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What have we learnt in two decades of MySQL?

 Article on Information Age:

From obscurity to the mainstream, the journey of MySQL shows the power of the open source community to drive innovation. Read the full article here:

Strip your TEXT Field

TEXT fields are a nightmare. For you and for your server. It is slow to retrieve, and if you are doing searches on it, be prepared, things are going to get bumpy.

If you use MySQL with a MyISAM engine, this may not be an issue for you, you can create a FULLTEXT index, your only problem is if you want to add a new column, an alter table can take forever, since MySQL creates a new table and copies the old data to the new table. For those who uses MySQL with an InnoDB engine, prepare because, you’ll have more issues. Indexes can’t be FULLTEXT and if you do need an index you must inform the length of it. It defeats the purpose of you doing the search in that field.

The observation above is only true for MySQL 5.5 or below, since version 5.6 MySQL does support FULLTEXT indexes on InnoDB – thanks Davey …

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Understanding Tokutek Fractal Tree Indexes

Download PDF Presentation

Thanks to Tim Callaghan for speaking Tuesday night at the Effective MySQL New York meetup on Fractal Tree Indexes : Theory and Practice (MySQL and MongoDB). There was a good turnout and a full room to learn how the TokuDB storage engine from Tokutek is changing how to handle big data in MySQL.

Also interesting is how the same technology has been applied for use in MongoDB including giving MongoDB transactions; a big change for NoSQL.

Related News: …

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Setting up Google Cloud SQL

You can activate Google Cloud SQL from the Google APIs Console at NOTE: At the time of this publication this was in limited beta.

From the Google APIs console, you can create a new instance. You can then use the Web interface to run SQL statements, import and export data. There is also a Google SQL command line client that can be configured with:

# Java 6 is a dependency of the Google SQL client
$ [ -z `which java 2>/dev/null` ] && sudo apt-get install -y openjdk-6-jre-headless
$ [ -z `which unzip 2>/dev/null` ] && sudo apt-get install -y unzip
$ cd $HOME
$ mkdir cloud-sql
$ cd cloud-sql/
$ wget
$ unzip ../
$ ./ 
Please authorize Google SQL Service for your Google Account at:

Enter Authorization Code: …
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Setting up AWS RDS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a managed MySQL solution via Relational Database Service (RDS). The following instructions will enable you to configure and run RDS. Refer to Using Amazon Web Services for initial information about AWS requirements.

The following instructions are for Ubuntu.


$ [ -z `which java 2>/dev/null` ] && sudo apt-get install -y openjdk-6-jre-headless
$ [ -z `which unzip 2>/dev/null` ] && sudo apt-get install -y unzip


# See
$ cd $HOME
$ mkdir -p aws
$ cd aws
$ wget
$ unzip
$ ln -s RDSCli-*/ rds


You need to create the $HOME/aws/credentials file with your specific …

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Using Amazon Web Services

After Setting up Amazon Web Services you can follow these steps to use the EC2 CLI tools to manage EC2 instances.

As per the setup instructions you require the following environment variables to use the tools. It is recommend you add these to $HOME/.bashrc or appropriate shell startup script.

$ export EC2_HOME=$HOME/aws/ec2
$ export PATH=$EC2_HOME/bin:$PATH
# For Ubuntu
$ export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/
# For Mac OSX Use
# export JAVA_HOME=/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Home/

Necessary Access Controls

In addition you require the various AWS access keys before running any EC2 commands.

$ cd $HOME/aws
$ mv ~/Downloads/cert-EPE36OOAUD6QZZVFJCDJTEWFAG2EPWGA.pem  cert.pem
$ mv ~/Downloads/pk-EPE36OOAUD6QZZVFJCDJTEWFAG2EPWGA.pem  pk.pem
$ export EC2_CERT=$HOME/aws/cert.pem
$ export …
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Setting up Amazon Web Services

This tutorial will help you register and get ready to use Amazon Web Service (AWS). AWS provides a free tier so it is possible to use these services at ZERO cost.

These instructions are used by the Effective MySQL: Backup and Recovery book examples.

Step 1: Registration

  1. Goto AWS site
  2. Register email address
  3. Enter Login Credentials
  4. Enter Contact Information
  5. Enter Credit Card details (while this is required, provided you follow free guidelines you will not be charged)
  6. Identity verification by Telephone
  7. Activation of account


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What have I been up to lately?

Despite my best intentions, I haven't posted on this blog for a while, which is a shame! I've become busy writing on so many other places since I moved into my new role in the Oracle Linux product management team in April. I've learned a lot and I am feeling quite at home here! The team is excellent and very nice to work with — I am slowly getting the "Big Picture".

But even though I've been neglecting this blog, there are a lot of things that are publicly visible and document some of my activites:

I've created two podcasts for the Oracle Linux podcasts:

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MySQL tools article

Although I no longer maintain, I still actively develop MySQL tools. An article I wrote, 10 essential MySQL tools for admin, was published today. I hope no one’s feelings are hurt if their tool isn’t in the list, but it was rather difficult to compile the list given that so many tools are either not actively developed, not tested, or not well documented. Given lag time between writing and publishing, I was not able to write about Yoshinori’s MHA or newer tools. And given length constraints, I was not able to write about more tools. In any case, the world of MySQL tools is alive and well.

Some friendly advice for bootstrapping your OSS project

So you're a small startup company, ready to go live with your product, which you intend to distribute under an Open Source License. Congratulations, you made a wise decision! Your developers have been hacking away frantically, getting the code in good shape for the initial launch. Now it's time to look into what else needs to be built and setup, so you're ready to welcome the first members of your new community and to ensure they are coming back!

Keep the following saying in mind, which especially holds true in the Open Source world: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!". While the most important thing is of course to have a compelling and useful product, this blog post is an attempt to highlight some other aspects about community building and providing the adequate infrastructure. This insight is based on my own experiences and my …

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