The unexpected pleasure of reading books about databases is that they are often written by authors with highly organized minds. Paul DuBois and his editors at New Riders have assembled MySQL
with a clarity and lucidity that inspires confidence in the subject matter: a (nearly) freely redistributable SQL-interpreting database client/server primarily geared for Unix systems but maintained for Windows platforms as well. What isn't "free" about MySQL (the application) is its server's commercial use; all clients and noncommercial server use are free. DuBois's tome isn't free either, but its list price is modest in light of its value and the value of its namesake.
The volume is superbly organized into 12 chapters and 10 appendices and contains a concise table of contents and a comprehensive 50-page index. It is peppered with references to the online HTML documentation that comes with the source and binary distributions (which are available and easy to install in stable rpm and tar releases.)
The first third of MySQL is an excellent instruction tool for database newbies; the second third is a detailed reference for MySQL developers; and the last third consists of clearly annotated appendices, including C, Perl (but not Python), and PHP interfaces.
Perhaps as an indication of the collective will of the developers of MySQL, DuBois does not separate Windows 95/98/NT design or development specifics from its main discussions. Platform-independent design is a goal, not a reality, and users will have to rely on newsgroups and mailing lists for details. Moreover, security issues are addressed in a mere 18 pages, a large part of which is devoted to standard Unix file and network-access permissions. Next to nothing is mentioned about defense against common hacking strategies, the use of secure shell interfaces, or access encryption.
Although it is nearly 800 pages in length, DuBois's book is thankfully not encyclopedic. It is a valuable précis of the MySQL database, and its easy-to-skim look and feel will make it an excellent browse for database experts who want to know what is and is not possible within MySQL, the application. --Peter Leopold
From Library Journal
MySql is a very popular relational database for a number of reasons: it is free for most applications; while not open source it is heavily used by the open source community; and it runs easily on Windows and UNIX. The author's approach is to use two sample databases to explain SQL (structured query) databases with Perl, PHP, and C; administering MySql; and security. This book will be very popular with users who already understand relational databases and are trying to move from Microsoft or Oracle to MySql.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
In MySQL, Paul DuBois provides you with a comprehensive guide to one of the most popular relational database systems. As an important contributor to the online documentation for MySQL, Paul uses his day-to-day experience answering questions users post on the MySQL mailing list to pinpoint the problems most users and administrators encounter. The principal MySQL developer, Monty Widenius, along with a network of his fellow developers, reviewed the manuscript, providing Paul with the kind of insight no one else could supply. Instead of merely giving you a general overview of MySQL, Paul teaches you how to make the most of its capabilities. Through two sample databases that run throughout the book, he gives you solutions to problems you'll likely face. He helps you integrate MySQL efficiently with third-party tools, such as PHP and Perl, enabling you to generate dynamic Web pages through database queries. He also teaches you to write programs that access MySQL databases.
About the Author
began his involvement with MySQL after recoiling in horror at the complexities of dealing with a database from one of the larger commercial vendors, and with its customer support mechanism. Turning to MySQL for relief proved to have unforeseen and unexpected consequences: first as the opportunity to contribute to the MySQL Reference Manual, then to writing MySQL with New Riders, and most recently to NuSphere, a company actively involved in MySQL development, promotion, and training.
Paul's responsibilities and interests have at one time or another involved database development, Web site development and management, mailing list management, system administration, and TCP/IP and AppleTalk networking. He's considered a leader in the MySQL and open source communities.