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H2 Database by Hypersonic Creator Nearing 1.0

HSQLDB creator Thomas Mueller recently released the v0.9 of H2, a pure Java database successor to HSQLDB. H2 benchmarks significantly faster than  HSQLDB, supports JDBC and ODBC, disk based or in-memory operation, supports XA, can be clustered for HA, supports encryption, and includes a web console app.

v0.9 addresses bug fixes and also adds CSV import/export, the REAL data type is supported, better performance for joins, access rights for views, and invalid views (if a table is dropped).

H2 was first announced in mid-december 2005 and work has progressed steadily since.  Thomas'  priority for H2 is currently compatibility and performance on the low end (single user, Access, Embedded), so features such as better transaction isolation support (it currently only supports serializable) will be implemented later.

Comparison to Other Database Engines

Feature H2 HSQLDB Derby Daffodil MySQL PostgreSQL
Embedded Mode (Java) Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Performance (Embedded) Fast Fast Slow Slow N/A N/A
Performance (Server) Fast Fast Slow Slow Slow Slow
Transaction Isolation Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cost Based Optimizer Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Clustering Yes No No No Yes Yes
Encrypted Database Yes No Yes No No No
Files per Database Few Few Many Few Many Many
Footprint (jar/dll size) ~ 1 MB ~ 600 KB ~ 2 MB ~ 3 MB ~ 4 MB ~ 6 MB
(From H2 Feature page)

H2 has also benchmarked sigificantly faster than other open source databases, including HSQLDB:

According to Thomas,  H2 may be merged back to HSQLDB at some point in the future, but not yet, which is one reason why the license is not GPL / LGPL / Apache style, although it is free and open source.

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