Oracle has brought about an exciting change for database development by introducing JavaScript support in MySQL. This move, announced on December 15, 2023, brings a host of benefits to developers and application designers. 

JavaScript in MySQL

Recent innovation in Oracle gives developers the ability to write and execute JavaScript stored programs, including functions and procedures, directly within the MySQL database server. This is a significant departure from traditional database programming languages, opening up new possibilities for developers. With JavaScript support, MySQL becomes more versatile and developer-friendly.

GraalVM Runtime

The power of JavaScript execution, in stored programs, in MySQL comes from the GraalVM runtime. GraalVM provides an ECMAScript-compliant runtime environment for running JavaScript programs within the database server. This integration makes sure that JavaScript code executes efficiently and in a manner consistent with industry standards.

Availability and access

Developers eager to explore what this exciting feature can do so through MySQL Enterprise Edition, which is available on the Oracle Technology Network. MySQL Heatwave, Oracle’s cloud service, also extends support for JavaScript across multiple platforms, including Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, AWS, and Microsoft Azure. This wide availability gives developers the ability to leverage JavaScript in MySQL regardless of their preferred environment.

Benefits for developers

The introduction of JavaScript support in MySQL brings huge advantages for developers. One of the most notable benefits is the adoption of a simpler syntax and access to modern language features. JavaScript’s readability and widespread usage in web development make it an accessible language for a broad range of developers. This democratization of programming languages aims to enhance developer productivity and foster innovation.

JavaScript boasts an enormous ecosystem of reusable code modules, commonly referred to as packages or libraries. Developers can tap into this rich resource to expedite development tasks, reducing the need to reinvent the wheel. This saves time and promotes code consistency and reliability.

Advantages in application design

Beyond the appeal to developers, the integration of JavaScript in MySQL brings undeniable advantages for application design. With the reduction of data movement between the database server and applications, this new development is incredibly valuable for developers. In traditional database architectures, data often traverses back and forth between the server and application layers, resulting in increased latency and potential bottlenecks, an issue removed by the support for JavaScript.

With JavaScript support, developers can move essential data processing logic inside the database. This shift opens up new avenues for optimizing application design. For instance, data extraction, formatting, validation, compression, encoding, and transformation can now be performed directly within the database server. 

The integration of JavaScript in MySQL facilitates the creation of more complex data pipelines within the database. For example, data transformation and aggregation tasks that previously required multiple database calls and extensive application code can now be consolidated into efficient JavaScript functions. This consolidation not only reduces code complexity but also enhances the maintainability and scalability of the database architecture.

Final thoughts

Oracle’s introduction of JavaScript support in MySQL is a massive leap forward in database development. This integration, powered by the GraalVM runtime, offers developers a simplified syntax, access to modern language features, and a wealth of reusable code modules. It transforms application design by minimizing data movement, providing advanced data processing logic within the database server, and simplifying complex data pipelines. As the software development landscape continues to evolve, the incorporation of JavaScript into MySQL positions developers and businesses for greater efficiency, agility, and innovation in the digital age.

Alexander Procter

January 12, 2024

3 Min read