An Overview of the New MySQL 8.0

mysql desktop

MySQL remains a valid database option for companies looking for an alternative to Oracle or SQL Server. While it may not offer the enterprise-level horsepower of PostgreSQL, it still works well for many scenarios. This is likely why it maintains its status as the most popular open source database in the industry.

Recently, the folks behind MySQL released version 8.0 of the database. New features and functionality abound. Let’s take a high level overview of this new edition to see if there’s anything to help with your own software development projects.

The New Features in MySQL 8.0

The new version of MySQL added a whole host of enhanced SQL functionality. This includes support for window functions, common table expressions, as well as the NOWAIT and SKIP LOCKED statements. Most notably, window functions provide the ability to perform analytics on stored data; this is long-awaited feature as SQL Server added it in 2003.

They also added support for descending indexes which provides a performance improvement, especially when working with large datasets. The new GROUPING() function lets developers build datasets that distinguish super-aggregate rows from the results of GROUP BY queries. Both of these features were highly requested among the MySQL user community.

Boosting overall application performance becomes essential when using MySQL. Version 8.0 gives developers a new syntax for including optimizer hints. You simply place them using something similar to inline comment blocks after a SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, REPLACE, or DELETE statement.

Additionally, the new version adds optimizer hints for a variety of INDEX and JOIN statements.  Now developers can control index merge behavior for each individual query or even the table order when performing a join. The MySQL development team feels the new optimizer hint syntax makes it easier to use while also boosting code readability.

MySQL adds Improved JSON Support

The JSON format is essential for web applications that rely on transferring objects expressed as a data structure. MySQL 8.0 improves its support for JSON in a myriad of ways. First, it adds extended syntax for ranges when using JSON path expressions.

The new JSON table functions lets you use regular SQL statements when working with JSON data. This is a boon for developers especially skilled in writing SQL queries. It essentially creates a relational view of JSON data.

Other new JSON features in MySQL 8.0 include aggregation and merge functions. A boost in sorting performance and the ability to perform partial updates are also welcome. The former helps to optimize large applications while the latter makes replication processes faster.

Other New MySQL 8.0 Features

Another significant new feature in MySQL 8.0 is support for GIS, including the Spatial Reference System. This lets applications using the database to easily calculate global distances given a LAT and LONG. The database now supports bitwise operations on binary data types, making the processing of IPV6 addresses easier.

The MySQL query optimizer also gets some improvements beyond the new hint syntax. Histograms and better handing of data buffering help engineers boost overall app and database performance. Finally, the database boasts improved reliability, availability, and reporting with an eye towards being used at companies following DevOps.

In short, MySQL 8.0 adds a host of new features making the database more attractive to organizations with high-demand applications. The improved DevOps support is also welcome. For more detailed information on MySQL 8.0, simply click on this link.

Thanks for reading this edition of the Betica Blog. Keep returning for additional insights on the software development world.

Pitfalls to avoid when adopting DevOps

devops2As DevOps continues to grow in popularity, some organizations still struggle with its successful implementation. Perhaps developers really don’t understand the practice and chafe at being forced to follow its concepts? Maybe the network engineers feel DevOps favors the software team, while automating many of their standard administrative tasks?

Whatever the reasons for its difficulty in adoption, getting things right offers many benefits to software shops of all sizes. DevOps plays a key role in boosting development efficiency to the point it becomes a competitive advantage. So, let’s take a look at a few common pitfalls to avoid when adopting DevOps.

Avoid these Mistakes when adding DevOps at your Software Shop

Rebecca Dodd, from the software development process experts at GitLab, wrote an article for DZone covering these major pitfalls to avoid during a DevOps implementation. She talked with a few people at GitLab responsible for project success with their customer base. They provided interesting food for thought on what issues hamper DevOps adoption.

Focusing Too Much on the Tools

GitLab noted that companies who make too much of an investment on their toolset tend to encounter difficulty when implementing DevOps. GitLab Technical Account Manager, John Woods, commented on the issue. “You think you have it all when you’ve got your issue tracker, version control system, CI/CD service, etc. However, what’s the cost of setting all those up and configuring them to ‘talk’ to each other?” said Woods. 

