Tuning Subqueries in the FROM Clause

It is possible to include subqueries within the FROM clause of a SQL statement. Such subqueries are sometimes called unnamed views , derived tables , or inline views .

For instance, consider the query in Example 21-10, which retrieves a list of employees and department details for employees older than 55 years.

Figure 21-7. Scalability of various anti-join techniques (no index)


Example 21-10. Example SQL suitable for rewrite with an inline view

SELECT departments.department_name,employee_id,surname,firstname
 FROM departments
 JOIN employees
 USING (department_id)
 WHERE employees.date_of_birth

This query is well optimizedan index on date of birth finds the customers, and the primary key index is used to find the department name on the departments table. However, we could write this query using inline views in the FROM clause, as shown in Example 21-11.

Example 21-11. SQL rewritten with an inline view

SELECT departments.department_name,employee_id,surname,firstname
 FROM (SELECT * FROM departments ) departments
 JOIN (SELECT * FROM employees) employees
 USING (department_id)
 WHERE employees.date_of_birthderived2> using no key

1 PRIMARY select(ALL) on  using no key
 Using where
3 DERIVED select(ALL) on employees using no key

2 DERIVED select(ALL) on departments using no key

This execution plan is somewhat different from those we have looked at in previous examples, and it warrants some explanation. The first two steps indicate that a join was performed between two "derived" tablesour subqueries inside the FROM clause. The next two steps show how each of the derived tables was created. Note that the name of the table, for instanceindicates the ID of the step that created it. So we can see from the plan that was created from a full table scan of departments.

Derived tables are effectively temporary tables created by executing the SQL inside the subquery. You can imagine that something like the following SQL is being executed to create the table:

 SELECT * FROM departments

Simply by using subqueries in the FROM clause, we have substantially weakened MySQL's chances of implementing an efficient join. MySQL must first execute the subqueries' statements to create the derived tables and then join those two derived tables. Derived tables have no indexes, so this particular rewrite could not take advantage of the indexes that were so effective in our original query (shown in Example 21-10). In this case, both the index to support the WHERE clause and the index supporting the join were unusable.

We could improve the query by moving the WHERE clause condition on employees into the subquery, as shown in Example 21-12.

Example 21-12. Rewritten SQL using an inline view

SELECT departments.department_name,employee_id,surname,firstname
 FROM (SELECT * FROM departments ) departments
 JOIN (SELECT * FROM employees
 WHERE employees.date_of_birth
 derived3> using no key

1 PRIMARY select(ALL) on <derived2> using no key
 Using where
3 DERIVED select(range) on employees using i_employee_dob
 Using where
4 DERIVED select(ALL) on departments using no key

This plan at least allows us to use an index to find the relevant customers, but still prevents the use of an index to join those rows to the appropriate department.

In general, avoid using derived tables (subqueries in the FROM clause), because the resulting temporary tables have no indexes and cannot be effectively joined or searched. If you must use derived tables, try to move all WHERE clause conditions inside of the subqueries.


21.3.1. Using Views

A view can be thought of as a "stored query". A view definition essentially creates a named definition for a SQL statement that can then be referenced as a table in other SQL statements. For instance, we could create a view on the sales table that returns only sales for the year 2004, as shown in Example 21-13.

Example 21-13. View to return sales table data for 2004

 quantity,sale_value,department_id,sales_rep_id,gst_flag) AS
SELECT sales_id,customer_id,product_id,sale_date,
 FROM sales
 WHERE sale_date BETWEEN '2004-01-01' AND '2004-12-31'

The CREATE VIEW syntax includes an ALGORITHM clause, which defines how the view will be processed at runtime:

 | TEMPTABLE}] VIEW viewname

The view algorithm may be set to one of the following:



MySQL will process the view in very much the same way as a derived tableit will create a temporary table using the SQL associated with the view, and then use that temporary table wherever the view name is referenced in the original query.



MySQL will attempt to merge the view SQL into the original query in an efficient manner.



Allows MySQL to choose the algorithm, which results in MySQL using the MERGE technique when possible.

Because the TEMPTABLE algorithm uses temporary tableswhich will not have associated indexesits performance will often be inferior to native SQL or to SQL that uses a view defined with the MERGE algorithm.

Consider the SQL query shown in Example 21-14; it uses the view definition from Example 21-13 and adds some additional WHERE clause conditions. The view WHERE clause, as well as the additional WHERE clauses in the SQL, is supported by the index i_sales_date_prod_cust, which includes the columns customer_id, product_id, and sale_date.

