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SQL FAQs

This document summarizes the FAQs related to SQL operations in TiDB.

What are the MySQL variables that TiDB is compatible with?

See System Variables.

The order of results is different from MySQL when ORDER BY is omitted

It is not a bug. The default order of records depends on various situations without any guarantee of consistency.

The order of results in MySQL might appear stable because queries are executed in a single thread. However, it is common that query plans can change when upgrading to new versions. It is recommended to use ORDER BY whenever an order of results is desired.

The reference can be found in ISO/IEC 9075:1992, Database Language SQL- July 30, 1992, which states as follows:

If an <order by clause> is not specified, then the table specified by the <cursor specification> is T and the ordering of rows in T is implementation-dependent.

In the following two queries, both results are considered legal:

> select * from t;
+------+------+
| a    | b    |
+------+------+
|    1 |    1 |
|    2 |    2 |
+------+------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)
> select * from t; -- the order of results is not guaranteed
+------+------+
| a    | b    |
+------+------+
|    2 |    2 |
|    1 |    1 |
+------+------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

A statement is also considered non-deterministic if the list of columns used in the ORDER BY is non-unique. In the following example, the column a has duplicate values. Thus, only ORDER BY a, b would be guaranteed deterministic:

> select * from t order by a;
+------+------+
| a    | b    |
+------+------+
|    1 |    1 |
|    2 |    1 |
|    2 |    2 |
+------+------+
3 rows in set (0.00 sec)
> select * from t order by a; -- the order of column a is guaranteed, but b is not
+------+------+
| a    | b    |
+------+------+
|    1 |    1 |
|    2 |    2 |
|    2 |    1 |
+------+------+
3 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Does TiDB support SELECT FOR UPDATE?

Yes. When using pessimistic locking (the default since TiDB v3.0) the SELECT FOR UPDATE execution behaves similar to MySQL.

When using optimistic locking, SELECT FOR UPDATE does not lock data when the transaction is started, but checks conflicts when the transaction is committed. If the check reveals conflicts, the committing transaction rolls back.

Can the codec of TiDB guarantee that the UTF-8 string is memcomparable? Is there any coding suggestion if our key needs to support UTF-8?

TiDB uses the UTF-8 character set by default and currently only supports UTF-8. The string of TiDB uses the memcomparable format.

What is the maximum number of statements in a transaction?

The maximum number of statements in a transaction is 5000 by default.

Why does the auto-increment ID of the later inserted data is smaller than that of the earlier inserted data in TiDB?

The auto-increment ID feature in TiDB is only guaranteed to be automatically incremental and unique but is not guaranteed to be allocated sequentially. Currently, TiDB is allocating IDs in batches. If data is inserted into multiple TiDB servers simultaneously, the allocated IDs are not sequential. When multiple threads concurrently insert data to multiple tidb-server instances, the auto-increment ID of the later inserted data may be smaller. TiDB allows specifying AUTO_INCREMENT for the integer field, but allows only one AUTO_INCREMENT field in a single table. For details, see Auto-increment ID.

How do I modify the sql_mode in TiDB?

TiDB supports modifying the sql_mode as a system variable, as in MySQL. Currently, TiDB does not permit modifying the sql mode in a configuration file, but system variable changes made with SET GLOBAL propagate to all TiDB servers in the cluster and persist across restarts.

Error: java.sql.BatchUpdateExecption:statement count 5001 exceeds the transaction limitation while using Sqoop to write data into TiDB in batches

In Sqoop, --batch means committing 100 statements in each batch, but by default each statement contains 100 SQL statements. So, 100 * 100 = 10000 SQL statements, which exceeds 5000, the maximum number of statements allowed in a single TiDB transaction.

Two solutions:

  • Add the -Dsqoop.export.records.per.statement=10 option as follows:

    sqoop export \
        -Dsqoop.export.records.per.statement=10 \
        --connect jdbc:mysql://mysql.example.com/sqoop \
        --username sqoop ${user} \
        --password ${passwd} \
        --table ${tab_name} \
        --export-dir ${dir} \
        --batch
  • You can also increase the limited number of statements in a single TiDB transaction, but this will consume more memory.

Does TiDB have a function like the Flashback Query in Oracle? Does it support DDL?

Yes, it does. And it supports DDL as well. For details, see how TiDB reads data from history versions.

Does TiDB release space immediately after deleting data?

None of the DELETE, TRUNCATE and DROP operations release data immediately. For the TRUNCATE and DROP operations, after the TiDB GC (Garbage Collection) time (10 minutes by default), the data is deleted and the space is released. For the DELETE operation, the data is deleted but the space is not released according to TiDB GC. When subsequent data is written into RocksDB and executes COMPACT, the space is reused.

Does TiDB support the REPLACE INTO syntax?

Yes. The exception being that LOAD DATA does not currently support the REPLACE INTO syntax.