In essence, the time spent configuring and integrating multiple tools takes up valuable time and resources. GitLab calls this the “DevOps Tax.” Make it a point to ensure you use tools that support your DevOps policies and procedures; not the other way around.

In a similar fashion, some companies simply become too attached to their development tools. This adds difficulty if those tools aren’t really compatible with the unique DevOps methodology. GitLab notes some customers try to wrench decades-old tools into their fledgling modern workflow.

Ultimately, the smartest tack involves finding the right integrated toolset compatible with how software gets written in a DevOps world.

Deployment and Monitoring are as Important as Development and Testing

Another pitfall noted by Dodd involves companies not covering the entire SDLC when adopting DevOps. Instead, the only follow its principles for software development and QA, ignoring it for the deployment and monitoring processes. Ultimately, this isn’t a true DevOps implementation.

In most cases, companies leverage DevOps to achieve continuous integration or continuous delivery. Reaching these goals isn’t possible without a full adoption of the methodology. In short, go hard or go home!

Security needs to be part of the DevOps Equation

We previously talked about the importance of information security as part of any DevOps implementation. This is one of the reasons DevSecOps is a hot buzzword. In these days, cybersecurity needs to be a core concept within any software development practice – DevOps or not.

GitLab notes that companies adopting DevOps who still treat security as an afterthought ultimately struggle with its implementation. Valuable resources end up making security-related fixes at the last minute. Consider a DevSecOps approach.

Ultimately, steer clear of these pitfalls to ensure your DevOps adoption goes great!

Keep coming back to the Betica Blog for additional insights and dispatches from the wide world of software development. Thanks for reading!

Continuous Integration more Popular than Continuous Delivery

huhuhuuhhOne of the major reasons technology companies adopt DevOps involves striving for the Holy Grail of continuous delivery. This greatly improves software development efficiency, helping these firms better compete in the modern economy. A recent study, however, notes that larger enterprises actually leverage continuous integration when compared to CD.

Let’s take a closer look at the details of the study to see if any actionable insights exist to help your own development efforts. Is CI truly more impactful than continuous delivery? Perhaps adopting a mixture of the two makes more sense for software engineering shops?

CI more widely used than CD at Software Development Shops?

A recent study of nearly 6,000 developers by the Cloud computing provider, Digital Ocean, noted that 58 percent of the respondents currently use continuous integration. On the other hand, a fewer number – 45 percent – leverage continuous delivery. News about the Digital Ocean report appeared in late March at SD Times.

Of the surveyed companies not currently using either CD or CI, 43 percent said they planned on implementing one or the other. 26 percent felt that adopting either approach didn’t make sense for their organization. Still, it appears a vast number of businesses feel CD and/or CI is part of their current or future software development strategy.

The reasons why some of those companies remain uninterested in CD and CI vary. Some felt both practices were either too complex or too time-consuming to implement. Others simply felt it unnecessary considering their own company development workflow.

Companies adopting either approach noted a variety of benefits. Some respondents noted a more efficient code review and deployment process. The improved collaboration and smaller personal workloads typical of DevOps were highlighted by others. Of course, the ability to meet customer needs more quickly is another important perk.

Large Organizations increasingly prefer Continuous Integration

Two-thirds of the survey respondents from companies with over 1,000 employees currently use continuous integration. Developers from medium-sized firms noted use of CD and CI in a similar percentage. Digital Ocean commented on the details behind these survey findings.

“While only 45% of developers in organizations with five employees or less are using continuous integration, and only 35% are using continuous delivery (CD), developers report the likelihood of using these technologies increases with the size of the organization. This is somewhat intuitive as many of the benefits of these methods provide ways for groups of developers to work together. In large organizations with over 1,000 employees, 68% of developers report using continuous integration and 52% are using continuous delivery,” said the company.

In short, the collaborative benefits of DevOps and CI simply create additional efficiencies at larger companies. Still, even the smallest businesses still show an adoption rate of around 50 percent for both CI and CD. Putting in the effort to successfully implement either approach makes a lot of sense for any software development firm – no matter their size.

When taking into account the growing adoption rate of continuous integration and continuous delivery, any software engineering shop needs to consider their competition is likely using one or the other.

Keep coming back to the Betica Blog for additional news and insights from the software development world. As always, thanks for reading!