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MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide [Paperback]

Paul DuBois , Stefan Hinz , Carsten Pedersen
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Book Description

Aug. 24 2005 0672328127 978-0672328121 1

This is the official guide to passing the two MySQL certification tests for MySQL 5, the long-awaited major revision of MySQL. The number of MySQL certification exams taken has doubled in the last six months.

 

Certcities.com lists the MySQL certification as one of the top 10 certifications to grow in 2005. MySQL professionals need a way to distinguish themselves from the vast majority of database administrators and developers. With more than 4 million active installations, MySQL is the world's most popular open-source database. Known for its speed, reliability and case of use, MySQL has become a low-cost alternative to expensive database systems such as Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. MySQL AB has aggressively improved the feature set of MySQL with MySQL 5, making it more suitable for enterprise-level applications and uses. The MySQL certification tests, available at over 3,000 PearsonVUE testing centers, is a key component of this enterprise growth strategy, establishing a base level of skills for database users, administrators and programmers.

 

The MySQL Core Certification is aimed at the database user who wants proof of his or her abilities in such fundamental areas as SQL, data entry and maintenance, and data extraction. The MySQL Professional Certification test is designed for the advanced user who wants to prove his or her knowledge in such areas as database management, installation, security, disaster prevention and optimization. Both tests are thoroughly covered in the MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide . Written by Paul DuBois, the leading author of books on MySQL topics, and reviewed for technical accuracy by MySQL AB, this book is the fastest, most reliable way for MySQL users, developers, and administrators to prepare for either of the MySQL tests.


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From the Inside Flap

IntroductionIntroductionAbout This Book

This is a study guide for the MySQL Developer Certification and the MySQL Database Administrator Certification. As such, it is a primer for the MySQL certification exams, but not a replacement for the MySQL Reference Manual or any other MySQL documentation. As part of your preparation for an exam, make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with the MySQL Reference Manual, the MySQL Query Browser Manual (for the Developer exams) and the MySQL Administrator Manual (for the Database Administrator exams).Therefore, you should be familiar with all of the material presented for a certification level before going to any particular exam.

There are many cross-references within this book that go across the "boundary" between the two certifications. For example, Chapter 22, "Basic Optimizations," which is in the Developer part of the book, contains a cross reference to Chapter 37, "Optimizing Queries," which is in the DBA part of the book. In cases like this, you are not expected to read the chapter outside the exam for which you're studying. However, doing so will obviously increase your understanding of the subject area.

You might find that the wording of a topic covered in this guide corresponds exactly to the wording of a question on an exam. However, that is the exception. Rote memorization of the material in this guide will not be very effective in helping you pass the exam. You need to understand the principles discussed so that you can apply them to the exam questions. Working through the exercises will be very beneficial in this respect. If you find that you are still having difficulties with some of the materials, you might want to consider the training classes offered by MySQL AB. These classes are presented in a format that facilitates greater understanding through interaction with the instructor.

Because the study guide is targeted to MySQL 5.0, it doesn't normally point out when features are unavailable in earlier versions (nor are you expected to know about this on the exams). This differs from what you might be used to in the MySQL Reference Manual.

Sample Exercises

The CD-ROM that accompanies this book has a number of sample exercises. It's essential that you work through the exercises to test your knowledge. Doing so will prepare you to take the exam far better than just reading the text. Another reason to read the exercises is that occasionally they augment a topic with more detail than is given in the body of the chapter.

Note that the exercises are not always in the same format as the exam questions. The exam questions are in a format that is suited for testing your knowledge. The exercises are designed to help you get a better understanding of the contents of this book, and to help you prove to yourself that you really grasp the topics covered.

Other Required Reading

This book will give you a good overall insight into everything you need to know for MySQL certification. It will not tell you every little detail about how things work in MySQL; nor does it tell you every detail you need to know about actually attending the exam. Other material that you can take advantage of is listed in the following sections.

Manuals
  • Before going to any of the exams, make sure you have familiarized yourself with the MySQL Reference Manual. Familiarizing yourself with the manual is not the same as knowing every word in it, but you should at least skim through it and look more closely at those parts that pertain to the particular exam which you are going to attend.

  • Before taking either of the Developer exams, you should read the MySQL Query Browser Manual.

