Hint Syntax

Enabling routing hints

To enable routing hints for a service, the hintfilter module needs to be configured and the filter needs to be applied to the service.

Here is an example service which has the hint filter configured and applied.

[Read Service]


Comments and comment types

The client connection will need to have comments enabled. For example the mysql command line client has comments disabled by default.

For comment types, use either -- (notice the whitespace) or # after the semicolon or /* .. */ before the semicolon. All comment types work with routing hints.

The MySQL manual doesnt specify if comment blocks, i.e./ .. /`, should contain a w whitespace character before or after the tags, so adding whitespace at both the start and the end is advised.

Hint body

All hints must start with the maxscale tag.

-- maxscale <hint body>

The hints have two types, ones that route to a server and others that contain name-value pairs.

Routing destination hints

These hints will instruct the router to route a query to a certain type of a server.

-- maxscale route to [master | slave | server <server name>]

A master value in a routing hint will route the query to a master server. This can be used to direct read queries to a master server for a up-to-date result with no replication lag. A slave value will route the query to a slave server. A server value will route the query to a named server. The value of needs to be the same as the server section name in maxscale.cnf.

Name-value hints

These control the behavior and affect the routing decisions made by the router.

-- maxscale <param>=<value>

Currently the only accepted parameter is max_slave_replication_lag. This will route the query to a server with lower replication lag then what is defined in the hint value.

Hint stack

Hints can be either single-use hints, which makes them affect only one query, or named hints, which can be pushed on and off a stack of active hints.

Defining named hints:

-- maxscale <hint name> prepare <hint content>

Pushing a hint onto the stack:

-- maxscale <hint name> begin

Popping the topmost hint off the stack:

-- maxscale end

You can define and activate a hint in a single command using the following:

-- maxscale <hint name> begin <hint content>

You can also push anonymous hints onto the stack which are only used as long as they are on the stack:

-- maxscale begin <hint content>


Example 1 - Routing SELECT queries to master

In this example, MariaDB MaxScale is configured with the readwritesplit router and the hint filter.



Behind MariaDB MaxScale is a master server and a slave server. If there is replication lag between the master and the slave, read queries sent to the slave might return old data. To guarantee up-to-date data, we can add a routing hint to the query.

INSERT INTO table1 VALUES ("John","Doe",1);
SELECT * from table1; -- maxscale route to master

The first INSERT query will be routed to the master. The following SELECT query would normally be routed to the slave but with the added routing hint it will be routed to the master. This way we can do an INSERT and a SELECT right after it and still get up-to-date data.