Why does the query speed get slow after data is deleted?

Deleting a large amount of data leaves a lot of useless keys, affecting the query efficiency. Currently the Region Merge feature is in development, which is expected to solve this problem. For details, see the deleting data section in TiDB Best Practices.

What should I do if it is slow to reclaim storage space after deleting data?

You can configure concurrent GC to increase the speed of reclaiming storage space. The default concurrency is 1, and you can modify it to at most 50% of the number of TiKV instances using the following command:

update mysql.tidb set VARIABLE_VALUE="3" where VARIABLE_NAME="tikv_gc_concurrency";

Does SHOW PROCESSLIST display the system process ID?

The display content of TiDB SHOW PROCESSLIST is almost the same as that of MySQL SHOW PROCESSLIST. TiDB show processlist does not display the system process ID. The ID that it displays is the current session ID. The differences between TiDB show processlist and MySQL show processlist are as follows:

  • As TiDB is a distributed database, the tidb-server instance is a stateless engine for parsing and executing the SQL statements (for details, see TiDB architecture). show processlist displays the session list executed in the tidb-server instance that the user logs in to from the MySQL client, not the list of all the sessions running in the cluster. But MySQL is a standalone database and its show processlist displays all the SQL statements executed in MySQL.
  • The State column in TiDB is not continually updated during query execution. As TiDB supports parallel query, each statement may be in multiple states at once, and thus it is difficult to simplify to a single value.

How to control or change the execution priority of SQL commits?

TiDB supports changing the priority on a per-session, global or individual statement basis. Priority has the following meaning:

  • HIGH_PRIORITY: this statement has a high priority, that is, TiDB gives priority to this statement and executes it first.

  • LOW_PRIORITY: this statement has a low priority, that is, TiDB reduces the priority of this statement during the execution period.

You can combine the above two parameters with the DML of TiDB to use them. For example:

  1. Adjust the priority by writing SQL statements in the database:

    select HIGH_PRIORITY | LOW_PRIORITY count(*) from table_name;
    insert HIGH_PRIORITY | LOW_PRIORITY into table_name insert_values;
    delete HIGH_PRIORITY | LOW_PRIORITY from table_name;
    update HIGH_PRIORITY | LOW_PRIORITY table_reference set assignment_list where where_condition;
    replace HIGH_PRIORITY | LOW_PRIORITY into table_name;
  2. The full table scan statement automatically adjusts itself to a low priority. analyze has a low priority by default.

What's the trigger strategy for auto analyze in TiDB?

Trigger strategy: auto analyze is automatically triggered when the number of pieces of data in a new table reaches 1000 and this table has no write operation within one minute.

When the modified number or the current total row number is larger than tidb_auto_analyze_ratio, the analyze statement is automatically triggered. The default value of tidb_auto_analyze_ratio is 0.5, indicating that this feature is enabled by default. To ensure safety, its minimum value is 0.3 when the feature is enabled, and it must be smaller than pseudo-estimate-ratio whose default value is 0.8, otherwise pseudo statistics will be used for a period of time. It is recommended to set tidb_auto_analyze_ratio to 0.5.

Can I use hints to override the optimizer behavior?

TiDB supports multiple ways to override the default query optimizer behavior, including hints and SQL Plan Management. The basic usage is similar to MySQL, with several TiDB specific extensions:

SELECT column_name FROM table_name USE INDEX(index_name)WHERE where_condition;

Why the Information schema is changed error is reported?

TiDB handles the SQL statement using the schema of the time and supports online asynchronous DDL change. A DML statement and a DDL statement might be executed at the same time and you must ensure that each statement is executed using the same schema. Therefore, when the DML operation meets the ongoing DDL operation, the Information schema is changed error might be reported. Some improvements have been made to prevent too many error reportings during the DML operation.

Now, there are still a few reasons for this error reporting (the latter two are unrelated to tables):

  • Some tables involved in the DML operation are the same tables involved in the ongoing DDL operation.
  • The DML operation goes on for a long time. During this period, many DDL statements have been executed, which causes more than 1024 schema version changes. You can modify this default value by modifying the tidb_max_delta_schema_count variable.
  • The TiDB server that accepts the DML request is not able to load schema information for a long time (possibly caused by the connection failure between TiDB and PD or TiKV). During this period, many DDL statements have been executed, which causes more than 100 schema version changes.

Note:

  • Currently, TiDB does not cache all the schema version changes.
  • For each DDL operation, the number of schema version changes is the same with the number of corresponding schema state version changes.
  • Different DDL operations cause different number of schema version changes. For example, the CREATE TABLE statement causes one schema version change while the ADD COLUMN statement causes four.

What are the causes of the "Information schema is out of date" error?

