Agilent and Yahoo. Google and Xerox. Lockheed and Slashdot. Walt Disney and the U.S. Census Bureau. What could these incredibly diverse organizations have in common? MySQL, that’s what. More than four million organizations now use this software miracle. And no wonder. MySQL is fast, robust, multithreaded, scalable, compatible, open, and -- in most applications and scenarios -- free.
An extraordinary global community has come together around MySQL. Nowadays, the support and information available to MySQL users have far outstripped what you’d expect from most “open source” products -- for which documentation is at best an afterthought, and at worst a curse.
So we’re not recommending MySQL, Second Edition because we know you’re desperate for even the slightest scraps of accurate, comprehensible information. We’re recommending it because it’s terrific.
Author Paul DuBois knows this product like few others outside MySQL itself. (In fact, he's among the writers and maintainers of the official MySQL manual.) But it’s more than that.
It’s DuBois’s remarkable clarity and care in explaining both MySQL and the core database concepts surrounding it. MySQL, Second Edition is one of those books where you can really see the thought that’s gone into everything from organization to examples. And everything he writes is grounded in experience. It’s not just what the features do: It’s why you care -- and what to watch out for.
DuBois covers MySQL from start to finish: installation, configuration, programming, day-to-day administration, security, optimization, and troubleshooting. The book also contains definitive references to MySQL’s column types, operators, functions, SQL dialect, its multiple APIs, and the program itself.
You also won’t find a more up-to-date MySQL guide. This is one of the first MySQL books to fully cover the newest MySQL 4.1 enhancements. For instance, DuBois shows how to make the most of 4.1’s new support for SQL subselects (sometimes called subqueries or nested queries). These make searching complex data a whole lot easier, and more efficient, too.
Of course, the long-awaited features that arrived with MySQL 4.0 are covered in depth -- for example, transactions. (DuBois’s coverage is notable for his discussion of the types of problems you can run into if you don’t pay attention to transactional issues -- and how you can address them using both the new transactional table types and MySQL’s traditional non-transactional tables.)
You’ll also find solid coverage of MySQL’s recently improved replication capabilities, including a walkthrough of establishing a master-slave replication relationship between two servers.
In a detailed chapter on MySQL security, DuBois systematically introduces techniques for preventing unauthorized file system and network access -- and takes a microscope to MySQL’s critical Grant tables. You’ll also learn how to set up secure, encrypted connections over SSL -- yet another new feature of MySQL 4.x.
Administrators will find thorough introductions to everything from the MySQL data dictionary to managing user accounts, server tuning to backup, recovery, and database repair.
MySQL, Second Edition is especially strong on programming -- from the absolute basics (“Why write a MySQL program at all?”) to nifty pattern matching and web applications. You’ll find chapters on the MySQL C API, on PHP, and especially on the Perl DBI.
Twelve hundred pages, and as far as we can tell, not one wasted. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.