Create a link to a remote server and access data using CONNECT SE

In this blog we are going to see how to create a link to a remote server and use it to access multiple tables at once.
In the previous blog we have seen how to establish a remote connection between Docker containers.
The way we did it was to specify the connection string to reference a single table only.
But what if we need more tables, what if need a whole database?

The solution is to link to a remote database with the CREATE SERVER statement.
A link obtained this way can be passed to the CREATE TABLE statement of a storage engine (SE) to make a connection where using the table discovery feature SE will find out about the table fields and create the table.

Using CONNECT SE to access remote JSON data with demo examples in Docker

CONNECT is a storage engine (SE) plugin used to access external, local or remote data. In this blog we are going to show how to install the CONNECT storage engine in a Docker container and how to share JSON data between containers.

Enabling CONNECT SE plugin in Docker

CONNECT SE needs to be installed within the container in order to use it. To see how to do that please check Installing plugins in the MariaDB Docker Library Container.

Create JSON data on remote server

The most important feature of CONNECT SE to MariaDB is the flexibility to create tables from various data sources, like the same database and other DMBS’s tables or files with different formats.

Installing plugins in the MariaDB Docker Library Container

MariaDB plugins are software components that may be added to the core software without the need to rebuild the MariaDB Server. Plugins can be storage engines, additional security requirements, special log information about the server and others. MariaDB has a large number of built-in plugins which are permanently installed (listed in SHOW PLUGINS query). Plugins can be loaded at start-up, during initialization, or loaded dynamically when the server is running.

In this blog we are going to see how to list available plugins in the MariaDB container as well as the methods of installing plugins in a container.

10.7 preview feature: Natural sort

Natural sort order is the ordering of strings in alphabetical order, while numbers are treated as numbers. This understanding of sorting is closer to human comprehension than to a machine. You can find an example of this feature in the Windows file manager. There the files are sorted in natural order. Try to create four folders “b1”, “a11”, “a2”, “a1”.

There are several programming languages which have natural sort. In PHP it is built-in function natsort, while as an third-party module in Python it is natsort, in Perl it is Sort::Naturally and in Matlab it is sort_nat.

Making MariaDB understand MySQL JSON

Good news for MySQL users wishing to upgrade to MariaDB: MariaDB 10.5.7 onwards understands formerly-incompatible MySQL JSON fields! This blog entry explains how to install and use them.

Introducing MYSQL_JSON plugin

Starting from MariaDB 10.5.7 (commit f6549e), it is possible to upgrade from MySQL 5.7 tables containing JSON by loading the MYSQL_JSON data type plugin.

MariaDB and MySQL JSON formats are not the same. In MySQL, the JSON type is a native type, while in MariaDB JSON is just an alias for LONGTEXT. What this means in practice is that data in JSON format are not compatible with each other.