  • Before taking either of the DBA exams, you should read the MySQL Administrator Manual.You will also find many good technical articles on that Web site. These articles do not make up part of the exam curriculum per se, but they explain many of the concepts presented in this book in a different way and may enable you to get a better perspective on some details.

    Sample Data

    Almost all examples and exercises in this study guide use the world database as the sample data set. The accompanying CD-ROM contains the data for this database and instructions that describe how to create and populate the database for use with your own MySQL installation.

    Study Guide Errata

    Although this book was thoroughly checked for correctness prior to publication, errors might remain.It is recommended that you read through this information as you start planning your certification, as well as when you plan to go to exams to ensure that you are aware of any last-minute updates.

    The Certification area of the MySQL Web site provides comprehensive information on the certifications offered, upcoming certifications and betas, training offers, and so forth. After you've taken a certification exam, the Web site is also where you will be able to check the status of your certification.

    The MySQL Certification Candidate Guide

    Of particular interest on the MySQL certification Web pages is the MySQL Certification Candidate Guide. It contains the overall description of the MySQL Certification program, as well as all the practical information you will need in order to write an exam.You'll be asked to agree to the agreement when you go to take the exam. At that point, legal agreements will probably be the last thing on your mind, so reading the agreement before you go will save you some distraction and also some exam time.

    The Certification Mailing List

    Anyone considering pursuing MySQL certification should subscribe to the MySQL Certification mailing list. This is a low-volume list (messages go out once every two months or so), to which MySQL AB posts news related to the certification program. The subscription address for the mailing list is certification-subscribe@lists.mysql.com. To subscribe, send an empty message to that address.

    Conventions Used in This Book

    This section explains the conventions used in this study guide.

    Text in this style is used for program and shell script names, SQL keywords, and command output.

    Text in this style represents input that you would type while entering a command or statement.

    Text in this style represents variable input for which you're expected to enter a value of your own choosing. Some examples show commands or statements that aren't meant to be entered exactly as shown. Thus, in an example such as the following, you would substitute the name of some particular table for table_name:

    SELECT * FROM table_name;

    In syntax descriptions, square brackets indicate optional information. For example, the following syntax for the DROP TABLE statement indicates that you can invoke the statement with or without an IF EXISTS clause:

    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS table_name;

    Lists of items are shown with items separated by vertical bars. If choosing an item is optional, the list is enclosed within square brackets. If choosing an item is mandatory, the list is enclosed within curly braces:

    item1 item2 item3 { item1 item2 item3 }

    In most cases, SQL statements are shown with a trailing semicolon character (';'). The semicolon indicates where the statement ends and is useful particularly in reading multiple-statement examples. However, the semicolon is not part of the statement itself.

    If a statement is shown together with the output that it produces, it's shown preceded by a mysql> prompt. An example shown in this manner is meant to illustrate the output you would see were you to issue the statement using the mysql client program. For example, a section that discusses the use of the VERSION() function might contain an example like this:

    mysql> SELECT VERSION();+-----------------+ VERSION() +-----------------+ 5.0.10-beta-log +-----------------+

    Some commands are intended to be invoked from the command line, such as from a Windows console window prompt or from a Unix shell prompt. In this guide, these commands are shown preceded by a shell> prompt. Some Windows-specific examples use a prompt that begins with C:. The prompt you will actually see on your own system depends on your command interpreter and the prompt settings you use. (The prompt is likely to be C:\> for a Windows console and % or $ for a Unix shell.)

    SQL keywords such as SELECT or ORDER BY aren't case sensitive in MySQL and may be specified in any lettercase when you issue queries. However, for this guide, keywords are written in uppercase letters to help make it clear when they're being used as keywords and not in a merely descriptive sense. For example, "UPDATE statement" refers to a particular kind of SQL statement (one that begins with the keyword UPDATE), whereas "update statement" is a descriptive term that refers more generally to any kind of statement that updates or modifies data. The latter term includes UPDATE statements, but also other statements such as INSERT, REPLACE, and DELETE.

    Sample commands generally omit options for specifying connection parameters, such as --host or --user to specify the server host or your MySQL username. It's assumed that you'll supply such options as necessary. Chapter 1, "Client/Server Concepts," discusses connection parameter options.

