Support: MySQL 5.7 introduced native support for JSON data type, allowing users to store and query JSON documents directly within the database. This feature simplifies working with applications that use JSON for data interchange.
  • Optimizer Enhancements: The query optimizer has been enhanced to improve execution plans, leading to better performance for complex queries. Index statistics and histogram support have also been added to aid the optimizer in making more accurate decisions.
  • SQL Syntax Enhancements: MySQL 5.7 includes new SQL syntax and improvements, such as the introduction of the “Generated Columns” feature, which allows columns to be automatically computed based on expressions.
  • Multi-Source Replication: This version introduces multi-source replication, enabling a MySQL server to replicate from multiple sources simultaneously.
  • Improved GIS Support: Geospatial data support is enhanced, providing better capabilities for storing and querying spatial data.

Some additional features were also provided with MySQL 5.7, such as enhancements to the performance schema, improvements in the MySQL sys schema for better insights into server internals, and enhanced control over the server’s global transaction identifiers.

When Does MySQL 5.7 Reach End of Life?

MySQL 5.7 reached its end of life (EOL) on October 21, 2023. This means that as of that date, Oracle no longer provides official updates, bug fixes, or security patches for MySQL 5.7.

If you or your organization is still using MySQL 5.7, it is recommended to consider upgrading to a newer version or exploring alternative database options to ensure continued support and security updates. We will help you with the latter part.

What to Do After MySQL 5.7 Reaches End of Life?

MySQL is the most popular RDBMS, according to DB-Engines. It’s been a consistent runner-up for the most popular database overall for over ten years. MySQL played a big part in the rise of the LAMP stack, becoming a reliable sidekick for many developers and database administrators (DBAs) over the years. Now, last year in October 2023, version 5.7 is ahas retired and entered what’s called “end of life” status. This means it won’t get any more updates or security patches.

This is a big deal because, with just four months left, more than half of the folks using MySQL servers are still on version 5.7. This info comes from data we gathered through Percona Monitoring and Management, a tool people use for managing their databases, and it’s a good snapshot of what’s happening out there.

So, there are a bunch of database servers out there, and in just four months, they won’t be getting any more updates or security help. We will also offer you some choices.

Option 1: Pay Oracle for Upgrades

Similar to Microsoft, Oracle also offers extended support for MySQL. You only need to give those bucks, and you are good to go. If you are not comfortable with that, don’t worry. Your current version of MySQL 5.7 won’t stop working any day soon.

Instead, you will need to find out ways to protect your database from the outside world. You can check out some options for the best malware removal tools, and your organization’s servers are good to go.

Option 2: Upgrade to MySQL 8.0 With More Features

If you’re thinking about moving from MySQL 5.7 to MySQL 8.0 (the only version getting support) in the future, there are some things to consider. MySQL 8.0 has been around since 2016, so it’s like the experienced, reliable elder sibling. But, it comes with some changes compared to the previous version.

One big change is how it handles SQL (Structured Query Language), the language it understands. In MySQL 8.0, they’ve added stuff that makes it easier for developers and database experts (DBAs) to work with queries.

Like, if you struggle with writing subqueries, there are now features like lateral-derived joins and common table expressions (CTEs) to make your life easier. They’ve even thrown in a new thing called “intersect clause” to help with sets.

MySQL 8.0 introduces some new commands not found in MySQL 5.7. One cool example is EXPLAIN ANALYZE, which is a game-changer for tuning your queries. The regular EXPLAIN command gives you an estimated analysis of how your query might perform.

But if you add ANALYZE, it makes the query actually run, and you get real numbers on how it’s doing. It’s like getting behind the scenes of your query’s performance. There’s also a handy command called INVISIBLE INDEX, which lets you test how efficient an index is without risking a major rebuild after deleting stuff.

So, if you’re planning to make the jump, MySQL 8.0 has some great features waiting for you, making your database experience smoother and more insightful. However, if you are planning to upgrade right now, MySQL 8.3 was just released a few weeks back.

Option 3: Explore Other Options

If you are not in the mood to pay Oracle for Extra support or upgrade to MySQL 8.0, you can also explore other various options. In the market, if you look through carefully, you will find options such as Zoho, Open SQL, and many others. They are available for a cheaper price, and some are available for free.

However, you won’t get dedicated support with the free ones as you always get from Oracle MySQL. Security concerns will also remain, but often, open-source products are more secure, so you don’t need to worry.

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