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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We encourage you to check the following list of questions and checking our documentation before sending us a service question.  You will get a faster answer to questions we've already answered, and help us give you a faster answer to your new question.

  • Do I need to do a complete server reinstall to use ExtSQL?   No.  We certainly understand that for many DBAs there is always some risk with installing even a 'minor' update to a server version.  ExtSQL is a simple change to just one file -- the server daemon executable (mysqld or postmaster).

    When you visit our download page you will see we have precompiled server daemons for exact release versions, OS, and target architecture, e.g. if you are currently running MySQL 4.1.20 on RHEL4/x86 -- you will find a version that is identical to that.  The only difference being the inclusion of ExtSQL functionality.

  • Does it require a server restart to activate/deactivate?  A restart is required to replace your current server daemon with the new version.   The ExtSQL server runs identically to your existing server unless you explicitly activate the new usage tracking features when the server is started.

    Once the server is running with ExtSQL features activated, they can be turned off from the SQL command line by the administrator.   No restart is required.

  • Seems like the only stuff available is for MySQL. What about us PostgreSQL folks?  We hear you! We now have an ALPHA set of patches for 7.4.19 and 8.4.1 and will be working on expanding that base as we see response. Click here for complete info on pgsql.

  • Is there a large performance impact from tracking all this data?  No.  We have done thorough benchmark testing as part of development.   We have seen about a 5% increase in server utilization when tracking was active on an average set of usage variables. It can reach 20% when a large amount of server variable are being recorded.

  • How do I configure the server?  What is the command syntax?   You can find complete usage guides by referencing our Documentation Center.


 Service & Support:
  • What type of unpaid support options do you offer to the general community?  There are a couple of support options available.   From our Support Center you will find links that allow you to signup for an ExtSQL user mailing list where questions can be posted; also, we have support forums available where anyone can post a question and which are monitored daily by staff.

  • What type of paid support options exist?  We offer two levels of support available when a precompiled binary is purchased. 

    Level One -
    support provides access to our web based support tracking system.   We guarantee an initial response to any support question before the end of the next business day. It also provides FREE upgrades to new patch releases.

    Level Two - support also provides phone support during business hours, 9 AM - 5 PM EST, Mon-Fri. NOTE: due to staff limitations, currently not available, expected in 1st Qtr 2010.


 License & distribution:

ExtSQL is distributed under the terms of the GNU Version 2 license.

PostgreSQL is distributed under the classic BSD License and is FREE for any usage as long as some standard info is include -- check here for details. Note (11/20/09) Someone pointed out that since our patchset includes the GNU license, it cannot be used on that project. It is our complete intent to also make it available under a BSD License for PostgreSQL -- we are just trying to figure out whether we actually need separate files, or can include both terms in the same file

MySQL is distributed under the GPL and there are trademark and other legal requirements -- check here for details.  We are certainly aware of the recent acquisition of MySQL by Sun Microsystems, but we are committed to staying with the GPL constraints and don't anticipate any legal issues to arise.

  • How is this licensed?  We are using the GPL version of the product as distributed from the primary MySQL web site.   You can see the GPL terms here distributed in the MySQL distribution.
  • How can you sell this?  That is not prohibited by GNU licensing

    The excerpt below comes from the GNU web site licensing FAQ.

If I use a piece of software that has been obtained under the GNU GPL, am I allowed to modify the original code into a new program, then distribute and sell that new program commercially?

    You are allowed to sell copies of the modified program commercially, but only under the terms of the GNU GPL. Thus, for instance, you must make the source code available to the users of the program as described in the GPL, and they must be allowed to redistribute and modify it as described in the GPL.
    We are not  selling a new commercial product,  but only charging for the service of having us prepare, test, store and deliver a precompiled component to you for current and older MySQL versions.
  • What about your relationship with MySQL AB/Sun Microsystems?  At present there is no formal relationship between our companies.
 Who are you and what are your plans for this?
  • Who are you?

    The Software Workshop in a privately held company incorporated in the state of New York in 1995. Check here for more information on our unique makeup.
  • Why wasn't this done within the primary MySQL & PostgreSQL distributions?  

    We thought we had a great idea for an extension to the MySQL server to help DBAs.  We felt it would not only be a good change for SQL but also other DB servers from Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft, and should become a SQL standard extension.   We also felt we could make some money by supporting back-ported versions of the extension to earlier SQL versions.  Time was critical and we felt faster progress toward these goals could be made by one company being lead in this area during initial development and release.
  • Are you trying to 'branch' MySQL or PostgreSQL?

    No.  We fully expect members of the MySQL & PostgreSQL communities to review our server changes and that modifications will happen as code is reviewed by developers and most importantly, as DBAs give their feedback about what they want to see in ExtSQL.

    We would continue to perform new development and offer the service of precompiled binaries for earlier versions of MySQL of PostgreSQL.
  • What about your Company President? I googled him and saw something about being jailed for Family Rights?

    John is a people person, and the most important people to him have always been his family. After an awful divorce experience he became a crusader for reform. His methods are always peaceful and he treats everyone with dignity & respect, including the people he disagrees with. You can check here for his background and efforts for reform.

    This has gone on for many years, and like he says,"That's why I like to work with good people. They can run the business while I'm tied-up for a while!"


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NOTE: MySQL® is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems. 
ExtSQL® is registered trademark of Software Workshop Inc.
ExtSQL is a separate product and should not be confused with MySQL
or PostgreSQL. It contains independently developed additional features,
released under the GPL,v.2.

©Copyright 1996-2009 Software Workshop Inc.