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Mastering phpMyAdmin 2.11 for Effective MySQL Management Kindle Edition
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After a first overview over the user interface, the author explains how to create databases and tables, and how to enter data. A quick overview over phpMyAdmin's querying capabilities concludes the "First steps" chapter. Next, the author dives into changing data. I was surprised to learn that phpMyAdmin has a multi-row editing feature.
The "Changing Table Structures" chapter deals with how to edit table definitions and the various column types like TEXT, BLOB ENUM, and DATE. This chapter also deals with index management, and explaining queries.
Chapter 7, "Exporting Structure and Data", deals with exporting databases. Though I personally have never seen the value of exporting a database to anything else than SQL, I was rather surprised to learn that phpMyAdmin supports exporting to PDF, Word, Excep, Open Office, Latex, XML, or YAML format.
Consequently, the next chapter deals with importing structure and data. Due to various server limits like timeout, or limitations of the file upload size, this is not always as easy as it might seem. The author explains the problems and shows ways to circumvent restrictions, which I think is very important, as I see quite a few users in the field struggling with importing large database dump files.
Chapter 9 deals with searching the database, without having to write SQL statements. I was not aware, for example, of the possiblity to search all database tables for strings or even regular expressions. The next chapter covers table and database operations, including table maintenance, renaming tables, moving and copying tables, appending data to a table, and even copying a whole database, which can be an interesting alternative to creating a backup before upgrading it. The database backup feature is complemented by the possibility to rename a database, thus allowing you to create a backup and potentially restore it without having do download and upload SQL dumps.
Chapter 11 introduces the relational system. Since MyISAM tables do not support key relationships, phpMyAdmin can optionally administer information about table relations. The author explains how to set up phpMyAdmin to do this, and continues by introducing the Designer, which is an ajaxy tool to work with table relationships, foreign keys, and check the referential integrity of a database.
Of course, a chapter on how to write SQL statements with phpMyAdmin can not be left out from a book like this. The author explains how phpMyAdmin helps the user to write SQL statements, and shows how an external SQL validator can be used, to make sure that the statements conform to the SQL standard. He then dives into creating multi-table queries, which is where more complex criteria and joins come into play.
Next, the author explains bookmarks, a way of storing statements for later reuse, just like browser bookmarks. In that chapter, I was surprised to learn that phpMyAdmin even allows changing the default initial query that is executed when the table is browsed.
Following a short chapter on how to create database documentation in tabular or PDF format, mime-based transformations are explained. Mime-based transformations allow you, for example, to configure phpMyAdmin to display thumbnails of images stored in the database, format dates, create links, or display strings in hex format, which can be useful to debug issues with different or wrong character encodings. These transformations were, admittedly, completely new for me, and I think they may in fact be one of the most powerful features phpMyAdmin has.
Towards the end of the book, the author covers an important topic, namely character sets and collations. He explains the differences between MySQL versions before and after 4.1, and then continues with a short introduction of new features in MySQL 5, like views, stored procedures, triggers, information_schema as the standards-compatible way to access meta data, and profiling.
This chapter is followed by "MySQL Server Administration", which comprises of user and privilege management, retrieving database information, and checking the server status. The book is concluded with a Troubleshooting chapter that gives hints on how to solve common errors.
I like the book for its straight and logical structure. The author's explanations are short and to the point, so the user is provided with the right amount of information to get going with phpMyAdmin. I would strongly suggest to have a basic level understanding of database theory (tables, relations, keys), as the author does not give any theoretical background, but just shows how to make use of the features in phpMyAdmin.
For $34.99, you get 300+ pages packed with information about all aspects of phpMyAdmin. I must say that the book's layout is not one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen, and some screen shots could be of better quality, but this does not really affect the reading experience too much. I can definitely recommend this book, and according to the phpMyAdmin website, it is also available in various translations like Czech, German, Italian, and Spanish.
I have generally used phpMyAdmin only in those moments when I had something quick and simple to do, or when a hosting company did not provide ssh or command line access. This was mainly because I did not realize how powerful and flexible the software can be.
I didn't realize how amazingly easy it is to configure this program, and how much you can do with phpMyAdmin. The book starts with the basic foundation of installation and initial configuration, then walks you through the steps of using it in your unique setting. The author makes a note of default settings as well as some that are likely preset to other options by web hosting providers. It clearly outlines how to change those defaults if you are using the software on a server you own or control.
Mastering phpMyAdmin is clearly written, using easy to comprehend examples, with a chapter structure that begins without the need for previous knowledge and takes you to uses and procedures that are far beyond the needs of most of us. That's cool! It is always my preference to have more information at my disposal than I am likely to need, rather than the other way around. With this book, I can't imagine needing to look up any other documentation source to figure out how to create, manipulate, check, repair, backup, restore, optimize, or otherwise interact with a MySQL database.
