MySQL stored routines (functions, procedures, triggers and events) can be useful. But many casually written stored routines are unnecessarily slow. The main reason is that MySQL does not apply even simple code optimizations to stored routine code. Many developers are not aware of this, and as a result, write stored routine code that can quite easily be tuned, increasing performance by 50%-100% by only applying very straightforward code optimizations.It was very pleased to see so many people attend: I had the impression that MySQL stored routines are quite impopular, due to performance issues, and a syntax that is often regarded as "clunky", so I didn't expect more than about 20 people to show up. Much to my pleasure, the ballroom was filled for about two-thirds, and I estimate there were 70-something people in the room.
A quick survey of the audience indicated that all of them were in fact using stored routines in production, so I assume they didn't show up out of morbid curiosity :) Interestingly, only few people reported performance issues. It would be interesting to do more research to find out what people are in fact doing with MySQL stored routines. Among yesterday's attendees, there were people using MySQL stored routines for managing user privileges, processing astronomical data, and checking complex dynamic business rules. To be sure - these were all different users - not just one isolated fanatic going wild with stored routines.
Co-incidentally, Domas Mituzas from facebook also mentioned stored routines in his presentation on high concurrency MySQL as a way to reduce the lock gap when performing multiple changes in a single transaction. I'm just saying - perhaps MySQL stored routines aren't that bad at all, they just need more love and dedication from the MySQL developers so they can mature and gain wider applicability.
Recently, I already wrote about a recent improvement in MySQL 5.5, the long anticipated SIGNAL /RESIGNAL syntax. I hope more improvements will follow soon now the dust is settling after Oracle's acquisition of Sun. After hearing Edward Screven unfold Oracle's strategy for MySQL in yesterday's keynote, I can tell you without reservation that I am quite optimistic :)
Anyway - that is all for now. Two days of conference ahead :)