Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Don't lose points on your next MySQL exam!

Judging by the test scores, the INFORMATION_SCHEMA is unfamiliar territory to many of you. Many other vendors besides MySQL support this standard and it allows you access to data that is unavailable or hard to find otherwise.

Back when I first downloaded the MySQL tarball from, I did not know much about DBMS software and just needed a running database. Over the years I upgraded that software and did not dig deeper into the software because I did not need to. I was too busy with other job related duties to worry about my always smooth operating MySQL instances.

But one day the database seemed slow and the regular show commands were not giving me the answers I needed. So how do you dig further? Yup, the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.

The INFORMATION_SCHEMA is the meta-data about your tables. What storage engine, column names, collation, and stored procedures are out there lurking in your database. This is the 'big brother' view about your databases. And since the data is in tables, you can your SQL skills to retrieve the information.

So do some exploration of the INFORMATION_SCHEMA to learn more about your data. And that knowledge can help you the next time you take a MySQL Certification Exam.


Once again MySQL will be offering our certification exams at the Users Conference in April. See for details and be sure to say 'hi'. Last year over 400 exams were taken and space will be limited this year.
MySQL Conference & Expo 2008

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