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Stable release / January, 2008
Operating system Cross-platform
License SAP freeware license agreement for MaxDB (closed source)

MaxDB is an ANSI SQL-92 (entry level) compliant relational database management system (RDBMS) from SAP AG, which was delivered also by MySQL AB from 2003 to 2007. MaxDB is targeted for large SAP environments e.g. mySAP Business Suite and other applications that require enterprise-level database functionality. It is able to run terabyte-range data in continuous operation.[citation needed]



The database development started in 1977 as a research project at the Technical University of Berlin. In the early 1980s it became a database product that subsequently was owned by Nixdorf Computer, Siemens-Nixdorf, Software AG and today by SAP AG. Along this line it has been named VDN, Reflex, Supra 2, DDB/4, Entire SQL-DB-Server and Adabas D. In 1997 SAP took over the software from Software AG and renamed it to SAP DB. Since October 2000 SAP DB sources additionally were released as open source under the GNU General Public License. In 2003 SAP AG and MySQL AB joined a partnership and re-branded the database system to MaxDB.

In October 2007 this reselling was terminated and sales and support of the database reverted back to SAP [1]. SAP AG is now managing MaxDB development, distribution, and support. Source code of MaxDB is no longer available under the GNU General Public License. SAP also stated that "Further commercial support concepts to cover mission critical use requirements outside of SAP scenarios are currently subject to discussion."[2]

Version 7.5 of MaxDB is a direct advancement of the SAP DB 7.4 code base. Therefore, the MaxDB software version 7.5 can be used as a direct upgrade of previous SAP DB versions starting 7.2.04 and higher.

MaxDB is subjected to SAP AG's complete quality assurance process before it is shipped with SAP solutions or provided as a download on the 'SAP Network'.


MaxDB is delivered with a set of administration and development tools. Most tools are GUI based and have CLI (Command Line Interface) based counterparts. It offers bindings for JDBC; ODBC; SQLDBC (native C/C++ interface); Precompiler; PHP; Perl; Python; WebDAV; OLE DB, ADO, DAO, RDO and .NET via ODBC; Delphi and Tcl via Third Party Programming Interfaces. MaxDB is Cross-platform, offering releases for HP-UX, IBM AIX, Linux, Solaris, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, and Microsoft Windows XP. SAP users should check the details of the platform availability on the SAP product pages for the product that will be used together with MaxDB.

Distinguishing features

MaxDB offers built-in hot backup, does not need any online reorganizations and claims to be SQL 92 Entry-Level compatible. One current development goal is "zero administration" and by this "low TCO". It is also fair to expect good online transaction processing (OLTP) performance combined with relatively low hardware requirements.

High availability mode and small fault record is another historically observed feature of MaxDB, which holds some appraisal from the open source software and db communities.

Future releases

The next release will have the name MaxDB 7.7.00. One possible future feature for 7.7.00 is the use of Multiversion Concurrency Control (MVCC) instead of the current lock based implementation.


MaxDB was licensed under the GNU GPL from versions 7.2 through 7.6. Programming interfaces were licensed under the GPL with exceptions for projects released under other Open Source licenses.

SAP DB 7.3 and 7.4 were licensed as GPL with LGPL drivers. MaxDB 7.5 was offered under dual licensing.i.e. licensed as GPL with GPL drivers or a commercial license.

From version 7.5 through version 7.6 onwards distribution of MaxDB (previously SAP DB) to the open source community was provided by MySQL AB, the same company that develops the open-source software database, MySQL. Development was done by SAP AG, MySQL AB and the open-source software community.

In October 2007, SAP assumed full sales and commercial support for MaxDB. MaxDB 7.6 is now closed source, available free-of-charge (without support, and with usage restrictions) for use with non-SAP applications. Commercial support models for using MaxDB outside of SAP environments are under consideration.


See also

External links

es:MaxDB fr:MaxDB ja:SAP DB zh:MaxDB

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