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Begin here if you are new to databases and perhaps uncertain whether or not you need one or can use one.You should also read the chapter if you don't know anything about MySQL or SQL and need an introductory guide to get started. Readers who have experience with MySQL or with database systems might want to skim through the material. However, everybody should read the section "A Sample Database" because it's best if you're familiar with the purpose and contents of the database that we'll be using repeatedly throughout the book.
How MySQL Can Help You
This section describes situations in which the MySQL database system is useful. This will give you an idea of the kinds of things MySQL can do and the ways in which it can help you. If you don't need to be convinced about the usefulness of a database system-perhaps because you've already got a problem in mind and just want to find out how to put MySQL to work helping you solve it-you can proceed to "A Sample Database."
A database system is essentially just a way to manage lists of information. The information can come from a variety of sources. For example, it can represent research data, business records, customer requests, sports statistics, sales reports, personal hobby information, personnel records, bug reports, or student grades. However, although database systems can deal with a wide range of information, you don't use such a system for its own sake. If a job is easy to do already, there's no reason to drag a database into it just to use one. A grocery list is a good example:You write down the items to get, cross them off as you do your shopping, and then throw the list away. It's highly unlikely that you'd use a database for this. Even if you have a palmtop computer, you'd probably use its notepad function for a grocery list, not its database capabilities.
The power of a database system comes in when the information you want to organize and manage becomes voluminous or complex so that your records become more burdensome than you care to deal with by hand. Databases can be used by large corporations processing millions of transactions a day, of course. But even small-scale operations involving a single person maintaining information of personal interest may require a database. It's not difficult to think of situations in which the use of a database can be beneficial because you needn't have huge amounts of information before that information becomes difficult to manage. Consider the following situations:
You're tired of maintaining the directory that way because it limits what you can do with it. It's difficult to sort the entries in different ways, and you can't easily select just certain parts of each entry (such as a list consisting only of names and phone numbers). Nor can you easily find a subset of members, such as those who need to renew their memberships soon-if you could, it would eliminate the job of looking through the entries each month to find those members who need to be sent renewal notices.
Also, you'd really like to avoid doing all the directory editing yourself, but the society doesn't have much of a budget, and hiring someone is out of the question.You've heard about the "paperless office" that's supposed to result from electronic record-keeping, but you haven't seen any benefit from it. The membership records are electronic, but, ironically, aren't in a form that can be used easily for anything except generating paper by printing the directory!
These scenarios range from situations involving large amounts to relatively small amounts of information. They share the common characteristic of involving tasks that can be performed manually but that could be performed more efficiently by a database system.
What specific benefits should you expect to see from using a database system such as MySQL? It depends on your particular needs and requirements-and as seen in the...
I General MySQL Use
1 Getting Started with MySQL 13
2 Using SQL to Manage Data 101
3 Data Types 201
4 Stored Programs 289
5 Query Optimization 303
II Using MySQL Programming Interfaces
6 Introduction to MySQL Programming 341
7 Writing MySQL Programs Using C 359
8 Writing MySQL Programs Using Perl DBI 435
9 Writing MySQL Programs Using PHP 527
III MySQL Administration
10 Introduction to MySQL Administration 579
11 The MySQL Data Directory 585
12 General MySQL Administration 609
13 Access Control and Security 699
14 Database Maintenance, Backups, and Replication 737
A Obtaining and Installing Software 777
B Data Type Reference 797
C Operator and Function Reference 813
D System, Status, and User Variable Reference 889
E SQL Syntax Reference 937
F MySQL Program Reference 1037
G C API Reference 1121
H Perl DBI API Reference 1177
I PHP API Reference 1207
Posted June 3, 2013
MySQL by Paul Dubois recently was reissued in a fifth edition. I purchased my first edition of this book more than a dozen years ago and it has become heavily dog-eared, festooned with Post-Its, and hand annotated over the years. It has proven to be the ‘go-to’ book when other books or the manuals did not explain to my satisfaction any questions that have popped up.
The author is part of the amazing MySQL Documentation Team for Oracle and certainly knows the subject. At 1,154 pages it is not light in weight nor light in detail. The chapters include ‘Data Types’, ‘Writing MySQL Programs using C’, ‘Security and Access Control’, ‘System, Status and User Variable Reference’, ‘Query Optimization’, ‘Writing MySQL Programs using PHP’, and ‘The MySQl Data Dictionary’. The layout is easy on the eyes and the examples are able to spotlight the idea being covered fully. The text itself reads easily and amazingly clear. This is the most complete single book on MySQL and the one book you would bring if you have to use MySQL on the fabled desert island that allows only one book. The book is detailed enough for gnarled DBAs to discover undiscovered gems while clear enough for a junior MySQL-er to be able to get through a rough spot.
if you run across this book in a store, head directly to chapter 13 on Security and Access Control where ‘How to Steal Data’ provides any DBA a Steven King level horror story that will provide nightmare fodder for years to come. The author then guides you through MySQL security and provides the best details on Proxy Accounts I have found. Other chapters are equally profound and perfectly detailed.
It does cover some of the new features of MySQL 5.6 but 5.6 came out after this book was committed to publishing. This is a minor problem and should not stop anyone from getting a copy of this book in their hands ASAP.
And I apologize to Paul and his publisher for what I will do to this book in the next few years as I make notes, add Post-Its, fold corners on certain pages. This is a physically beautiful book that will look like a sea anemone as I make good use of it.