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MySQL 5.7.12 - Part 1: More than a Maintenance Release

MySQL 5.7.12 is the fourth stable (GA) release of the MySQL 5.7 series. It brings with it the usual bug fixes and incremental enhancements that you would expect with a point release. Except this time things are a little bit different.

An Overview of our Current Release Process

In the MySQL Server team, as we are developing a major new version we will first release a number of labs and DMRs (Developer Milestone Releases). For example:

  • 5.7.1 – 2013-04-23
  • 5.7.2 – 2013-09-21
  • 5.7.3 – 2013-12-03
  • 5.7.4 – 2014-03-31
  • 5.7.5 – 2014-09-25
  • 5.7.6 – 2015-03-09
  • 5.7.7 – 2015-04-08 (Release Candidate)
  • 5.7.8 – 2015-08-03 (Release Candidate)
  • 5.7.9 – 2015-10-21 (General Availability)

The DMR releases aim to approximate release candidate quality, but not yet guaranteed to be backwards compatible. This gives us an opportunity to incorporate feedback before declaring a GA (stable) release. Once GA, users have an expectation of no surprises. This means even if a good idea comes along, it might not be possible to incorporate it until the next major release.

(Surprises in this context means both stability if a patch is intrusive as well as changes to functionality.)

Introducing Rapid Plugins

Starting with 5.7.12 we are introducing the concept of Rapid Plugins. This has been a much requested feature from our users, who want more of a balance between don’t break it and give me innovation sooner!

Out of the box, 5.7.12 follows the same stability promise as our current release process, but it also allows for plugins with additional functionality to be installed very easily. The plugins themselves conform to the same high quality standards of the rest of the MySQL Server GA code but they will get new features in much quicker iterations.

Installing a rapid plugin does not require you to download any additional software, compile anything, or even restart your MySQL Server. This is functionality that has actually been available in MySQL for quite some time, but we’re looking to leverage it more going forward.

We’ve been listening

Since the release of 5.7 we’ve gotten great feedback from folks we talked to related to what they could do with a JSON in MySQL or new things they might want. So many DBAs that know and love MySQL can now tell developers – you know that JSON stuff you’ve been wanting – well here it is in a database many know so very well.

And we haven’t just been listening to DBAs. We’ve been listening to developers as well. They had plenty of ideas as well, so they can do more, faster, and more easily with all the modern bells and whistles available in modern languages.

So we took your feedback seriously and hope you like both the new things we’ve done, as well as other new things you will see emerging. And we’re looking forward to getting your feedback and new functionality delivered more rapidly with this new model.

Introducing the X Plugin

With MySQL 5.7.12 we are now introducing the X Plugin. This first iteration marks a new milestone for MySQL and we believe it showcases what you can expect from the MySQL development team going forward.

So what does this new MySQL Server feature – the X Plugin – actually do and why is it so important, you might ask?

Those are the key questions and they deserve to be answered in much detail. For this reason we have prepared a series of six blog posts for you, that we will roll out during the next few days.

Stay tuned

For more information on why MySQL 5.7.12 indeed marks a new milestone for MySQL.

MySQL 5.7.12 is already available for download directly from

P.S.: But of course we don’t want to close without a small hint. The X Plugin offers a new interface into them MySQL Server, supported by the same but up greatly expanded MySQL Connectors and drivers you are already using, plus some new tools for developers, DBAs and admins. Stay tuned for in-depth information!

P.P.S.: If you are interested in a very technical discussion please feel free to also look at the X Plugin Worklog entry.