MySQL 5.7 key features

The other day I was discussing new features of MySQL 5.7 with a Percona Support customer. After that conversation, I thought it would be a good idea to compile list of important features of MySQL 5.7. The latest MySQL 5.7.6 release candidate (RC) is out and is packed with nice features. Here’s a list of some MySQL 5.7 key features.

Replication Enhancements:

  • One of the top features in MySQL 5.7 is multi-source replication. With multi-source replication you can point multiple master server’s to slave so limitation of slave having only one master is lift off. There is nice blog post written by my colleague on multi-source replication you will find useful.
  • SHOW SLAVE STATUS is non-blocking since MySQL 5.7. SHOW SLAVE STATUS returns immediately without waiting for STOP SLAVE to finish which can be blocked by long running SQL query from replication SQL_THREAD. As a side note, the LOCK FREE SHOW SLAVE STATUS feature is first implemented in Percona Server 5.5.
  • Now you can have all the information about SHOW SLAVE STATUS from performance schema database tables. More details here from the manual.
  • With the new CHANGE REPLICATION FILTER command now you can modify replication filters rules without bouncing MySQL servers.
  • Since MySQL 5.7 you can perform CHANGE MASTER TO without stopping the slave via the STOP SLAVE command. For further details check the manual.
  • There is now a different method for parallel replication. With new implementation the slave can apply transaction in parallel with single database/schema too. Check slave_parallel_type for details.
  • Global Transaction Identifiers (GTID) is a feature that automatically tracks the replication position in replication stream, and since MySQL 5.7 gtid_mode is dynamic variables, which means you can enable/disable GTID in replication topology without synchronizing and restarting entire set of MySQL servers. As a side note, online GTID deployment feature is added in Percona Server 5.6. With this feature you can deploy GTID on existing replication setups without marking master read_only and stopping all slaves in replication chain. My colleague Stephane had written nice blogpost to perform online migration without master downtime.

InnoDB Enhancements:

  • Now you can resize InnoDB buffer pool online. Since MySQL 5.7 innodb_buffer_pool_size is a dynamic variable which provides the ability to resize buffer pool without restarting MySQL server.
  • From MySQL 5.7, online ALTER TABLE also supports RENAME INDEX clause to rename an index. This change will take in place without table copy operation.
  • InnoDB supports Transportable Tablespace feature for partitioned InnoDB tables. I wrote a blog post on Transportable Tablespace that you will find useful.
  • Innochecksum utility is enhanced with new options. I also wrote a recent blog post on this same topic.
  • As of MySQL 5.7, InnoDB supports “spatial indexes” and it also supports online DDL operation to add spatial indexes i.e. ALTER TABLE .. ALGORITHM=INPLACE.
  • Improved InnoDB buffer pool dump/reload operations. A new system variable, innodb_buffer_pool_dump_pct allows you to specify percentage of most recently used pages in each buffer pool to read out and dump.


  • As per SQL standard, MySQL 5.7 now supports multiple triggers per table for trigger event (DML) and timing (BEFORE,AFTER) i.e. multiple triggers are permitted now for each event e.g. multiple triggers on INSERT action.

Performance Improvements:

  • Bulk data load is improved on InnoDB in MySQL 5.7. InnoDB performs a bulk load when creating or rebuilding indexes. This method known as sorted index build and enhance create index operation and it also impacts FULLTEXT indexes.
  • Currently there is a single page cleaner thread responsible for flushing dirty pages from the buffer pool(s). In MySQL 5.7 InnoDB parallel flushing was implemented to improve flushing where separate background thread for each buffer pool instance for flush list, LRU list. It’s worth to mention a two-threaded flushing implemented in Percona Server 5.6.

Optimizer Improvements:

  • EXPLAIN FOR CONNECTION will let you run explain statements for already running queries. This may yield important information towards query optimization.
  • In MySQL 5.7 the optimizer avoids the creatation temporary table for result of UNION ALL queries and this will help to reduce disk I/O and disk space when UNION yields large result set. I found Morgan Tocker post informative on same.
  • JSON format for EXPLAIN first introduced in MySQL 5.6 which produces extended information. JSON format for EXPLAIN is enhanced in version 5.7 by printing total query cost which makes it easier to see the difference between the good and bad execution plans.
  • MySQL 5.7 now supports generated columns also known as virtual columns as new feature. My colleague Alexander explained this really well in this blogpost

MySQL Test Suite Enhancements:

  • The MySQL test suite now uses InnoDB as its default storage engine. Along with that many new tests added and existing tests enhanced including test suite for replication with GTID.

Security Enhancements:

  • Since MySQL 5.7 there is a password expiration policy in place. Any user that connects to a MySQL server goes through a password expiration life cycle and must change the password. More from the manual here.
  • Database administrators can nowo lock/unlock user accounts. Check details here.
  • As of MySQL 5.7, installation only creates only one ‘root@localhost’ user account with random password and marks the password expiration cycle. So, installation no longer creates anonymous-user accounts and along with that there is no test database. For root user account password, MySQL generates it during data directory initialization and marks it as expired and will write a message to stdout displaying the password.

This is only a short list of new features in MySQL 5.7. Please feel free to add your favorite features in the comments section. Along with new features, there are quite a few deprecated/removed features in MySQL 5.7. You can get full list from the manual.

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Comments (11)

  • Abdel-Mawla Gharieb

    Nice summary Muhammad.
    Also – in my opinion – one of the important enhancements in 5.7 is creating the implicit or internal on-desk temporary tables using InnoDB SE instead of MyISAM by setting the variable:

    May 27, 2015 at 6:49 am
  • Morgan Tocker

    A few to add:

    – I have a feeling that the new query hints + query rewrite features will be something we don’t know how we lived without.
    – InnoDB supports tablespaces, undo truncation and punch hole compression. Barracuda is now the default row format.
    – The optimizer cost model has been improved.
    – The optimizer also better handles derived tables in the from clause, and uses less memory to sort variable length data.
    – The performance of semi-sync replication has greatly improved.

    May 27, 2015 at 8:46 am
  • Mark Callaghan

    Has anyone done a long running test on a realistic workload to show that punchhole compression doesn’t kill performance? See

    May 27, 2015 at 9:16 am
  • Morgan Tocker

    @Mark: It is in 5.7.8 (not yet released):

    I’m looking forward to seeing benchmark results when it’s out.

    May 27, 2015 at 11:15 am
    • Mark Callaghan

      I hoped that Oracle would have results by now especially given the problems described in the post by Domas

      May 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm
  • trimurthy

    Good post Muhammad.

    And show grants for a particular user doesn’t show the password hash key any more and the mysql.user table structure has been changed, dropped the password column and changed it as authentication_string.

    sys schema comes default with the instance installation now.

    Thank you,

    May 27, 2015 at 11:19 am
  • Ian W

    Any idea on when it’ll launch as a Percona 5.7 once the MySQL version goes live?

    May 29, 2015 at 10:10 am
  • Bhola

    I have been using MySQL since three years and its one of the best features are that its multi-platform and very easy to manage and setup.
    Thanks for providing the Key features of this nice DB Platform.

    June 20, 2015 at 2:55 am
  • Jonatas

    Thanks! That was a very nice summary!

    June 23, 2015 at 8:33 pm
  • tom60

    For now a big disadvantage is that Percona Xtrabackup doesn’t support MySQL 5.7 yet.

    November 2, 2015 at 10:41 am
  • Felice Cutruzzula

    Is there a projected release date of Percona XtraBackup support for MySQL 5.7?

    January 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm

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