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Displaying posts with tag: open world (reset)
Adding dynamic fields to Signups on Drupal

In my day job at SkySQL I work with Drupal as our content management system.  One thing we often need to do is provide a way for people to sign up for events and the like.  One such event is the upcoming SkySQL and MariaDB: Solutions Day for the MySQL® Database and unlike other events we needed to take into account the dietary requirements of those wishing to attend.

For events registration we use the Signup module and use a theme template function to provide a set of standard fields.  The code looks something like this:

function ourtheme_signup_user_form($node) {
$form = array();
// If this function is providing any extra fields at all, the following
// line is …
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See you at LCA2012 this year kicks off next week in Ballarat, just down the road from me.  I'll be there and even have a speaking gig, not in the main conference but in the HA and Distributed Storage mini-conf before the main event.

I'll be talking about MySQL®, the companies that now exist to support it, and the third party products that are starting to proliferate in what appears to be a community effort to address perceived shortcomings in the Oracle offerings.  Many of these offerings are in the HA space, and there have been some pretty amazing developments recently.

So if you want to find some history of Oracle's effect on MySQL's …

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MySQL 101 - Replication

So far we've looked at many aspects of MySQL, not in any great depth, but hopefully with enough information to get you started and whet your appetite for more.  Now we start to look into areas that aren't in the basic tutorials.

Replication is the technology that allows data to be stored on multiple servers. Typically this is used in "scale out" applications.  "Scale out" is used in contrast to "Scale up" where to scale a solution you buy a bigger box to run it on, where "scale out" means you buy more boxes.  Each has its benefits and drawbacks, with the usual benefit of scale out being that you get more bang for your buck.

The way replication works in MySQL is pretty simple.  One server is identified as the master, and writes every transaction to a file, the binary log.  Other servers (and there may be many) act as slaves and request information from the master. The slave keeps track of where it got up to …

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From MySQL to SkySQL - Reflections

This month marked SkySQL's first anniversary.  It also marks my 6 months with the company, after being with MySQL AB (and then Sun and finally Oracle) for over 5 years. As good a time as any for a look back and some musings of the future.

In late 2005 I took a position in the web team (a part of Marketing) at MySQL AB.  It was a great company to work for, with a great team of people and a truly great spirit.  The idea that they were making a difference every day was palpable. I then saw it taken over by Sun Microsystems and shortly after by Oracle Corporation.  We went from 500 employees to 30,000 and then to 100,000.  My job satisfaction started to decline.  I felt more like I was battling for every concession rather than revelling in what we were able to achieve.  I needed a change.

When I joined SkySQL it was like going home - I knew pretty …

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MySQL 101 - More Transactions

In our last episode we looked at transactions and how to create them.  In this episode I'll look at some of the implications of transactions, especially in a web application.

Transactions and Replication

We will discuss replication in depth later in the series, however it is sufficient for the moment to say that replication allows you to copy data in near real-time between MySQL servers and keep them synchronised.  What gets transferred are the changes that are made to your tables and data. So what about rolled-back (aborted) transactions?  Since the state after the rollback is essentially the same as the state before the transaction started, there seems little point in replicating those statements.  Indeed they are not replicated. Only completed transactions are.

I briefly mentioned that …

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MySQL 101 - Transactions

We've now come a long way since our first steps at creating our online bookshop database. Now we need to start to think about how to sell the books and store details about the sales.  This is the time we need to start understanding database transactions.

Database transactions are very similar to real world transactions. They define a set of steps required to happen together in order for a transaction to be complete.  A real-world example might be that you buy a trinket from a store.  You find the trinket, then take it to the counter, find out the price, hand over the cash and receive your trinket.  That is a completed transaction.  Should you not have the available cash, the transaction would not be able to be completed and you would need to return the item, effectively rolling back that …

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MySQL 101 - Referential Integrity

In our last episode we learned how to modify data and table definitions.  This will come in handy as we look at building in referential integrity constraints into our database.  To begin we will need the database definition resulting from last episode's changes. You can download it here »

A word on Storage Engines

Before we can begin we need to understand a little about MySQL Storage Engines.  MySQL actually does only part of the job of parsing SQL, creating query plans, executing them and returning data sets.  Where the data is stored and retrieved there is a Storage Engine at work.  The original storage engine was MyISAM, based on the industry stalwart of ISAM …

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MySQL 101 - Changing data and schema, UPDATE, ALTER

In our last episode we covered sorting, searching and grouping. We found out that using the COUNT(*) can be problematic when we have unexpected NULL data. Now we look at how to resolve data issues by updating the data, and perhaps even the table schema. We'll use the same database we did for the last episode. You can download it here ».

Updating Data

Let's recap.  If we pull the list of books, and authors, we find that "The Broken Shore" from Peter Temple has no price.  Not that it has a zero price, but it has a NULL value.

mysql> SELECT CONCAT_WS(' ',`author`.`first_name`,`author`.`last_name`) AS `author`,
`book`.`title`, `book`.`price`
FROM `author` INNER JOIN `book` ON `author`.`id` = `book`.`author`
ORDER BY `book`.`price`
LIMIT 1; …
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MySQL 101 - Sorting and Searching: ORDER BY, WHERE, GROUP BY

In our last episode we were able to select some information from our bookshop database, this time we look at putting this into some semblence of order.  To fully investigate this topic we need a few more entries in our database, so rather than detail them here, I've put together this SQL file you can download and build your database to follow along.

To install the database, unpack the SQL file from its ZIP archive, and use the SOURCE command to pull the data into your database:

SOURCE mysql101_bookshop_20110912.sql;

You can also pass the file to the mysql command line interpreter from the shell:

mysql -uroot -p bookshop < …
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MySQL 101 - Retrieving data: SELECT and JOIN

In our last episode we started building up our online bookshop database, with tables for publishers, authors, formats and books.  At the moment we only have one book in there, so before we go too far, lets add a few more:

( NULL, 'The Big Score', 2, 4, 1, '2007-01-01', 9781741752236, 29.95 ),
( NULL, 'Split', 3, 2, 1, '2003-01-01', 0732268133, 29.95 );

So what is this NULL thing, and why have I used it?  If you remember we set the first field to an auto_increment id.  Because we don't want to supply a value for this, but let the database create the next value, we need to give a value that indicates we want this to happen.  For this instance, NULL is the value to use.  We must supply a value because we didn't restrict our insert by supplying a …

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