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Reviewed by Major Keary
Reviewed by Major Keary
This third edition of The Definitive Guide to MySQL covers version 5, which has a number of significant new developments. It is a text that both teaches MySQL and provides an in-depth reference for ongoing use.
Readers are not expected to have any knowledge of SQL or database design, but are assumed to be familiar with one or other of the programming languages usually associated with MySQL. Those who are approaching MySQL for the first time should be aware that PHP appears to be the preferred programming language—in my experience it predominates in the MySQL literature.
MySQL can be run as a 'stand-alone' application, but in most instances it is used by programs written using one of several languages; the most common are Perl, PHP, Java, Visual Basic/VBA, VB.NET/C#, and C, each of which has its own method—described in the text—of interfacing with MySQL.
The book is in six parts. Part 1 is an introduction that includes installation on Linux and Windows systems and an introductory example that uses PHP. Part 2, Administrative Tools and User Interfaces, is a logical extension of the introduction that includes discussions on connecting with PHP, MS Office (Access and Excel), and StarOffice/OpenOffice.
Part 3, Fundamentals, is the largest section, and presents a thorough, in-depth reference with practical tutorial-style information. It begins with a discussion of database design and then works through using MySQL. A chapter, SQL Recipes, presents a wide range of examples that cover common procedures and explains the use of alternative functions.
Part 4, Programming, contains chapters on PHP, Perl, Java, C, Visual Basic .NET and C#, and Visual Basic 6/VBA. The largest chapter is on programming MySQL with PHP, which reflects the preference for PHP mentioned above.
The information is not designed as a teaching tool for the particular languages; readers are assumed to 'speak' whichever of the languages they choose to use with MySQL.
Part 5, SQL Reference covers the SQL operators, functions, and commands available under MySQL. Applications that are SQL compliant vary in the degree of compliance with the ANSI-SQL/92 standard.
This part is concise and contains an SQL Reference (syntax; variables and constants; MySQL data types; command overview (thematic); command overview (alphabetical); functions; GIS data types and functions; mysqld (server); mysqld_safe (server start); new installation of mysql database; update mysql database; renaming myISAM files; SQL command interpreter; administration; backup/export; text import/bulk import; display information; repair MyISAM files; and compress MyISAM files; a Tools and Options Reference; and an API Reference.
Part 6, Appendices, contains a useful glossary, a URL for the book's example files, and a bibliography.
A well presented guide that focuses on the practical, rather than theoretical, use of MySQL.
Michael Kofler: The Definitive Guide to MySQL 5
Published by Apress, 748 pp., RRP AU$ 90.00
The Australian distributor of Apress titles is Woodslane <www.woodslane.com.au>