Geekboy(Wizard) writes: "MySQL has been used as a database for many sites and products. The U.S. Census Bureau, Slashdot, Yahoo Finance, and many other high-traffic web sites use MySQL for their database needs. It is a popular choice for databases, as it is GPL'd and thus free from costly licenses. If you need to use it in a proprietary application, you can purchase a non-GPL'd version from MySQL AB." Read on for Geekboy's review of Managing and Using MySQL: Second Edition, which he describes as "the only thing you /need/ to make a usable database."
Managing and Using MySQL: 2nd Edition assumes that the reader has a little knowledge of databases, although some of the commands are difficult to get your head around until you have a database to test them on. Sample commands, and output for them are shown in the book, but a sample database isn't shown until chapter 9. MySQL took me through 'MySQL land' with the greatest of ease. Aside from the lack of a test database in the beginning, everything was very well laid out. It started with the basics, and worked up to full implementation and administration.
Part I introduces the reader to MySQL. It begins with a nice history, design elements, features and what you would want to use MySQL with. Nicely detailed instructions for downloading, and installing the current version. Information is provided for Unix, and Windows systems, with examples for FreeBSD 4 and Windows 2000. Basic SQL commands are presented, with sample queries and relevant results.
Part II introduces the reader to tuning, securing and designing the database. Several pitfalls are described, along with instructions for avoiding them. The realm of tuning is divided into application tuning, database tuning, and operating system/hardware tuning. Security is discussed from all aspects, but a database that has security concerns will need extensive testing and evaluation. Database design starts with the design on paper, with both the theoretical, and practical aspects. Once the paper design is drawn out, MySQL assists the reader through the actual making of the database.
Part III describes integrating the database into your favorite programming/scripting language. In the opening paragraph of chapter 12, The C API, the author states: "In this book, we examine several different programming languages: Python, Java, Perl, PHP and C. Among these languages, C is by far the most challenging." The information was presented in a way that readers who are new to C would have small difficulties with, and that intermediate and advanced users would find quite useful. The authors presented enough information, that I was able to write programs that interfaced with MySQL in less than 10 minutes. Perl scripts are presented in the same way. Knowledge of the language you will be integrating MySQL into is necessary, but the book presents and explains the rest of the information.
Part IV is the reference portion of the book. All great books that teach contain a reference section, and this book is no exception. The basic SQL syntax and command set are described, as well as the data types, numeric, string, date, and complex. Operations and functions are explained, as well as their order preference. The PHP API, the C API, and the Python DB-API are also fleshed out in nice detail.
Overall, the authors have an excellent introduction to SQL databases, and MySQL. Full examples are included for each topic, with full explanations. The only things I would change, would be to have a sample database in the beginning of the book, and to have a copy of that database online.
Table of Contents
Part I (Chapters 1 - 4) Introduction
3 SQL According to MySQL
4 Database Administration
Part II (Chapters 5 - 7) MySQL Administration
5 Performance Turning
7 Database Design
Part III (Chapters 8 - 14) MySQL Programming
8 Database Applications
12 C API
14 Extending MySQL
Part IV (Chapters 15 - 20) MySQL Reference
15 SQL Syntax for MySQL
16 MySQL Data Types
17 Operations and Functions
18 MySQL PHP API Reference
19 C Reference
20 The Python DB-API
You can purchase Managing and Using MySQL: Second Edition from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to submit yours, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.