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MySQL 5.1 Plugin Development by Andrew Hutchings, Sergei Golubchik

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SQL extension by Storage Engine plugins

This is another new feature that is at the moment only available in MariaDB 5.2. In various storage engines, tables, fields, and indexes often have properties that a user may want to tune, but has no way of doing it. There is only a fixed set of attributes accessible from SQL such as MAX_ROWS, AVG_ROW_LENGTH, INSERT_METHOD, CONNECTION, KEY_BLOCK_SIZE, ROW_FORMAT, PACK_KEYS, and so on. Lucky engine authors, who had access to the MySQL source code, could modify the parser to add support for new attributes—such as InnoDB or MyISAM-specific values of ROW_FORMAT, MERGE-specific parameter INSERT_METHOD, or Federated only attribute CONNECTION. Other engines had to use the COMMENT field, as in the following:

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