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MySQL 8.4 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  Using the Rewriter Query Rewrite Plugin Using the Rewriter Query Rewrite Plugin

To enable or disable the plugin, enable or disable the rewriter_enabled system variable. By default, the Rewriter plugin is enabled when you install it (see Section, “Installing or Uninstalling the Rewriter Query Rewrite Plugin”). To set the initial plugin state explicitly, you can set the variable at server startup. For example, to enable the plugin in an option file, use these lines:


It is also possible to enable or disable the plugin at runtime:

SET GLOBAL rewriter_enabled = ON;
SET GLOBAL rewriter_enabled = OFF;

Assuming that the Rewriter plugin is enabled, it examines and possibly modifies each rewritable statement received by the server. The plugin determines whether to rewrite statements based on its in-memory cache of rewriting rules, which are loaded from the rewrite_rules table in the query_rewrite database.

These statements are subject to rewriting: SELECT, INSERT, REPLACE, UPDATE, and DELETE.

Standalone statements and prepared statements are subject to rewriting. Statements occurring within view definitions or stored programs are not subject to rewriting.

Statements run by users with the SKIP_QUERY_REWRITE privilege are not subject to rewriting, provided that the rewriter_enabled_for_threads_without_privilege_checks system variable is set to OFF (default ON). This can be used for control statements and statements that should be replicated unchanged, such as those from the SOURCE_USER specified by CHANGE REPLICATION SOURCE TO. This is also true for statements executed by MySQL client programs including mysqlbinlog, mysqladmin, and mysqldump; for this reason, you should grant SKIP_QUERY_REWRITE to the user account or accounts used by these utilities to connect to MySQL.

Adding Rewrite Rules

To add rules for the Rewriter plugin, add rows to the rewrite_rules table, then invoke the flush_rewrite_rules() stored procedure to load the rules from the table into the plugin. The following example creates a simple rule to match statements that select a single literal value:

INSERT INTO query_rewrite.rewrite_rules (pattern, replacement)

The resulting table contents look like this:

mysql> SELECT * FROM query_rewrite.rewrite_rules\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
                id: 1
           pattern: SELECT ?
  pattern_database: NULL
       replacement: SELECT ? + 1
           enabled: YES
           message: NULL
    pattern_digest: NULL
normalized_pattern: NULL

The rule specifies a pattern template indicating which SELECT statements to match, and a replacement template indicating how to rewrite matching statements. However, adding the rule to the rewrite_rules table is not sufficient to cause the Rewriter plugin to use the rule. You must invoke flush_rewrite_rules() to load the table contents into the plugin in-memory cache:

mysql> CALL query_rewrite.flush_rewrite_rules();

If your rewrite rules seem not to be working properly, make sure that you have reloaded the rules table by calling flush_rewrite_rules().

When the plugin reads each rule from the rules table, it computes a normalized (statement digest) form from the pattern and a digest hash value, and uses them to update the normalized_pattern and pattern_digest columns:

mysql> SELECT * FROM query_rewrite.rewrite_rules\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
                id: 1
           pattern: SELECT ?
  pattern_database: NULL
       replacement: SELECT ? + 1
           enabled: YES
           message: NULL
    pattern_digest: d1b44b0c19af710b5a679907e284acd2ddc285201794bc69a2389d77baedddae
normalized_pattern: select ?

For information about statement digesting, normalized statements, and digest hash values, see Section 29.10, “Performance Schema Statement Digests and Sampling”.

If a rule cannot be loaded due to some error, calling flush_rewrite_rules() produces an error:

mysql> CALL query_rewrite.flush_rewrite_rules();
ERROR 1644 (45000): Loading of some rule(s) failed.

When this occurs, the plugin writes an error message to the message column of the rule row to communicate the problem. Check the rewrite_rules table for rows with non-NULL message column values to see what problems exist.

Patterns use the same syntax as prepared statements (see Section 15.5.1, “PREPARE Statement”). Within a pattern template, ? characters act as parameter markers that match data values. The ? characters should not be enclosed within quotation marks. Parameter markers can be used only where data values should appear, and they cannot be used for SQL keywords, identifiers, functions, and so on. The plugin parses a statement to identify the literal values (as defined in Section 11.1, “Literal Values”), so you can put a parameter marker in place of any literal value.

Like the pattern, the replacement can contain ? characters. For a statement that matches a pattern template, the plugin rewrites it, replacing ? parameter markers in the replacement using data values matched by the corresponding markers in the pattern. The result is a complete statement string. The plugin asks the server to parse it, and returns the result to the server as the representation of the rewritten statement.

After adding and loading the rule, check whether rewriting occurs according to whether statements match the rule pattern:

mysql> SELECT PI();
| PI()     |
| 3.141593 |
1 row in set (0.01 sec)

mysql> SELECT 10;
| 10 + 1 |
|     11 |
1 row in set, 1 warning (0.00 sec)

No rewriting occurs for the first SELECT statement, but does for the second. The second statement illustrates that when the Rewriter plugin rewrites a statement, it produces a warning message. To view the message, use SHOW WARNINGS:

*************************** 1. row ***************************
  Level: Note
   Code: 1105
Message: Query 'SELECT 10' rewritten to 'SELECT 10 + 1' by a query rewrite plugin

A statement need not be rewritten to a statement of the same type. The following example loads a rule that rewrites DELETE statements to UPDATE statements:

INSERT INTO query_rewrite.rewrite_rules (pattern, replacement)
VALUES('DELETE FROM db1.t1 WHERE col = ?',
       'UPDATE db1.t1 SET col = NULL WHERE col = ?');
CALL query_rewrite.flush_rewrite_rules();

To enable or disable an existing rule, modify its enabled column and reload the table into the plugin. To disable rule 1:

UPDATE query_rewrite.rewrite_rules SET enabled = 'NO' WHERE id = 1;
CALL query_rewrite.flush_rewrite_rules();

This enables you to deactivate a rule without removing it from the table.

