Category Archives: Java

SSL/TLS Connections to Recent MySQL Servers in Java

Recent changes to support better security by increasing strength of Diffie-Hellman cipher suites from 512-bit to 2048-bit were introduced to MySQL Server 5.7. While this change enhances security, it is an aggressive change in that 2048-bit DH ciphers are not universally supported. This has become a problem specifically for Java users, as only Java 8 JRE (currently) supports DH ciphers greater than 1024 bits. Making the problem more acute, this change was back-ported from MySQL Server 5.7 to the recent 5.6.26 and 5.5.45 releases in response to a community bug report. This blog post will identify affected applications, existing workarounds, and our plans to provide a more permanent solution in upcoming maintenance releases.
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Live reconfiguration of replication topography in Connector/Java

As noted in a previous post, MySQL Connector/Java supports multi-master replication topographies as of version 5.1.27, allowing you to scale read load to slaves while directing write traffic to multi-master (or replication ring) servers.  The new release of version 5.1.28 builds upon this, allowing live management of replication host (single or multi-master) topographies.  This parallels functionality that has long existed for load-balanced connections, and enables users to add or remove hosts – or now promote slaves – for Java applications without requiring application restart.  This post aims to explain how to leverage this functionality (the TL;DR/fun demo is found in the examples section)

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Multi-master support in MySQL Connector/Java

MySQL Connector/Java has long had support for replication-aware deployment, allowing a single logical Connection object to effectively “pool” connections to both a master and (potentially multiple) slaves.  This allowed scale-out of read load by distribution of read traffic to slaves, while routing write load to the master.  The JDBC specification provides a nice hook to know what’s read-only traffic – Connection.setReadOnly().  When a boolean value of true is passed, a ReplicationConnection will route further commands a selected slave instance, while values of false trigger routing to the master.  This is sufficient for many simple replication topographies, but not all – most notably, it has been difficult to handle multi-master deplyment.  MySQL Connector/Java 5.1.27 aims to solve that, and a number of related problems.

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Speaking at MySQL Connect

I'm Speaking at MySQL ConnectThe MySQL Connect content catalog is published, and I’ll be leading a hands-on lab on MySQL Enterprise Features in Practice [HOL9787].  If you have wondered how to get the most out of the features of MySQL Enterprise subscriptions – whether you are an existing Enterprise customer or not – this lab is for you.  We’ll help you understand the benefits of the various components of the MySQL Enterprise subscription as you install, configure, demonstrate and use the features.  You’ll learn how best practices and helpful tips, and work through sample customization exercises illustrating how tools such as MySQL Enterprise Monitor, MySQL Enterprise Backup and Security, Audit and Scalability components of MySQL Server can be applied to your MySQL use cases.  I’ll be joined by Engineering staff responsible for several of these key products/features, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about features that can make your life easier directly from the experts!

It’s also very likely I will be found at the Application Development with MySQL, Java, PHP, and Python [BOF4743] if you want to talk Java with me.

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Practical P_S: Fixing gaps in GLOBAL STATUS

Over three years ago, I noticed that there was no STATUS counter for COM_PING commands – something that is useful for ensuring proper configuration of JDBC connection pools.  Mark Leith even provided a patch, but it’s never been incorporated.  With the advances PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA makes in MySQL 5.6, that’s OK – a STATUS counter becomes somewhat redundant:

mysql> SELECT SUM(count_star) as pings
    -> FROM events_statements_summary_global_by_event_name
    -> WHERE event_name = 'statement/com/Ping';
+-------+
| pings |
+-------+
|    12 |
+-------+
1 row in set (0.02 sec)

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Practical P_S: How idle are your connections?

Idle connections can cause problems both at the application side, increasing the risk of connection timeouts for applications where persistent connections are used, and the server side, where resources remain allocated to idle connections.  Any application with persistent connections, such as a JDBC application using a connection pool, will have periods where connections are idle – but it’s good to know how much time is spent idle.  Too much idle time might mean connections pools configured to allow too many connections to sit idle in a connection pool, or not properly doing connection pool maintenance.

PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA in MySQL 5.6 makes it trivial to measure absolute time spent waiting.  This will show total, average and maximum idle times by account:
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Finding the source of problematic queries

Many MySQL users are familiar with using slow query logs and tools such as mysqldumpslow to identify poor-performing SQL commands, and MySQL 5.6 introduces new powerful tools in PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA.  Both allow you to identify the date/time and the user account from which the command was issued, which is helpful – but if you’re using MySQL Enterprise Monitor (MEM), you can immediately identify the actual line of code responsible for the SQL command in question.  This happens to be one of my favorite and powerful features of MEM, but it’s frequently overlooked by new and experienced MEM users alike, so I’m writing the post to highlight it.

MySQL Enterprise Monitor, of course, is a commercial product that’s part of the MySQL Enterprise subscription.  But it’s freely-available under 30-day trial terms for evaluation from Oracle Software Delivery Cloud – if you aren’t a commercial customer, consider downloading MEM to see what it can do for you.  And if you are a MySQL Enterprise subscriber who hasn’t deployed MEM, or haven’t yet explored some of the more advanced features, now’s the time to do so.

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Connector/J 5.1.25 Released

MySQL Connector/J 5.1.25 has been released, and is available in Community and Enterprise flavors on dev.mysql.com and My Oracle Support, respectively.  I’ve already noted the addition of support for connection attributes for MySQL 5.6 – 5.1.25 adds this functionality.  This release also includes a fix for Bug#68733, which caused the special light-weight ping operation to execute only against the master and currently-selected slave, rather than the master plus all active slave connections.  The ping operation exists to help ensure connections aren’t left idle for excessive durations in the internal load-balancing and replication “pools”, so failure to ping *all* active slave connections will make CommunicationFailureExceptions more likely after a rebalance operation selects a non-active, long-idle physical connection.  This bug was found by Dominic Tootell and reported via the community forums in a wonderfully-researched post.  It’s a great example of the type of community feedback and interaction that helps improve MySQL quality – thanks for the great contribution, Dominic!

In working through the bug Dominic reported, I found a couple other small bugs to fix.  The first is Bug#68763, which caused ReplicationConnection.isMasterConnection() to incorrectly always report false.  The second (Bug#68664) was an Ant build script bug which caused builds in Eclipse to produce a .JAR file – but it contained no .class files.  Our standard builds are done from the Ant script rather than Eclipse, and I’ve typically worked around it by running Ant from the command-line when I needed to package (compiling has worked in Eclipse for some time thanks to Mark Matthews, just not packaging).  Now you can package a .JAR file without leaving Eclipse.  In another bug report, Alex Soklakov fixed Bug#68801, making Connector/J play nicely with Maven.

I hope you enjoy Connector/J 5.1.25!

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Connection attributes in MySQL 5.6

Introduced in 5.6.6, connection attributes haven’t been mentioned in any of the many overviews of new 5.6 features that I’ve seen.  You might not have even known they exist – there’s not really a “feature page” in the documentation that tells you what this is all about.  The best documentation is found in the description of the PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA tables which expose these connection attributes:

As of MySQL 5.6.6, application programs can provide key/value connection attributes to be passed to the server at connect time, using the mysql_options() and mysql_options4() C API functions. The Performance Schema provides tables that expose this information through SQL statements[.]

Here’s what that means in practice:  With connectors which support this feature, certain client information can be exposed via PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA tables, making it easier to get useful information about clients from the MySQL Server directly.
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More GlassFish loadbalancing tips for Connector/J

Almost two weeks ago, I encouraged GlassFish users who need load-balanced JDBC connections to MySQL Cluster (or master-master replicated MySQL Server) to set the loadBalanceValidateConnectionOnSwapServer property to true in order to help ensure the connection chosen at re-balance is still usable.  That advice triggered finding a bug (14563127) which will cause the following Exception message:

No operations allowed after connection closed. Connection closed after inability to pick valid new connection during fail-over.

If you implemented the loadBalanceValidateConnectionOnSwapServer property and are seeing the above error message, updating your driver to the newly-released 5.1.22 build will likely solve this problem.  Here’s a quick look at internals of Connector/J re-balance operations, some additional configuration suggestions, and details on the bug fixed in 5.1.22: Continue reading

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