Merge engine (not to be confused with
MergeTree) does not store data itself, but allows reading from any number of other tables simultaneously. Reading is automatically parallelized. Writing to a table is not supported. When reading, the indexes of tables that are actually being read are used, if they exist. The
Merge engine accepts parameters: the database name and a regular expression for tables.
Data will be read from the tables in the
hits database that have names that match the regular expression '
Instead of the database name, you can use a constant expression that returns a string. For example,
Regular expressions — re2 (supports a subset of PCRE), case-sensitive. See the notes about escaping symbols in regular expressions in the "match" section.
When selecting tables to read, the
Merge table itself will not be selected, even if it matches the regex. This is to avoid loops. It is possible to create two
Merge tables that will endlessly try to read each others' data, but this is not a good idea.
The typical way to use the
Merge engine is for working with a large number of
TinyLog tables as if with a single table.
Virtual columns are columns that are provided by the table engine, regardless of the table definition. In other words, these columns are not specified in
CREATE TABLE, but they are accessible for
Virtual columns differ from normal columns in the following ways:
- They are not specified in table definitions.
- Data can't be added to them with
- When using
INSERTwithout specifying the list of columns, virtual columns are ignored.
- They are not selected when using the asterisk (
- Virtual columns are not shown in
SHOW CREATE TABLEand
Merge type table contains a virtual
_table column of the
String type. (If the table already has a
_table column, the virtual column is called
_table1; if you already have
_table1, it's called
_table2, and so on.) It contains the name of the table that data was read from.
WHERE/PREWHERE clause contains conditions for the
_table column that do not depend on other table columns (as one of the conjunction elements, or as an entire expression), these conditions are used as an index. The conditions are performed on a data set of table names to read data from, and the read operation will be performed from only those tables that the condition was triggered on.