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MySQL Reference Manual: Documentation from the source [Paperback]

Michael Widenius , David Axmark , Kaj Arno
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 52.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

June 13 2002 0596002653 978-0596002657 1

MySQL is the most popular SQL database in the open source community and is used almost universally by web sites running on open source systems. As powerful and flexible as it is lightweight and efficient, MySQL packs a large feature set into a very small and fast engine that now runs on more than 500,000 servers. This renowned online manual that has supported MySQL administrators and database developers for years is now available in paperback format. This book is an exact reproduction of the MySQL Reference Manual from the MySQL development team's Web site, minus some non-technical appendices. This version covers MySQL 4.0.

Many sophisticated topics appear in this comprehensive manual, ranging from the hitches you may run into when first installing MySQL to internals that will help you tune your queries. MySQL Reference Manual contains all the comprehensive reference material one would expect for building the product, running administrative utilities, and using various API as well as MySQL's rich version of SQL. In addition, you can turn a page and find such unexpected riches as:

  • A thorough comparison of MySQL with SQL standards and other databases
  • A discussion of privileges and suggested uses of privileges to enhance security
  • Directions for replicating a database and for running several MySQL servers on a single system
  • Directions for initializing a database from a flat file
  • Guidelines for estimating the performance of different queries
  • A far-reaching discussion of optimization, with reference to the implementation of MySQL
  • Investigations of the differences between data types and the pros and cons of each type of number, string, or timestamp
  • An extended inquiry into the effects of using delayed inserts
  • A candid explanation of why various errors occur and how to recover from them
  • Tips for weighted, full-text searches
  • Detailed descriptions of the features, strengths, and weaknesses of available table formats
  • A guide to adding new functions to MySQL

No serious MySQL user should be without this book.

Product Details

Product Description

From the Publisher

This highly regarded and comprehensive reference manual comes directly from the members of the MySQL team. The book covers issues at all stages in MySQL use, from installation problems through performance tuning. Included are suggested uses of privileges to enhance security, many performance tips, and a sophisticated guide to error recovery. It also offers a thorough comparison of MySQL with SQL standards and other databases. No serious MySQL user should be without this book.

About the Author

David Axmark, Co-founder: David Axmark is one of the founders of MySQL and worked with the product well before it had a name. He has worked as a consultant and software developer for nearly 20 years. Interested in free software since the early '80s, David has been committed to developing a successful business model through open source software.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The MySQLTM software delivers a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
This book is the printed version of the online documentation available through the MySQL site. It is the definitive version of documentation for MySQL, but it is also left wanting. The authors, two of the principle programmers of MySQL, provide comprehensive coverage of all aspects of MySQL.
That being said, one of the biggest problem with this book is not its subject coverage, but its organization. Most technical books begin with installation instructions, or a brief overview of the software's purpose and the need it addresses and then moves into technical subjects. This one spends the first 10% telling you why you should use MySQL, and only then does it start delving into technical matters.
Skipping past that, the book's other big shortcoming is that it's biased towards a Unix mindset. Granted, the software was developed on Unix and the largest portion of deployments are on *nix. However, as a long-time Windows user with little *nix familiarity, a lot of the material is over my head. If they want Windows users to use MySQL correctly, they're going to have to make it much easier for Windows users/admins to understand.
The one thing I found the book does really well is to teach you exactly how to use MySQL using SQL, and documenting well where MySQL diverges from ANSI SQL compliance. The portion of the book strictly dedicated to teaching the user how to use it is well-written and thorough, I wish the rest of the manual was written this well.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Complete, but poorly organized Oct. 11 2002
A paper copy of the manual can be most useful, since I, like most people, find it hard to wade through an online manual.
But there is one area in which the online form is more useful: searching. By opening the MySQL manual in a text editor, one can search it, making the poor organization of the manual less of a problem.
The printed copy suffers from the same poor organization (indeed, it is the same as - or very, very close to - the online manual) but without the ameliorating factor of searchability. The index is not very good, but even if it was better, the scattering of information throughout the book would make for lengthy index entries.
Take security for example. What is the recommended process for securing a fresh MySQL installation? Start at the Table of Contents: Aha! 4.3 "MySQL User Account Management" Sounds promising. P. 249. GRANT and REVOKE Syntax? Not what I had in mind. I just want to know about the right way to secure the system and create new users. Back to the Contents. 2.4 "Post-Installation Setup and Testing" P.113. Nope, nothing there.
Last resort: The index. Security, against hackers, p.227. Nope. But that page is in section 4.2 "General Security Issues and the MySQL Access Privilege System." Now that sounds like it. Start reading section 4.2.1 on p. 224... "If you are able to connect successfully to the server without being asked for a password, you have problems! ... Review the MySQL installation instructions..." I thought I just did that. Now I know the secret is burried in the installation instructions. Back to Chapter 2. Still no dice.
Give up and install phpMyAdmin.
While I don't doubt that the answers to this and a myriad other questions are in there somewhere, the poor structure of the book makes it extremely hard to find anything.
A complete rewrite would do the trick.
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As a longtime user (a happy one at that!) of MySQL, I am happy to finally have the REAL reference manual on the shelf where I can pick it up and use it - just like all the others!
Lack of a printed reference manual has long been a complication of using MySQL, although the electronic documentation has been great for the last couple of years! As author and MySQL developer Monty Widenius stated about the book (MySQL web site announcement), "The printed version of our highly-used reference manual will be an essential resource for any MySQL user, and it will complement the wide selection of MySQL books that are currently available."
This one, as the actual reference manual is a great complement to Paul DuBois' popular 'MySQL', which serves as the users manual. Together, these are the printed resources necessary to be a power administrator and user of MySQL! Thanks Monty!
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