MySQL: Good Efficient Structured Database

MySQL is a well known name in RDBMS world and many of you must have used it. It implements one of the oldest way to create a database. I have never used it with any other application but web though. To run MySQL I use phpmyadmin, the browser application made for ease. We will be discussing some settings for MySQL other than default.

Required: phpmyadmin ( if you can use it from command line good for you! 🙂 )

  1. InnoDB vs MyISAM: These two are storage engines which are widely used. Facebook use InnoDB storage engine but they use their version of MySQL which is like more that 10,000 times more efficient than the default. They have optimized it for write operations (writing in database). We’ll see the difference between two (not all but major) and you choose which is best for you.
    • MyISAM – Data in MyISAM tables is split between three different files on the disk. One for the table format, another for the data, and lastly a third for the indexes.The maximum number of rows supported amounts to somewhere around ~4.295E+09 and can have up to 64 indexed fields per table. Both of these limits can be greatly increased by compiling a special version of MySQL. Use the option –with-big-tables while creating table.Text/Blob fields are able to be fully-indexed which is of great importance to search functions.Number of indexes can be 64 in a table by default. You can increase it anything up to 128 using –with-max-indexes=N, where N < 128 while compiling MySQL or simply when you run it.Concurrent inserts are supported. Only condition there are no free blocks i.e., a result of deleting rows or an update of a dynamic length row with more data than its current contents.You can put the data file and index file in different directories on different physical devices to get more speed with the DATA DIRECTORY and INDEX DIRECTORY table options. This is sort of prerequisite for huge databases.Table locking is present so concurrent writes are not possible.
    • InnoDB – It is a transaction-safe (ACID compliant) storage engine for MySQL that has commit, rollback, and crash-recovery capabilities to protect user data.Consistent nonlocking reads increase multi-user concurrency and performance.Stores user data in clustered indexes to reduce I/O for common queries based on primary keys.It supports Foreign Key which is of great use if  you don’t want to check the values being inserted in table which derives from different table.Designed for maximum performance when processing large data volumes. Its CPU efficiency is probably not matched by any other disk-based relational database engine.Maintains its own buffer pool for caching data and indexes in main memory.

      Stores its tables and indexes in a tablespace, which may consist of several files (or raw disk partitions).

      Row lock is present so simultaneous writes on a table is possible.

  2. To set auto increment value for primary key but with default starting value other than 1 go to “OPERATIONS” tab for the table change the auto increment value to whatever you like say 1000000
  3. Go to the home page of phpmyadmin and click “PRIVILEGES”. You can assign different privilege to users that are using your database here. When you’ll add the user you can set privileges for him at the same time.
  4. “ENGINES” tab on your home page will tell which engines are installed on your machine.
  5. “VARIABLES” tab is the configuration which is currently set. You can change these variables for example: big table is “off” by default, you can switch it on and can increase the number of rows in a table to twice. Though not useful for InnoDB.

I personally use InnoDB, though it doesn’t matter for the amount of data I have. So, these were the few things which I believe can surely help you in creating a good database structure. Engines plays the most important role that’s why it was discussed in detail. I highly recommend you to read manual for MySQL.

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