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3.1 out of 5 stars13
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on November 5, 2003
This book is clearly and succinctly written, and provides an excellent introduction to MySQL. It starts with a few pages on the history and philosophy behind MySQL, which is useful if you want to understand the advantages and disadvantages of MySQL relative to other options such as PostgreSQL or Oracle. It then follows with chapters on installation, with specific instructions for Solaris, Linux, and Windows; on MySQL's dialect of SQL (Structured Query Language); and on basic administration tasks such as configuration, startup and shutdown, logging, backup, and recovery. That's really all you need to get a basic database up and running, and it's all in the first 80 pages of the book.
Part II of the book covers more advanced administrative tasks, with chapters on performance tuning, security, and database design. This section of the book is weaker than the first section; while there's some useful introductory material on each of these topics, depth is lacking. For example, the discussion of putting a database into second normal form is misleading because it uses a table with only one field as the unique identifier, making it impossible to clearly illustrate the removal to a smaller table of fields that are dependent on only part of a (typically multifield) unique identifier. Also, some of the more advanced MySQL features which might be appropriate for this section are omitted.
Part III of the book, entitled "MySQL Programming", has sections accessing MySQL from Perl, Python, PHP, C, Java. These sections are mostly limited to information specific to MySQL that might not be found in general purpose documentation of these languages. For example, the PHP section documents the relevant function calls, since PHP uses different functions to access MySQL than it does to access, say, ODBC databases, while the Java section focuses on JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) driver configuration since the JDBC API is database independent.
Finally, there is a reference section and a good, complete index.
If what you want to do is get a small database up and running in a minimum of time with a minimum of hassle, this is the book for you. If you want more than an introductory level of detail and depth, though, you might look at other books; Leon Atkinson's "Core MySQL", for example, has more complete coverage, though the writing style is not as clear and direct.
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on October 14, 2003
I bought this book as a reference when I was migrating from SQL Server to MySQL. I was hoping to learn from this book some of the language implementations and how to administer on-line databases (backups, benchmarking, security). I found this book to be very lacking. The book provides very little of the language references of SQL, and devotes the majority of the text to function call references for C, Perl/DBI, PHP and Python. (I would think if you were looking for mysql function calls for these languages you would use the specific language reference). If you don't develop front-ends to MySQL in these languages (but still want to "Manage and Use MySQL") then the bulk of this book is probably useless to you.
As for managing MySQL, this text provides very little practical information. Sure it covers the GRANT statements, but doesn't go into much depth. For example, I found very little information about archiving or trying to incorporate some type of pseudo-replication.
In general, I notice that my book is still in fairly new condition, and doesn't get used much ... it is just an arm's reach away. I use the FREE online MySQL manual almost everyday. That should tell you something right there, huh.
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on September 9, 2002
The title is not all together indicative of what the authors try to accomplish in this book. The book attempts to be both a tutorial and a reference for programmers and administrators. The book consists of four major parts. The first part is the Introduction, which contains chapters on MySQL in general, installation on Unix and Windows, SQL for MySQL, and general Database Administration. This is accomplished in less than eighty pages which makes for brief explanations, limited illustrations, and examples. The second part is the MySQL Administration. This part has chapters on Performance Tuning, Security, and Database Design. The third part is MySQL Programming. The chapters' topics include general database applications, Perl, Python, PHP, C API, Java, and extending MySQL. Part four is the MySQL Reference. SQL syntax for MySQL, MySQL data types, Operators and Functions, MySQL PHP API Reference, C Reference, and Python DB-API are the chapter topics included in this part.
The authors do not assume that the reader is knowledgeable about relational databases in general, SQL, or the related topics. For example, the chapter on SQL on MySQL does not just describe the subset of SQL-92 that MySQL supports, but rather it contains a tutorial on the SQL for the commands that MySQL supports. Chapter seven on Database Design contains a tutorial on taking a database to third normal form complete with Entity-Relationship diagrams, unique identifiers and relationships. In part four, the PHP chapter contains a mini-tutorial on PHP and a complete PHP application. While the level of thoroughness is nice in the sense that you do not have to refer to other volumes to comprehend the subject, it makes for some very intense reading because of the size of the book versus the topics covered.
Overall, I like the book as a general tool, however there are certain omissions, for example: there is no reference phpMyAdmin or WinMySQLadmin. These tools are very easy to use and helpful in working with MySQL. In addition, the topic of creating InnoDB or BDB tables for transaction support is not addressed. The explanation of granting privileges in MySQL was a little confusing. Some supporting illustrations or diagrams would be well received there. The book is fairly successful in covering its broad topic domain. In conjunction with the MySQL manual, the book should meet most of my needs, but if I were a full time database administrator, I would probably want a dedicated reference book.
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on June 23, 2002
This book is a significant improvement over the 1st edition (which was titled MySQL & mSQL), mainly because it focuses directly on MySQL instead of focusing on the differences between MySQL and mSQL. This book leaves out critical information, which is why I gave it only 2 stars. The word REPLICATION isn't even in the book's Index (I skimmed the book and didn't see it covered anywhere in the text either), and MySQL's Replication Functionality is one of its most valuable features for fault tolerance! Also, the book is ambiguous on other Fault Tolerance issues. For example, on page 74 the book says to "store the binary logs on the same device as the backups". Binary logs are generated real-time as incremental updates between the nightly dumps - the book makes no effort to explain how to replicate those logs real-time to a separate server. If you're going to buy only one book on MySQL, I'd suggest Atkinson's book: core MySQL.
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on June 27, 2004
I generally love the O'Reilly books because they tend to be very thorough and have lots of practical code examples, but this book was a big disappointment to me. I was easily frustrated by this book. As a beginner to MySQL and database programming, I was completely lost whenever I tried to apply something to my own projects. The explanations given here are very brief and the authors often send you elsewhere for more in-depth discussion. I wound up doing most of my research online and just using the SQL reference chapter to look-up query syntax. I give it two stars because it did help me get started, but I'd say this is a poor reference for anyone looking for in-depth coverage.
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on September 17, 2002
This book is an excellent reference book for MySQL. In fact I'd rate it the best MySQL reference out there when using MySQL as a coder. But if your looking for this book to tell you how to manage MySQL look on, this book is not for you! It's pretty weak in that area (as is the official MySQL documentation). But again, as a programmer I've found this book invaluable as a resource and would never be without it. I'd recommend it for novices and advanced users.
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on July 18, 2002
If you are buying this book to learn how to manage MYSQL look on.. There is maybe one chapter on server mgt.. and 20 on programming for mysql.
The server mgt. they do have is not very good, you would be better suited getting the docs from
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on July 4, 2002
This book contains everything you will need to know about MySQL. As a MySQL DBA and developer, every time I've needed to look something up I've found it in this book. The chapter on security is comprehensive and the reference section is well-organized and concise.
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on November 4, 2003
this is a typical book comes out of George Reese:
1. poorly written
2. shamelessly copy and paste existing materials from reference manual
3. full of error
the author is only trying to get a quick buck or two.avoid it at all cost.
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on August 30, 2003
The book helps one to program for MYSQL in C, or other languages for that matter, but the installation section does not describe how to set up the "my.ini" file. It does a good job on the SQL syntax used by MySQL.
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