In general, information_schema is a great thing – you can get all kinds of information out of it in quite a simple way.
But it has a downside – on a server with lots of databases and tables, it can be very slow. However, more and more applications rely on information_schema, and that can be a problem.
I just tried to update phpMyAdmin for db4free.net from 2.7.0-pl1 to 22.214.171.124. The update itself was a smooth thing, but when I tested the new version and tried to open a database, phpMyAdmin just couldn’t make it.
So I looked for the cause, and I found it quite quickly. I searched the whole phpMyAdmin directory for the string “information_schema” and there were quite a lot of results. When I did the same for the directory of phpMyAdmin 2.7.0-pl1, there were no results at all.
So while information_schema is good for many things, it might not be so good to use it extensively in administration applications, if it can be avoided.