To re-enable rule 1:

UPDATE query_rewrite.rewrite_rules SET enabled = 'YES' WHERE id = 1;
CALL query_rewrite.flush_rewrite_rules();

The rewrite_rules table contains a pattern_database column that Rewriter uses for matching table names that are not qualified with a database name:

  • Qualified table names in statements match qualified names in the pattern if corresponding database and table names are identical.

  • Unqualified table names in statements match unqualified names in the pattern only if the default database is the same as pattern_database and the table names are identical.

Suppose that a table named appdb.users has a column named id and that applications are expected to select rows from the table using a query of one of these forms, where the second can be used when appdb is the default database:

SELECT * FROM users WHERE = id_value;
SELECT * FROM users WHERE id = id_value;

Suppose also that the id column is renamed to user_id (perhaps the table must be modified to add another type of ID and it is necessary to indicate more specifically what type of ID the id column represents).

The change means that applications must refer to user_id rather than id in the WHERE clause, but old applications that cannot be updated no longer work properly. The Rewriter plugin can solve this problem by matching and rewriting problematic statements. To match the statement SELECT * FROM appdb.users WHERE id = value and rewrite it as SELECT * FROM appdb.users WHERE user_id = value, you can insert a row representing a replacement rule into the rewrite rules table. If you also want to match this SELECT using the unqualified table name, it is also necessary to add an explicit rule. Using ? as a value placeholder, the two INSERT statements needed look like this:

INSERT INTO query_rewrite.rewrite_rules
    (pattern, replacement) VALUES(
    'SELECT * FROM appdb.users WHERE id = ?',
    'SELECT * FROM appdb.users WHERE user_id = ?'
INSERT INTO query_rewrite.rewrite_rules
    (pattern, replacement, pattern_database) VALUES(
    'SELECT * FROM users WHERE id = ?',
    'SELECT * FROM users WHERE user_id = ?',

After adding the two new rules, execute the following statement to cause them to take effect:

CALL query_rewrite.flush_rewrite_rules();

Rewriter uses the first rule to match statements that use the qualified table name, and the second to match statements that use the unqualified name. The second rule works only when appdb is the default database.

How Statement Matching Works

The Rewriter plugin uses statement digests and digest hash values to match incoming statements against rewrite rules in stages. The max_digest_length system variable determines the size of the buffer used for computing statement digests. Larger values enable computation of digests that distinguish longer statements. Smaller values use less memory but increase the likelihood of longer statements colliding with the same digest value.

The plugin matches each statement to the rewrite rules as follows:

  1. Compute the statement digest hash value and compare it to the rule digest hash values. This is subject to false positives, but serves as a quick rejection test.

  2. If the statement digest hash value matches any pattern digest hash values, match the normalized (statement digest) form of the statement to the normalized form of the matching rule patterns.

  3. If the normalized statement matches a rule, compare the literal values in the statement and the pattern. A ? character in the pattern matches any literal value in the statement. If the statement prepares a statement, ? in the pattern also matches ? in the statement. Otherwise, corresponding literals must be the same.

If multiple rules match a statement, it is nondeterministic which one the plugin uses to rewrite the statement.

If a pattern contains more markers than the replacement, the plugin discards excess data values. If a pattern contains fewer markers than the replacement, it is an error. The plugin notices this when the rules table is loaded, writes an error message to the message column of the rule row to communicate the problem, and sets the Rewriter_reload_error status variable to ON.

Rewriting Prepared Statements

Prepared statements are rewritten at parse time (that is, when they are prepared), not when they are executed later.

Prepared statements differ from nonprepared statements in that they may contain ? characters as parameter markers. To match a ? in a prepared statement, a Rewriter pattern must contain ? in the same location. Suppose that a rewrite rule has this pattern:


The following table shows several prepared SELECT statements and whether the rule pattern matches them.

Prepared Statement Whether Pattern Matches Statement
Rewriter Plugin Operational Information

The Rewriter plugin makes information available about its operation by means of several status variables:

mysql> SHOW GLOBAL STATUS LIKE 'Rewriter%';
| Variable_name                     | Value |
| Rewriter_number_loaded_rules      | 1     |
| Rewriter_number_reloads           | 5     |
| Rewriter_number_rewritten_queries | 1     |
| Rewriter_reload_error             | ON    |

For descriptions of these variables, see Section, “Rewriter Query Rewrite Plugin Status Variables”.

When you load the rules table by calling the flush_rewrite_rules() stored procedure, if an error occurs for some rule, the CALL statement produces an error, and the plugin sets the Rewriter_reload_error status variable to ON:

mysql> CALL query_rewrite.flush_rewrite_rules();
ERROR 1644 (45000): Loading of some rule(s) failed.

mysql> SHOW GLOBAL STATUS LIKE 'Rewriter_reload_error';
| Variable_name         | Value |
| Rewriter_reload_error | ON    |

In this case, check the rewrite_rules table for rows with non-NULL message column values to see what problems exist.

Rewriter Plugin Use of Character Sets

When the rewrite_rules table is loaded into the Rewriter plugin, the plugin interprets statements using the current global value of the character_set_client system variable. If the global character_set_client value is changed subsequently, the rules table must be reloaded.

A client must have a session character_set_client value identical to what the global value was when the rules table was loaded or rule matching does not work for that client.