It’s free. (Or, depending on your application and environment, merely very cheap.) It’s fast. It’s becoming more and more powerful. You can run it on your favorite platform -- Linux, UNIX, or Windows. And it’s reliable: It just does the job. It’s MySQL. And (unless you sell for Oracle or Microsoft), you’ve got to admit, that’s one heck of a value proposition.
No wonder MySQL now powers more than 4 million web sites, data warehouses, and applications -- for organizations ranging from Yahoo! Finance to NASA. No wonder more than 27,000 more folks download MySQL every day.
If you ever work with databases -- as a DBA, developer, or user, or even as a manager or a client who needs a database-driven solution -- you ought to know about MySQL. Now there’s an introductory MySQL tutorial that comes straight from the source: MySQL Press.
Better still, it comes from two of the world’s most respected MySQL authors, Luke Welling and Laura Thomson. They’re the authors of PHP and MySQL Web Development, Second Edition, a book we -- and many other folks -- raved about when it was published.) From their experience as professional web and database developers, Welling and Thomson know MySQL inside out. From their experience teaching databases as university instructors, they also know how to explain MySQL -- clearly, simply, and in bite-size nuggets.
Each chapter of MySQL Tutorial focuses on one topic, walks you through each relevant task, and can be read in just one sitting...even by those of us with TV-induced short attention spans. By the time you’ve finished this concise book, you’ll be comfortable with all the day-to-day MySQL you’ll need: installation, configuration, usage, administration, and performance optimization.
After you’ve walked through installing MySQL and taking a quick tour of its capabilities, Welling and Thomson offer a crash course in database design and normalization: the principles involved in minimizing redundancy, maximizing efficiency, and ensuring that you don’t lose any data. You’ll plan the structure for a simple employee database; in the following chapter, you’ll implement that database with MySQL.
Next, it’s on to creating and deleting tables and indexes, and altering existing table structures, using SQL’s Data Definition Language (DDL) and Data Manipulation Language (DML). Welling and Thomson show how to insert and change data; and how to upload bulk data from text files, using LOAD DATA INFILE.
Once you’ve gotten data in, the authors turn to getting it out. They start with the simplest SELECT queries: displaying entire columns, using WHERE to choose specific rows. Gradually, you’ll build your skills, learning how to write queries that span multiple tables, and how to use several types of joins and subqueries. There’s also a full chapter on MySQL’s built-in query-related functions.
Those are the basics, but this book takes you a lot further. You’ll learn when to use each kind of MySQL table; how to use MySQL’s transaction support; and how to configure, maintain, backup, restore, and replicate your MySQL databases.
Last but not least, there’s a full section on optimization: everything from server configurations and database engines to queries. Your database will run fast. You’ll learn MySQL even faster. 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.