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MySQL by Robert D. Schneider

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6. Understanding the MySQL Optimizer

What Is an Optimizer?

When you submit a request to the MySQL database engine, it must select one of many potential strategies to give you your requested results. These approaches often follow very different processing steps, yet all must arrive at the same results.

A good real-world analogy is to imagine that you are beginning a journey by car. If you only need to drive from your house to the one next door, you don’t need to do much route planning: There’s only one reasonable way to get there. However, suppose that you want to visit four friends, each of whom lives in a different city, all of whom are spread several hundred kilometers apart. It doesn’t matter which friend you visit ...

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