MySQL version names

Since MySQL 4.0, free and commercial MySQL versions have different names, outlined in this excerpt from "The Definitive Guide to MySQL 5".

Since MySQL 4.0, the free (in the sense of GPL) and commercial versions have different names. Here they are:

Name License Functionality
MySQL Standard Community Edition GPL All default functions that can be considered stable (including InnoDB)
MySQL Max Community Edition GPL Same as MySQL Standard, but with additional functions and table drivers that have not reached full maturity
MySQL Classic commercial Like MySQL Standard, but without InnoDB
MySQL Pro commercial Like MySQL Standard, but with InnoDB (thus with transactions)
MySQL Pro Certified Server commercial Like MySQL Pro, but usable only in the context of the Certified Server program MySQL Network and optimized for maximum stability and security

For ordinary GPL applications, the use of the Standard version is recommended. The additional functions in the Max version are for use only in special applications. Currently (version 5.0), the Standard and Max versions differ in the support of BDB tables and the SSL encryption of client/server connections. These functions will be incorporated into the Standard and commercial versions only when they are considered sufficiently stable. You can determine which functions the running version of MySQL supports with the SQL command SHOW VARIABLES. In the following code you can see the results of MySQL Standard 5.0.2.

mysql> SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'have%';
Variable_name Value
have_archive NO
have_bdb NO
have_compress YES
have_crypt YES
have_csv NO
have_example_engine NO
have_geometry YES
have_innodb YES
have_isam NO
have_ndbcluster NO
have_openssl NO
have_query_cache YES
have_raid NO
have_rtree_keys YES
have_symlink YES

In the case of commercial applications, the decision between Classic and Pro depends simply on whether InnoDB is needed. (The license for the Pro version is more expensive.) The Classic and Pro versions cannot be simply downloaded at, but are provided only after a license has been issued.

MySQL Pro Certified Server has been available only since the beginning of 2005, as part of the program MySQL Network. MySQL promises users of this program particularly stable and secure versions. If you wish to know which server version is being run, then execute the following SQL command:

mysql> SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'version';
Variable_name Value__________ .
version 5.0.2-alpha-standard

This output shows that the Standard version 5.0.2 is running. There is no additional Max functionality and no license for commercial use.

Note: Do not confuse MySQL Max with MaxDB. The latter is the former SAP-DB database system that since 2004 has been maintained and sold by the MySQL firm. There are indeed similarities between the database systems MySQL and MaxDB, but there are considerable differences. This book is strictly about MySQL, not MaxDB.

Support Contracts

Regardless of whether you are using a commercial or GPL version of MySQL, you may take out a support contract with MySQL. You thereby simultaneously support the further development of MySQL.

Tip: Details on commercial MySQL licenses and paid support can be found at Links to various companies that offer commercial MySQL support can be found at

Chapter table of contents: What is MySQL?

Part 1: Database glossary 
Part 2: MySQL features 
Part 3: MySQL limitations 
Part 4: MySQL version numbers 
Part 5: MySQL licensing 
Part 6: MySQL version names 
Part 7: MySQL alternatives

The above tip is excerpted from from Chapter 1, "What is MySQL?" of The Definitive Guide to MySQL 5 by Michael Kofler, courtesy of Apress. Find it helpful? Purchase the book here.

About the author: Michael Kofler holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Graz Technical University. He has written a number of successful computer books on topics such as Visual Basic, Visual Basic .NET, and Linux. Michael is the author of The Definitive Guide to MySQL 5, Third Edition and Definitive Guide to Excel VBA, Second Edition from Apress.

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