    In answers to exercises that involve invocation of client programs, you might also have to provide options for connection parameters. Those options generally are not shown in the answers.

    Running MySQL on Microsoft Windows

    Windows-specific material in this Guide (and the certification exams) assumes a version of Windows that is based on Windows NT. This includes Windows NT, 2000, XP, and 2003. It does not include Windows 95, 98, or Me.

    About the Exams

    To take a MySQL certification exam, you must go to a Pearson VUE testing center. MySQL AB creates the exams and defines the content, the passing score, and so forth. Pearson VUE is responsible for delivering the exams to candidates worldwide.Note that you must pre-register on the Web site to set up an account with VUE. VUE processes your application and notifies you when your account is ready. This process usually takes about 24 hours. After your account has been set up, you can register for the exam you want to take.

  • You can call one of the VUE call centers.Click on the Test Centers link about halfway down the page to find a testing center near you. Note that many test centers have limited hours of operation, so it's always a good idea to call ahead to ensure that you can be accommodated at the time you want to take the exam.

MySQL AB recommends that you use the VUE Web site for exam registration and payment, but you're welcome to use any method you choose.

If you register through the Web or a call center, a receipt will be sent to you as soon as the registration process is completed. If you register directly at the test center, please ask for your receipt when you submit payment.

Going to the Exam

On the day of your exam, you should ensure that you arrive at the test center well ahead of the appointed time (at least 15 minutes early is recommended). When you arrive at the testing center, you will be asked by the test administrator to:

  1. Sign the test log.

  2. Provide two forms of identification. One must contain your address, and one must be a photo ID.

  3. Sign a page explaining the test center rules and procedures.

After you've completed these steps, you'll be taken to your testing station. You'll be furnished with a pen and scratch paper, or an erasable plastic board. During the exam, the test administrator will be monitoring the testing room, usually through a glass partition in the wall. As you come to the testing station, your exam will be called up on the screen and the exam will start when you are ready. Remember to make any adjustments to your chair, desk, screen, and so forth before the exam begins. Once the exam has begun, the clock will not be stopped.

The first thing you will be asked on the exam is to accept the MySQL AB Certification Non-Disclosure and Logo Usage Agreement. As mentioned earlier, it's a good idea to have read the copy found in the MySQL Certification Candidate Guide before going to the exam, so you do not have to spend exam time reading and understanding what it says.

Figure IN.1
The Certification Non-Disclosure and Logo Usage Agreement as it will be presented at the testing station.

Taking the Exam

Each MySQL Certification Exam lasts 90 minutes. In that time, you must answer approximately 70 questions. Beta exams contain more questions, but also allow you more time to answer them.Each section of the exam will have a different number of questions, approximately proportional to the percentages shown in the following tables. These were the percentages as planned at the time this book went to press; although they are unlikely to change, you should consult the MySQL Certification Candidate Guide for the exact details.

Table IN.1  Division of Questions on Exam Sections for the Developer Exams

MySQL Developer I Exam

MySQL Developer II Exam

Client/Server Concepts

5%

Joins

15%

The mysql Client Program

5%

Subqueries

10%

MySQL Query Browser

5%

Views

10%

MySQL Connectors

5%

Importing and Exporting Data

10%

Data Types

15%

User Variables

5%

Identifiers

5%

Prepared Statements

5%

Databases

5%

Stored Procedures and Functions

15%

Tables and Indexes

15%

Triggers

5%

Querying for Data

15%

Obtaining Database Metadata

5%

SQL Expressions

15%

Debugging MySQL Applications

5%

Updating Data

10%

Basic Optimizations

15%

Table IN.2  Division of Questions on Exam Sections for the DBA Exams

MySQL DBA I Exam

MySQL DBA II Exam

MySQL Architecture

10%

Using Stored Routines and Triggers for Administration

5%

Starting, Stopping, and Configuring MySQL

15%

User Management

15%

Client Programs for DBA Work

5%

Securing the MySQL Installation

10%

MySQL Administrator

10%

Upgrade-Related Security Issues

5%

Character Set Support

5%

Optimizing Queries

15%

Locking

10%

Optimizing Databases

15%

Storage Engines

15%

Optimizing the Server

15%

Table Maintenance

5%

Interpreting Diagnostic Messages

5%

The INFORMATION_SCHEMA Database

10%

Optimizing the Environment

5%

Data Backup and Recovery Methods

15%

Scaling MySQL

10%

This study guide organizes topic material into the sections shown in the Candidate Guide, but you shouldn't expect the exam to follow the same format. While you're taking the exam, questions may occur in any order. For example, on the Developer-I exam, you might be presented with a question about indexing, followed by a question pertaining to data types.

