This article described some basic rules in developing involed with MySQL Server. This is intend to help the developers and sysadms.

Table Of Contents

Basic Rules

  • Use InnoDB engine
  • Use UTF8 encoding
  • Comments are needed for all tables
  • Do not exceed 5000w records per table
  • Do not store large data such as pic, file, etc
  • Do not benchmark an online server
  • Do not connect online server from prod/test env

Naming Rules

Database/Table Naming Rules

  • Unifined database/table name (no more than 32 chars)
  • Meaningful names
  • Do not use reserved MySQL keywords
  • Temporary database/table name begin with tmp_, end with date
  • Backup database/table begin with bkp_, end with date

Index Naming Rules

  • non-unique index with format: idx_field1_field2
  • unique index with format: uniq_field1_field2
  • lowercase

Database/Table/Field Design Rules

Database/Table Rules

  • DO NOT use partition table
    • RANGE
    • LIST
    • HASH
    • KEY
  • Separate data by frequency (hot/cold data)
  • Use appropriate table slice strategy

Field Rules

Type Bytes Min/Max/Unsigned Max
tinyint 1 -128/127/255
smallint 2 -32768/32767/65535
mediumint 3 -8388608/-8388607/16777215
int 4 -2147483648/2147483647/4294967295
bigint 8 -9223372036854775808/9223372036854775807/18446744073709551615
  • The simpler, the better
    • Use TINYINT instead of ENUM
    • Use number instead of string
    • Use INT UNSIGNED for IPV4 addr
    • Use UNSIGNED to store non-negtive num
    • Use VARBINARY for case-sensitive varaible length string
    • Use DECIMAL instead of FLOAT/DOUBLE for precision float
  • Do not use TEXT/BLOB if possible, split table if TEXT/BLOB is needed
  • Use TIMESTAMP to store time
  • DO NOT store plain password
  • Use NOT NULL if possible, because NULL field is
    • hard to optimize
    • need more space for index
    • invalidate compsite index
  • Store file path other than the file itsself

Index Rules

  • Limit number of indexes
    • no more than 5 indexes per table
    • no more than 5 fields per index
    • prefix length within 8 chars
  • consider prefix index first
  • consider add persedo column and index it
  • Primary key
    • DO NOT use column which are updated frequently
    • DO NOT use string if possible
    • DO NOT use UUID/MD5/HASH as primary key (too sparse)
    • Use NOT NULL UNIQUE as primary key by default
    • It is recommend to use auto_increment
  • Key SQL must be indexed
    • Where conditions of UPDATE/DELETE
  • Join
    • Put Field which has max cardinality first
    • Consider cover index for key SQL
    • Avoid redudency and repeated index
    • Index considerations
      • Data density
      • Query/Update percentage
  • DO NOT
    • create index on column with low cardinality, like gender
    • use function or math eval on index column
  • DO NOT use reference key if possible
    • Reference key is used to protect integrety, which can be achieved at the business end
  • NOT NULL by default for index columns
  • Use unique index if possible
  • Devloper use explain regularlly, and learn to use hint

SQL Rules

  • As simple as possible
  • Split complex SQL to small ones
    • to full utlize QUERY CACHE and multi-core
  • Transaction need to stay simple, do not use too much time
  • Avoid trigger/func/procedure
  • Lower coupling, leave room for scale out/sharding
  • Do not do math in MySQL, which MySQL is not good at
  • DO NOT use select *, specify fields needed
  • OR -> IN
  • IN -> EXIST
  • no more than 1000 elems in IN()
    • select id from t limit 10000, 10; => select id from t where id > 10000 limit 10;
  • use union all instead of union
  • Avoid join large tables
  • Use group by, auto order
  • Use prepared statements
    • only params needed
    • once compiled, multiple use
    • lower possibility of SQL injection
  • DO NOT use order by rand()
  • DO NOT update multiple tables within one statements
  • DO NOT run large query
  • DO NOT use NOT IN/LIKE query
  • Pagination query
  • DO NOT use implicity conversion, like select id from t where id = ‘1’;
  • uppercase keywords in SQL, space separated
  • Use perf tools
    • explain
    • show profile
    • mysqlslap
  • reduce interaction times with MySQL
  • DO NOT use preceding ‘%’ in LIKE condition

Procedure Rules

  • Database/Table creation/modification need usage info (related SQLs)
  • All indexes are determined before online
  • Data import/export need DBA watching
  • No super privileges for app account
  • Do not do batch update/query under heavy load time
  • Promotion Activites need DBA assessment
  • Do not run admin/statistics query from backend



With ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE, the affected-rows value per row is 1 if the row is inserted as a new row, 2 if an existing row is updated, and 0 if an existing row is set to its current values. If you specify the CLIENT_FOUND_ROWS flag to mysql_real_connect() when connecting to mysqld, the affected-rows value is 1 (not 0) if an existing row is set to its current values.