Thursday, June 28, 2007

PBXT: Top 5 wishes of a Storage Engine

In response to Ronald's challenge in Top 5 wishes for MySQL, here is my top 5 wish list. However, it make sense for me to put a slightly different spin on the top 5 series, and write from a storage engine developers perspective.

1. A generic engine test suite

A set of mysql-test-run test scripts and results that are intended to be run by all engines. The tests will verify basic functionality and compatibility, and form the basis for an engine certification process.

2. Internal APIs

PBXT already has to call into MySQL to open .frm files, and transform path and file names. The BLOB Streaming engine will need to access user privilege information. Other engines use the cross-platform functionality provided by mysys. What we need is a number of official, well-defined APIs to various MySQL internal functionality.

3. Customizable table and column attributes

Specialized engines require specialized information. Right now, this information is being packed into table and column comments (hack, hack, ...).

4. Push-down restrict and join conditions

This is a big one for engines in general. Many engines are being created that can do certain searches better than the MySQL query processor. However, for the optimizer to know whether to push down a condition or not will probably require a better performance metric.

5. Custom data types

SQL-92 has the concept of a domain, which is basically a named data type. This could be used as the basis for custom data types provided by a storage engine, made available in the form of a new domain.

And without numbering them, let me slip in a few more wishes. How about MySQL community project development hosted on MySQLForge, complete with integration into the MySQL bug tracking system?! And I have heard that this may also be possible: PBXT and other GPL community engines on the MySQL Community distribution :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

First release of the BLOB Streaming engine for MySQL

I have just released the first version of the BLOB Streaming engine for MySQL (MyBS). You can download the source code of the engine from Pluggable binaries for MySQL 5.1.19 (32-bit Linux and Mac OS X) are also available.

To install the plug-in copy to the /usr/local/mysql/lib/mysql directory, connect to your server using mysql, and enter:

mysql> install plugin MyBS soname "";

This version allows you to download BLOBs that are already stored in the database using HTTP. The URL is specified as follows:


Where condition has the form: column1=value1&column2=value2&...

I gave an example of this in my previous blog: "GET"ing a BLOB from the database with the BLOB Streaming Engine

8080 is the default port, which can be set using the mybs_port system variable on the mysqld command line. For example: mysqld --mybs_port=8880

In order for BLOB streaming to work you also need PBXT version 0.9.87 which is streaming enabled. Streaming enabled simply means the engine supports the MyBS server-side streaming API.

This version of PBXT is also available from, or from

Note that this version is currently only for use behind the firewall because the HTTP access is unrestricted.

The next step will be to enable the uploading of BLOBs using the HTTP PUT method, and the implementation of basic security.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"GET"ing a BLOB from the database with the BLOB Streaming Engine

Current plans call for the use of the HTTP protocol to upload and retrieve BLOBs to and from the database. The BLOB Streaming Engine makes this possible by integrating a lightweight HTTP server directly into the MySQL server.

I am currently working on an alpha implementation of this, and would like to give a short demonstration of what is possible using this system.

We start by creating a table using any streaming enabled storage engine (a streaming enable storage engine, is an engine that supports the server-side streaming API):
use test;
CREATE TABLE notes_tab (
n_text BLOB
) ENGINE=pbxt;
INSERT notes_tab VALUES (1, "This is a BLOB streaming test!");

Now assuming the MySQL server is on the localhost, and the BLOB streaming engine has been set to port 8080, you can open your browser, and enter this URL:


With the following result:

So without even doing a SELECT, you can GET a BLOB directly out of the database!

Note that there is no need for the BLOB in the database to be explicitly "streamable" for this to work.