Some features in MySQL are version specific. The current exam and this book cover MySQL 5.0, and you should consider a feature available if it's available as of MySQL 5.0. For example, stored procedures and views were implemented for MySQL 5.0, so for purposes of the exam, you should consider them to be topics upon which you might be tested.

Reading Questions

The single most important factor in answering any exam question is first to understand what the question is asking. The questions are written in very concise language and are thoroughly checked for readability. But you also need to know how to interpret any additional information presented with the question.

On the exam, you will see some SQL statements followed by a semicolon, and some not. This occasionally confuses people. What you need to keep in mind is that SQL statements need only be terminated with a semicolon when used in the context of the mysql command-line client, not in any other contexts. So only when shown in the context of the command-line client should you expect to see a terminator.

One type of information that's often provided is a display of the structure of a table. Instructions for interpreting this information are given later in this introduction (see "Interpreting DESCRIBE Output").

Answering Questions

You should attempt to answer all exam questions, because an unanswered question counts as an incorrect answer. When taking the exam, you'll be able to move back and forth between questions. This enables you to initially skip questions you're unsure of and return to them as time permits. You'll also be able to mark a question "for review," if you want to spend more time on it later. When you've gone through all questions, a review screen will be presented that contains any questions that you've marked for review, as well as all unanswered questions.

All questions are multiple-choice questions, only varying in whether you need to choose single or multiple correct answers among those presented to you.

You select an answer to a question either by clicking with the mouse on the field to the left of the answer, or by pressing the corresponding letter on the keyboard.

For a single-answer question, only one response is correct and you must identify the correct answer from among the possible responses. Some of the responses provided might be partially correct, but only one will be completely correct. In a single-answer question, the fields that you can select are circles ("radio buttons") and the text in the status bar below the question says "select the best response."

Figure IN.2
A multiple-choice/single-answer question. Note that each answer key has a circle ("radio button") beside it, and the status bar says "select the best response.

For a multiple-answer question, you must choose all correct answers to get credit for your response. As with single-answer questions, there might be subtle differences between correct and incorrect answers; take your time to read each possible answer carefully before deciding whether it is correct. In multiple-answer questions, the fields that you can select are square ("check boxes") and the status line says "Select between 1 and n answers," where n is the total number of possible answers.

Figure IN.3
A multiple-choice/multiple-answer question. Note that each answer key has a square ("check box") beside it, and the status bar says "select between 1 and 6 answers.

After the Exam

Unless you're taking part in a Beta exam, you'll receive your grade as soon as you complete the exam. The test center will provide you with a score report.

If you pass, MySQL AB will mail your certificate four to six weeks after receiving your exam results from the test center.For example, there might be special offers, information on pre-releases of new certifications, and so on.Access for others to this area is controlled by you, using the candidate area.

Retaking Exams

If you get a failing grade on the exam, you have the option of retaking it. There is no limit set on when you are allowed to retake an exam. MySQL AB does not place restrictions on how soon you can retake an exam, but doing so is not advised until you've done some further study.

This isn't just a commonsense warning. The statistics show with great clarity that those who attempt to retake a failed exam within five days of the first exam are much more likely to fail once again rather than passing.

Warning

For every popular certification exam, there are always enterprising individuals who set up so-called "braindump" Internet sites, where people anonymously post questions and answers purported to be from the exam. Please note these cautions about using or contributing to these sites:

  • If you use such a site, you are very likely to be misled. We've seen these sites, and trust us: The answers they provide are more often wrong than correct. Worse, most of the questions shown have never been—and are so ludicrous that they never will be—on an exam; they exist only in the submitter's head. As a result, instead of being helpful, such sites lead to confusion.