It is my opinion that this book would be very helpful to people who are completely new to database and website administration, who perhaps already have access to phpMyAdmin through their web hosting provider through cPanel or Plesk, or have the permissions on the server to install it themselves. As an intermediate (definitely not guru-level) admin, I found the book a helpful and enjoyable way to discover new uses for the software as well as new ways to configure it to remove limitations I had previously encountered, such as only being able to import sql files smaller than 2 Mb. If that sounds interesting, take a look at the book info on the publisher's website or persue a copy at your local bookstore.
This is both a timely and largely timeless book for web developers and administrators who work with MySQL and PHP. While the software will change from time to time on a normal release schedule - the baseline functionality will remain intact.
Marc Delisle did a fine job of balancing his analysis and content for both beginners as well as more seasoned veterans to database administration. The book encompasses installation, setup, getting started and standard functions as well as more advanced capabilities of phpMyAdmin.
There are really four key areas where, from my own experience as an analyst and web administrator, the majority of issues and questions surface when using MySQL.
2) Administering users and permissions
3) Maintaining and equally as important backing up and restoring databases or tables
4) Advanced techniques (using SQL and querying) and reporting
Mr. Delisle handled the configuration of the system well, clearly illustrating how most users will use phpMyAdmin on a single server. I was relieved to see his coverage of multi-server setup and attention paid to secure methods of authentication in this multi-server mode.
I felt this was clearly defined and easy to replicate when testing the "how-to" approach to this topic. This allows administrators a simple way to handle multiple databases on multiple servers if they are servicing clients who require dedicated installations for their data.
Users and Permissions
This was one of my own biggest stumbling blocks when I started using MySQL and there were not many easy to use tools to simplify these administering efforts. phpMyAdmin deftly handles this core function of managing MySQL. This is covered in detail in Chapter 19.
Database and Table Maintenance
One of the challenges of the web world is that most administrators charged with overseeing the web presence of smaller business or hobbyists are not by trade database administrators. phpMyAdmin enables a novice administrator to tackle some of the key tasks - such as indexing larger tables to improve performance, importing tables via SQL, exporting data and even backing up and restoring.
There is an entire community committed to just educating on database tuning and maintenance and phpMyAdmin provides the tools for doing so as the administrator develops this knowledge base.
One of the benefits of a good how-to guide is that is graduates progressively from getting started to an appendix of advanced techniques. As users build confidence with phpMyAdmin they can take advantage of the guidance in this book on tasks requiring multi-table queries, creating views, triggers or stored procedures (specific to MySQL 5.x).
Overall, this title provides comprehensive coverage of phpMyAdmin due to Mr. Delisle's long career in maintaining and developing with MySQL.
Ringing in at just 318 pages, this book bucks the trend of attempting to cover every topic under the sun, wasting no time with unnecessary introductions to the concept of open source and lengthy historical perspective. Instead, the author (Marc Delisle) jumps almost directly into coverage of the installation and configuration process, along the way detailing security-specific steps you might consider in order to protect data and limit access.
Chapters 3 through 6 cover what you might expect, showing you how to create databases, populate tables with data, and query the tables. Although the beauty of phpMyAdmin is that understanding how to complete such tasks is obvious even to newcomers, within these chapters you will find several very useful tips and tricks, such as how to tweak the configuration for more effective data input and browsing, creating indexes, and optimizing tables.
Chapters 7 through 17 are in my opinion the most valuable of the book, as they introduce phpMyAdmin features you're likely not going to immediately grasp or even know exist. Among many topics, you'll learn how to effectively import and export data, use the table designer, and create bookmarks which allow you to easily execute commonly used queries. I learned quite a bit about phpMyAdmin within these chapters, for instance I had no idea you could export SQL data to YAML and even LaTeX, and now use the bookmark feature more effectively than ever before.
Chapter 18 introduces phpMyAdmin features specifically tied to MySQL 5.0. In this chapter you'll learn how to create and manage views, stored procedures, and triggers. Finally, chapters 19 and 20 present short introductions to MySQL administration using the phpMyAdmin interface, and to troubleshooting, respectively.
Perhaps my only gripe is one of an editorial nature. Although phpMyAdmin is by now a rather mature project, development does continue, with version 3.0 having been released in September, 2008. The decision to include in the title the version of phpMyAdmin available at the time of the book's publication (2.11) strikes me as very odd, in particular because it could lead some prospective readers to believe the book is no longer relevant given the current release number of 3.1.0. I raise this point because on the contrary this book is still quite relevant today, and still worth picking up whether you're a newcomer to the project or a seasoned user.
In closing, if you're tasked with managing a MySQL database and have chosen phpMyAdmin as your management solution, "Mastering phpMyAdmin 2.11 for Effective MySQL Management" is clearly a valuable addition to your technical library.
Boy, am I glad I did. It explained very nicely everything I needed to know about this utility tool. I'd have been lost without it. I can't imagine anyone using phpMyAdmin without this book.
And phpMyAdmin is a necessary tool, also. I'm in it quite a bit every day. I built my database using it. I entered my test data using it. I built my PHP scripts using it. I debugged my scripts using it. And phpMyAdmin is free. All you have to do is buy this book.
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