Mnesia schema transaction: Checking if a table exists

Ulf Wiger ulf.wiger@REDACTED
Thu Mar 4 17:05:31 CET 2004

The way to do this using the code that already exists in mnesia
is perhaps this:

(boo@REDACTED)22> Create = fun(Name) ->
           mnesia_schema:list2cs([{name,Name},{ram_copies,[node()]}])) end.
(boo@REDACTED)23> mnesia_schema:schema_transaction(
                    fun() -> case catch Create(a) of
                               {'EXIT',_} -> Create(b);
                                _ -> ok
                             end end).
(boo@REDACTED)24> mnesia_schema:schema_transaction(
                   fun() -> case catch Create(a) of
                              {'EXIT',_} ->
                              _ -> ok
                            end end).
(boo@REDACTED)25> mnesia:system_info(tables).

OK, ugly example, but basically, you catch do_create_table/1.
If it exits (actually with reason {already_exists, Tab}), you
know that the table is there. Not pretty, but should work.

If you feel like patching mnesia_schema.erl, you might want
to invent a function like mnesia:system_info/1, but that
takes into account tables being created in an ongoing transaction:

local_system_info(tables) ->
     TidTs = get(mnesia_activity_state),
     case TidTs of
	{_Mod, Tid, Ts} when record(Ts, tidstore)->
	    Store =,
	    NewTabs =
		ets:select(Store, [{{op,create_table,
	    NewTabs ++ mnesia:system_info(tables);
	_ ->

I'd recommend the first option.  (:


On Thu, 4 Mar 2004 15:13:09 +0100, Rudolph van Graan 
<rvg@REDACTED> wrote:

> Hi again,
> Thanks for the information - I can now create tables in a transaction.
> However, this leads to the next problem...
> I am busy creating say 10 tables... As part of my creation script, I
> need to check if another table exists, so I made a function like this
> one:
> table_exists(TableName) ->
>    Tables = mnesia:system_info(tables),
>    lists:member(TableName,Tables).
> This works fine if I use it outside the schema_transaction for a table
> that has just been created. If I use it inside the schema_transaction,
> on a table that has just been created in the same transaction, it
> fails... Is there some other function I can use to check for a table
> that has just been created in the same function and that will query the
> changes for the current transaction instead? [The idea is that the
> transaction must abort and all the changes rolled back if something
> goes wrong here]. I.e. if I do create_table(), and immediately run this
> function afterwards, it must return true while inside the schema
> transaction.
> Regards.
> Rudolph van Graan

Ulf Wiger, Senior System Architect

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