  • If you contribute to such a site by posting your own exam questions and answers, you risk forfeiting not only the certification for the exam about which you have posted details, but your involvement in the entire MySQL Certification program. You might thus never be able to regain MySQL certification credentials.

Interpreting DESCRIBE Output

You should understand how to interpret the output of the DESCRIBE table_name statement. This is of particular importance both for this study guide and for taking certification exams. In both cases, when it's necessary that you know the structure of a table, it will be shown as the output of a DESCRIBE statement in the same format as that displayed by the mysql program. For example, assume that a question requires you to know about a table named City. The table's structure will be presented as follows:

mysql> DESCRIBE City;+-------------+----------+------+-----+---------+----------------+ Field Type Null Key Default Extra +-------------+----------+------+-----+---------+----------------+ ID int(11) NO PRI NULL auto_increment Name char(35) NO CountryCode char(3) NO District char(20) NO Population int(11) NO 0 +-------------+----------+------+-----+---------+----------------+

The output of the DESCRIBE statement contains one row for each column in the table. The most important features of the output are as follows:

  • The Field value indicates the column name.

  • The Type value shows the column data type.

  • The Null indicator is the word YES if the column can contain NULL values and NO if it cannot. In the example shown, Null is NO for all columns of the City table. This indicates that none of that table's columns can contain NULL values.

  • The Key indicator may be empty or contain one of three non-empty values:

    • An empty Key value indicates that the column in question either isn't indexed or is indexed only as a secondary column in a multiple-column, non-unique index. For purposes of the exam, you should assume that if Key is empty, it's because the column is not indexed at all.

    • If the Key value is the keyword PRI (as in the output shown for the ID column), this indicates that the column is a PRIMARY KEY or is one of the columns in a multiple-column PRIMARY KEY.

    • If the Key value is the keyword UNI, this indicates that the column is the first column of a unique-valued index that cannot contain NULL values.

    • If the Key value is the keyword MUL, this indicates that the column is the first column of a non-unique index or a unique-valued index that can contain NULL values.

    It's possible that more than one of the Key values may apply to a given column of a table. For example, a column that is a PRIMARY KEY might also be part of other indexes. When it's possible for more than one of the Key values to describe an index, DESCRIBE displays the one with the highest priority, in the order PRI, UNI, MUL.

    Because a column can be part of several indexes, the Key values do not necessarily provide an exhaustive description of a table's indexes. However, for purposes of the exam, you should assume that the table descriptions given provide all the information needed to correctly answer the question.

  • Default shows the column's default value. This is the value that MySQL assigns to the column when a statement that creates a new record does not provide an explicit value for the column. (For example, this can happen with the INSERT, REPLACE, and LOAD DATA INFILE statements.)

  • The Extra value displays other details about the column. The only Extra detail about which you need be concerned for the exam is the value auto_increment. This value indicates that the column has the AUTO_INCREMENT attribute. The ID column shown in the example is such an instance.

You can read more about data types, default values, and the AUTO_INCREMENT column attribute in Chapter 5, "Data Types." Indexing is covered in Chapter 8, "Tables and Indexes." The DESCRIBE statement and other methods of obtaining table metadata are covered in more detail in Chapter 20, "Obtaining Database Metadata."

Sample Tables

This study guide uses several different database and table names in examples. However, one set of tables occurs repeatedly: the tables in a database named world. This section discusses the structure of these tables. Throughout this study guide, you're assumed to be familiar with them. To make it easier for you to try the examples, the accompanying CD-ROM includes the world database.The value enum('Asia', ...) as shown actually stands for enum('Asia', 'Europe', 'North America', 'Africa', 'Oceania', 'Antarctica', 'South America').

  • The City table contains rows about cities located in countries listed in the Country table:

    mysql> DESCRIBE City;+-------------+----------+------+-----+---------+----------------+ Field Type Null Key Default Extra +-------------+----------+------+-----+---------+----------------+ ID int(11) NO PRI NULL auto_increment Name char(35) NO CountryCode char(3) NO District char(20) NO Population int(11) NO 0 +-------------+----------+------+-----+---------+----------------+
  • The CountryLanguage table describes languages spoken in countries listed in the Country table:

    mysql> DESCRIBE CountryLanguage;+-------------+---------------+------+-----+---------+-------+ Field Type Null Key Default Extra +-------------+---------------+------+-----+---------+-------+ CountryCode char(3) NO PRI Language char(30) NO PRI IsOfficial enum('T','F') NO F Percentage float(4,1) NO 0.0 +-------------+---------------+------+-----+---------+-------+
  • The Name column in the Country table contains full country names. Each country also has a three-letter country code stored in the Code column. The City and CountryLanguage tables each have a column that contains country codes as well, though the column is named CountryCode in those tables.

