Celebrating Olivier Bertrand of the CONNECT Engine

Olivier Bertrand donation

Please join MariaDB Foundation in giving a bit of financial recognition to Olivier Bertrand, the developer behind the CONNECT Storage Engine! We will match your contribution up to a total of 5.000 €, on top of the 5.000 € that we have already allocated 5000 € for Olivier Bertrand’s Lifetime MariaDB Contribution Award.

What is CONNECT?

Olivier Bertrand is an unsung hero. He is the original contributor and still the main developer behind the CONNECT Storage Engine, which – much as its descriptive name indicates – enables MariaDB Server users to connect to a variety of databases other than MariaDB Server itself. This means that, from within MariaDB, you can SELECT from tables in Oracle Database, in Microsoft SQL Server, in DB2. In turn, that means a lot of flexibility in migration projects, where all shades of grey are possible, when it comes to “database ecumenism”.

Why a financial award?

While Olivier Bertrand has created a lot of value for the users of MariaDB Server, there has been little financial recognition. The CONNECT engine is an Open Source component of MariaDB Server, but it’s not part of MariaDB Corporation support package. The technical support for CONNECT has been left to the community, and the user base has spawned a community which supports each other, on top of Olivier’s own help.

Even though the amount we allocated is still symbolic, Olivier Bertrand deserves more than a mere “thank you!”. Hence this financial award. It’s about time we show some gratitude.

Olivier Bertrand in a not yet published CONNECT video

Why are we matching your contributions?

We in the MariaDB Foundation believe that we are not alone in wanting to celebrate Olivier Bertrand’s work. Hence, we have set up a program by which it should be easy for both corporate users and individual freelance developers to contribute. A contribution of, say, 100 £, 500 $ or 1.000 € can be paid onto our PayPal account, and will still likely be less than the monetary value of the work a CONNECT user has saved. Less, by an order of magnitude.

How exactly do I contribute?

Send a payment to MariaDB Foundation’s PayPal account – follow the click and it will be marked “Olivier Bertrand”. You do not need to have your own account; I don’t, and it worked just fine.

This will be your receipt (and “Donation from” has your email address)

Your credit card will have a row saying PAYPAL *MARIADBFOUN:

Another sort-of receipt

For lovers of QR codes, here is a link that does the same as clicking the link above:

QR code

What is the future of CONNECT?

Within MariaDB Foundation, Anel Husakovic has spent time getting up to speed in maintaining CONNECT. Also Michael “Monty” Widenius himself is devoting part of his time to CONNECT. Given that Olivier Bertrand is already 84 years of age, he may decide to retire at some point. Judging from his activity, that event is not imminent.

Side note: Olivier Bertrand is my role model for my career development for the next 30 years.

Please share your CONNECT User Story!

Beyond the financial award for Olivier, we are also looking at collecting some user stories about how CONNECT is being used. Approach us at foundation@mariadb.org and we’ll get in touch with you for an interview!

Appendix: Where can I read more about CONNECT?

Here are a selected few articles from the Knowledge Base:

  2. Introduction to the CONNECT Engine
  3. Installing the CONNECT Storage Engine
  4. CONNECT MONGO Table Type: Accessing Collections from MongoDB
  5. Exporting data from MariaDB with CONNECT

Here are a couple of (links to) YouTube videos from MariaDB Server Fests:

  1. Playing with the CONNECT storage engine
    Federico Razzoli MariaDB Server Fest, 14-20 September 2020
  2. sql_mode=ludicrous
    Richard Bensley MariaDB Server Fest, 14-20 September 2020

Here are a couple of blog entries:

  1. Using CONNECT SE to access remote JSON data with demo examples in Docker
    Anel Husakovic 2021-12-08
  2. Create a link to a remote server and access data using CONNECT SE
    Anel Husakovic 2022-01-19