MySQL globalization and localization

What are collations? Why are they important?

Collations are a set of rules that determine how data is sorted and compared. For example case sensitivity, width sensitivity etc come under the category of collations. Collations are important from a security (passwords) and quality perspective. Using SHOW CHARACTER SET the available collations can be seen. They help to follow norms of different languages.
MySQL database maintenance
MySQL database maintenance - How to perform database maintenance tasks in MySQL, Explain the log files that MySQL maintains
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