When executing a DML statement, if TiDB fails to load the latest schema within a DDL lease (45s by default), the Information schema is out of date error might occur. Possible causes are:

  • The TiDB instance that executed this DML was killed, and the transaction execution corresponding to this DML statement took longer than a DDL lease. When the transaction was committed, the error occurred.
  • TiDB failed to connect to PD or TiKV while executing this DML statement. As a result, TiDB failed to load schema within a DDL lease or disconnected from PD due to the keepalive setting.

Error is reported when executing DDL statements under high concurrency?

When you execute DDL statements (such as creating tables in batches) under high concurrency, a very few of these statements might fail because of key conflicts during the concurrent execution.

It is recommended to keep the number of concurrent DDL statements under 20. Otherwise, you need to retry the failed statements from the client.

SQL optimization

TiDB execution plan description

See Understand the Query Execution Plan.

Statistics collection

See Introduction to Statistics.

How to optimize select count(1)?

The count(1) statement counts the total number of rows in a table. Improving the degree of concurrency can significantly improve the speed. To modify the concurrency, refer to the document. But it also depends on the CPU and I/O resources. TiDB accesses TiKV in every query. When the amount of data is small, all MySQL is in memory, and TiDB needs to conduct a network access.

Recommendations:

  1. Improve the hardware configuration. See Software and Hardware Requirements.
  2. Improve the concurrency. The default value is 10. You can improve it to 50 and have a try. But usually the improvement is 2-4 times of the default value.
  3. Test the count in the case of large amount of data.
  4. Optimize the TiKV configuration. See Tune TiKV Thread Performance and Tune TiKV Memory Performance.
  5. Enable the Coprocessor Cache.

How to view the progress of the current DDL job?

You can use admin show ddl to view the progress of the current DDL job. The operation is as follows:

admin show ddl;
*************************** 1. row ***************************
  SCHEMA_VER: 140
       OWNER: 1a1c4174-0fcd-4ba0-add9-12d08c4077dc
RUNNING_JOBS: ID:121, Type:add index, State:running, SchemaState:write reorganization, SchemaID:1, TableID:118, RowCount:77312, ArgLen:0, start time: 2018-12-05 16:26:10.652 +0800 CST, Err:<nil>, ErrCount:0, SnapshotVersion:404749908941733890
     SELF_ID: 1a1c4174-0fcd-4ba0-add9-12d08c4077dc

From the above results, you can get that the add index operation is being processed currently. You can also get from the RowCount field of the RUNNING_JOBS column that now the add index operation has added 77312 rows of indexes.

How to view the DDL job?

  • admin show ddl: to view the running DDL job
  • admin show ddl jobs: to view all the results in the current DDL job queue (including tasks that are running and waiting to run) and the last ten results in the completed DDL job queue
  • admin show ddl job queries 'job_id' [, 'job_id'] ...: to view the original SQL statement of the DDL task corresponding to the job_id; the job_id only searches the running DDL job and the last ten results in the DDL history job queue.

Does TiDB support CBO (Cost-Based Optimization)? If yes, to what extent?

Yes. TiDB uses the cost-based optimizer. The cost model and statistics are constantly optimized. TiDB also supports join algorithms like hash join and sort-merge join.

How to determine whether I need to execute analyze on a table?

View the Healthy field using show stats_healthy and generally you need to execute analyze on a table when the field value is smaller than 60.

What is the ID rule when a query plan is presented as a tree? What is the execution order for this tree?

No rule exists for these IDs but the IDs are unique. When IDs are generated, a counter works and adds one when one plan is generated. The execution order has nothing to do with the ID. The whole query plan is a tree and the execution process starts from the root node and the data is returned to the upper level continuously. For details about the query plan, see Understanding the TiDB Query Execution Plan.

In the TiDB query plan, cop tasks are in the same root. Are they executed concurrently?

Currently the computing tasks of TiDB belong to two different types of tasks: cop task and root task.

cop task is the computing task which is pushed down to the KV end for distributed execution; root task is the computing task for single point execution on the TiDB end.

Generally the input data of root task comes from cop task; when root task processes data, cop task of TiKV can processes data at the same time and waits for the pull of root task of TiDB. Therefore, cop tasks can be considered as executed concurrently; but their data has an upstream and downstream relationship. During the execution process, they are executed concurrently during some time. For example, the first cop task is processing the data in [100, 200] and the second cop task is processing the data in [1, 100]. For details, see Understanding the TiDB Query Plan.

Database optimization

Edit TiDB options

See The TiDB Command Options.

How to scatter the hotspots?

In TiDB, data is divided into Regions for management. Generally, the TiDB hotspot means the Read/Write hotspot in a Region. In TiDB, for the table whose primary key (PK) is not an integer or which has no PK, you can properly break Regions by configuring SHARD_ROW_ID_BITS to scatter the Region hotspots. For details, see the introduction of SHARD_ROW_ID_BITS in SHARD_ROW_ID_BITS.

Tune TiKV performance

See Tune TiKV Thread Performance and Tune TiKV Memory Performance.

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