I started this as a response to Keith Murphy’s post at http://www.paragon-cs.com/wordpress/?p=54, but it got long, so it deserves its own post. The basic context is figuring out how not to cause duplicate information if a large INSERT statement fails before finishing.
Firstly, the surefire way to make sure there are no duplicates if you have a unique (or primary) key is to use INSERT IGNORE INTO.
Secondly, I just experimented with adding an index to an InnoDB table that had 1 million rows, and here’s what I got (please note, this is one experience only, the plural of “anecdote” is *not* “data”; also I did this in this particular order, so there may have been caching taking place):
– ALTER the table to add the new index. This was the slowest method, taking over 13 minutes.
– CREATE a new table with the same schema as the old except for adding the new index
– INSERT INTO newtable SELECT * FROM oldtable;
– ALTER TABLE oldtable RENAME somethingdifferent;
– ALTER TABLE newtable RENAME oldtable;
The ALTER TABLEs happen instantly. This was faster by a few seconds, which is statistically negligible given the 13+ minutes total time.
– mysqldump the table schema only (–no-data) into a file (tableschema.sql).
– mysqldump the table data only (-t) into another file (tabledata.sql).
– optionally pipe into awk to replace “^INSERT INTO” with “INSERT IGNORE INTO”
– edit the table schema file, adding the new index into the table definition
– optionally change the name of the table to something like newtable, making sure to change the DROP TABLE *and* CREATE TABLE statements.
– mysql < tableschema.sql (this will drop the old table unless you changed the name) - mysql < tabledata.sql () - If you changed the table name in the DROP and CREATE statements, run - ALTER TABLE oldtable RENAME somethingdifferent; and ALTER TABLE newtable RENAME oldtable; - Delete the "somethingdifferent" table This way took just over 10 minutes, 3 minutes faster than the other 2 ways, for a time savings of 25%. CAVEAT: MySQL helpfully moves references on a table to the new table name when you ALTER TABLE...RENAME. You will have to adjust your foreign keys, stored procedures, functions and triggers if you use anything other than Way #1. CAVEAT #2: Make sure that the character set of the MySQL server is supported by the MySQL client and the operating system where you're dumping the file to, otherwise special characters can end up falling victim to mojibake.