The Data Charmer: MySQL 5 general purpose routine library – II: Using arrays
Arrays, as part of the MySQL General Purpose Stored Routines Library are implemented as datasets, all belonging to one table, and identified by a unique name. The details of the implementation are hiddenby the interface, and you should not worry a lot about it.
General concepts about the array library
Whenever possible, each routine is implemented both as a procedure and as a function. Only when a function returns an array value or an array property, then there is no corresponding procedure. This is a design choice, so that you are free of calling the routine in the most convenient way. When using a procedure that has a function synonym, a user variable with the same name of the procedure is set with the function return value. For instance, calling function array_create() you get the array ID.