Example 21-14. SQL statement that references a view

SELECT SUM(quantity),SUM(sale_value)
 FROM v_sales_2004_merge
 WHERE customer_id=1
 AND product_id=1;

This query could have been written in standard SQL, as shown in Example 21-15.

Example 21-15. Equivalent SQL statement without a view

SELECT SUM(quantity),SUM(sale_value)
 FROM sales
 WHERE sale_date BETWEEN '2004-01-01' and '2004-12-31'
 AND customer_id=1
 AND product_id=1

Alternately, we could have written the SQL using a derived table approach, as shown in Example 21-16.

Example 21-16. Equivalent SQL statement using derived tables

SELECT SUM(quantity),SUM(sale_value)
 from (SELECT *
 FROM sales
 WHERE sale_date BETWEEN '2004-01-01' AND '2004-12-31') sales
 WHERE customer_id=1
 AND product_id=1;

We now have four ways to resolve the queryusing a MERGE algorithm view, using a TEMPTABLE view, using a derived table, and using a plain old SQL statement. So which approach will result in the best performance?

Based on our understanding of the TEMPTABLE and MERGE algorithms, we would predict that a MERGE view would behave very similarly to the plain old SQL statement, while the TEMPTABLE algorithm would behave similarly to the derived table approach. Furthermore, we would predict that neither the TEMPTABLE nor the derived table approach would be able to leverage our index on product_id, customer_id, and sale_date, and so both will be substantially slower.

Our predictions were confirmed. The SQLs that used the TEMPTABLE and the derived table approaches generated very similar EXPLAIN output, as shown in Example 21-17. In each case, MySQL performed a full scan of the sales table in order to create a temporary "derived" table containing data for 2004 only, and then performed a full scan of that derived table to retrieve rows for the appropriate product and customer.

Example 21-17. Execution plan for the derived table and TEMPTABLE view approaches

Short Explain
1 PRIMARY select(ALL) on  using no key
 Using where
2 DERIVED select(ALL) on sales using no key
 Using where

An EXPLAIN EXTENDED revealed that the MERGE view approach resulted in a rewrite against the sales table, as shown in Example 21-18.

Example 21-18. How MySQL rewrote the SQL to "merge" the view definition

SELECT sum('prod'.'sales'.'QUANTITY') AS 'SUM(quantity)',
 sum('prod'.'sales'.'SALE_VALUE') AS 'SUM(sale_value)'
 FROM 'prod'.'sales'
 WHERE (('prod'.'sales'.'CUSTOMER_ID' = 1)
 AND ('prod'.'sales'.'PRODUCT_ID' = 1)
 AND ('prod'.'sales'.'SALE_DATE' between 20040101000000 and 20041231000000))

Short Explain
1 PRIMARY select(range) on sales using i_sales_cust_prod_date
 Using where

Figure 21-8 shows the performance of the four approaches. As expected, the MERGE view gave equivalent performance to native SQL and was superior to both the TEMPTABLE and the derived table approaches.

Figure 21-8. Comparison of view algorithm performance

Not all views can be resolved by a MERGE algorithm. In particular, views that include GROUP BY or other aggregate conditions (DISTINCT, SUM, etc.) must be resolved through a temporary table. It is also possible that in some cases the "merged" SQL generated by MySQL might be hard to optimize and that a temporary table approach might lead to better performance.

Views created with the TEMPTABLE algorithm may be unable to take advantage of indexes that are available to views created with the MERGE algorithm. Avoid using views that employ the TEMPTABLE algorithm unless you find that the "merged" SQL cannot be effectively optimized.

Part I: Stored Programming Fundamentals

Introduction to MySQL Stored Programs

MySQL Stored Programming Tutorial

Language Fundamentals

Blocks, Conditional Statements, and Iterative Programming

Using SQL in Stored Programming

Error Handling

Part II: Stored Program Construction

Creating and Maintaining Stored Programs

Transaction Management

MySQL Built-in Functions

Stored Functions


Part III: Using MySQL Stored Programs in Applications

Using MySQL Stored Programs in Applications

Using MySQL Stored Programs with PHP

Using MySQL Stored Programs with Java

Using MySQL Stored Programs with Perl

Using MySQL Stored Programs with Python

Using MySQL Stored Programs with .NET

Part IV: Optimizing Stored Programs

Stored Program Security

Tuning Stored Programs and Their SQL

Basic SQL Tuning

Advanced SQL Tuning

Optimizing Stored Program Code

Best Practices in MySQL Stored Program Development

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MySQL Stored Procedure Programming
MySQL Stored Procedure Programming
ISBN: 0596100892
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 208
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