    In the CountryLanguage table, note that each country may have multiple languages. For example, Finnish, Swedish, and several other languages are spoken in Finland. For this reason, CountryLanguage has a composite (multiple-column) index consisting of both the Country and Language columns.


    © Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

    From the Back Cover

    This is the official guide to passing the two MySQL certification tests for MySQL 5, the long-awaited major revision of MySQL. It includes a voucher for 25 percent off either exam-a $50 value! The number of MySQL certification exams taken has doubled in the last six months.

    Certcities.com lists the MySQL certification as one of the top 10 certifications to grow in 2005. MySQL professionals need a way to distinguish themselves from the vast majority of database administrators and developers. With more than 4 million active installations, MySQL is the world's most popular open-source database. Known for its speed, reliability and case of use, MySQL has become a low-cost alternative to expensive database systems such as Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. MySQL AB has aggressively improved the feature set of MySQL with MySQL 5, making it more suitable for enterprise-level applications and uses. The MySQL certification tests, available at over 3,000 PearsonVUE testing centers, is a key component of this enterprise growth strategy, establishing a base level of skills for database users, administrators and programmers.

    The MySQL Core Certification is aimed at the database user who wants proof of his or her abilities in such fundamental areas as SQL, data entry and maintenance, and data extraction. The MySQL Professional Certification test is designed for the advanced user who wants to prove his or her knowledge in such areas as database management, installation, security, disaster prevention and optimization. Both tests are thoroughly covered in the MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide. Written by Paul DuBois, the leading author of books on MySQL topics, and reviewed for technical accuracy by MySQL AB, this book is the fastest, most reliable way for MySQL users, developers, and administrators to prepare for either of the MySQL tests.


    Inside This Book (Learn More)
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    Customer Reviews

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    Most helpful customer reviews
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent March 10 2012
    By TilSter
    Format:Paperback
    I got certified as a MySQL Developer with only this book and past experience. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking an Oracle certification under their belt.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    5.0 out of 5 stars goood July 15 2013
    By Pari
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Good, Very Good
    it help
    awesome book for certification
    very help full,

    Must have for learning more on MySQl Admin stuff
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
    Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
    29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Taken directly from the exams and written by top-notch authors, this book is a must for any exam candidate! Feb. 8 2006
    By Michael Hillyer - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback
    Quite simply, this book should be on the shelf of anyone who intends to take the MySQL Certification exams.

    The book was written by Paul DuBois, certainly the top author of MySQL related books. Paul's style is very readable and the book provides extensive coverage of the exam material.

    In fact, the book is so extensive because it was written not only by Paul, but by Carsten Pedersen, certification manager at MySQL AB. The book was written by the people who created the exam, and it shows. I can tell you right now that if you read the certification study guide and know its content, you will pass the certification exam. There is not a question on the exam that is not covered by this study guide.

    The exercises are good, though not always formatted the same as what you will encounter on the actual exam. Doing the exercises should reveal how well you understand a given topic in the guide.

    Here's an overview of what the book covers:

    * MySQL and MySQL AB

    * MySQL Software

    * Using MySQL Client Programs

    * Data Definition Language

    * The SELECT Statement

    * Basic SQL

    * Update Statements

    * Joins

    * Importing and Exporting Data

    * MySQL Architecture

    * MySQL Installation and Configuration

    * Security Issues

    * Optimizing for Query Speed

    * MyISAM Tables

    * InnoDB Tables

    * Advanced Server Features

    Finally, here is the best part about the MySQL Certification Study Guide: it's free. In the back of the guide is a voucher code for 25% off the cost of a certification exam, or roughly the price of the book. If you are serious about taking the MySQL Certification exams, you can't go wrong with this book.
    21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Very good information, leaves more to be desired June 30 2006
    By Kevin Benton - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback
    I found myself wanting more when it came time to try the practice exam questions. The book comes with PDF's that serve as the practice exam. What I expected was software that would simulate the test. I'm taking the DBA class next month and I don't expect any issues passing the exam, though I would feel more comfortable forking out the $ to take it if I had a wider pool of questions to study from.

    The book does a fairly good job of covering both exam tracks (DBD & DBA) from what I've seen thus far and is laid out in a practical way for those preparing for the exam. This book is not intended as a reference, though some new admins may choose to use it like that.

    ----

    Post-exam follow-up:

    The certification study guide did a good job of helping me pass the exams the first time through. Primary goal - accomplished. If you plan to attend the MySQL 5.0 DBA class, I got a copy of my own in the class so I wound up with an extra (so I keep one at work and one at home). Combine this with the on-line resources available and the value of this book increases.

    I do find myself recommending this book to other developers and administrators to learn how to improve their MySQL skills, but I don't recommend it as a reference. It accomplishes its purpose well, however, I think it could have been better by having more of the information we need after the exam is over. This is not a manual for MySQL and clearly does not stand on its own for that purpose. If your goal is to get certified as a DBD or DBA, this book will likely help. If your goal is to use this book as your only manual for MySQL, this is not the best investment of resources to that end.

    Hits:
    o Helped me pass the MySQL DBA exam first-time with very thorough study and having taken the MySQL 5 DBA class.
    o PDF files for exam prep materials and a full PDF of the book itself
    o Has some nice query optimization explanations in it.
    o Provides nice resources for those who are upgrading their skills from MySQL 3.x, 4.x.

    Misses:
    o Does not cover MySQL Cluster.
    o CD did not contain software that helped me take practice exams.
    o Resource not intended to be used as a full reference of MySQL.
    o Many of the prep questions were given before the material to answer the questions were presented.

    Note: I would increase my rating of this book to four stars, but Amazon won't let me change the rating in my review.
    14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Exam voucher not honored for MySQL 5 exams! (but great book) March 2 2006
    By Brian - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback
    I love this book, but I am outraged that VUE refuses to honor the included voucher code for MySQL 5 exams. The book is targeted for MySQL 5, and the text in the book clearly states the voucher is for ANY MySQL exam. But VUE claims the included voucher is only valid for MySQL 4 exams.

    I attempted to escalate this issue but was told by VUE that it is Amazon's fault for including the wrong voucher number. The code is clearly printed by the book publisher, not Amazon, so this is just very poor finger pointing by VUE trying to blame Amazon.

    The book is worth every penny despite the false advertising related to the voucher.

    UPDATE: I contacted the publisher and got a quick response. The publisher is working on fixing VUE's screw-up, so hopefully this will be resolved soon.
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough March 2 2006
    By H. van Emde Boas - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    This is an excellent book covering MySQL in great detail.

    I did buy this book not because I want to be certified, but because I wanted to have detailed information about MySQL version 5 and all the new functionality it has. I am certainly not disappointed.

    There are useful examples for every subject covered and the book is much more readable than the online MySQL manual.

    This is not a book for beginners or a book about designing a relational database. If you want to learn SQL or database design you should look elsewhere.
    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Way exceeded my expectation! July 10 2008
    By Ruslan Moskalenko - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    The book is quite big and my first impression was it's going to take a long time and it's full of useless info. But once I started reading, I had a nice surprise. The book actually covers 2 certifications (Dev and DBA), 2 exams each. I can't speak for the Dev part, but the DBA part was very well structured and each exam required less than 200 pages of reading. The information was dense enough and always up to the point. The practice questions were really not a question samples, but more like a 60 pages summary of possible exam topics.

    I also liked the style very much. It's very proffesional but not too dry and reading is not boring.

    There are a few glitches here and there (table of content is off, the CD ROM didn't work well), but they are not really impacting your study.

    Overall, I liked it very much and I wish more vendors would adopt that format and style.

    And, by the way, I passed both exams at the first try using this book only (well, I've been working with MySQL a bit in the past, but I clearly had holes in my knowledge before).

    So I highly recommend this book as a perfect MySQL certification guide and general reference.
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