Wednesday, February 28, 2007


All-encompassing MySQL guide.
Attempts to cover major scripting languages.
Written in a format that is problem solving oriented that is recipes.
Practical problems were used.
Could serve as a reference.


Niggled over details.
A scholarly tome.
May be confusing to follow(Too cumbersome)

Intent and Audience
MySQL cookbook tries to present all the major concepts of MySQL database in a way that could be easily understood and at the same time real world oriented. This is an attempt to solve most of the real world problems a web programmer might face in the course of his work with MySQL. This is indeed a great book, written for all – beginner and professional.
An experienced person would use it as a reference book and a tome. It has a lot of recipes that would be useful for an experienced person while working with MySQL. Its recipes might serve as templates upon which one could build his applications. For a beginner, it has recipes that would get him started and help him progress in MySQL.
The wonderful thing about this book is that it covers virtually all the leading scripting languages (Ruby, PHP, Perl, Python and Java), therefore making it a must read for anyone who uses MySQL for web based programming.

Relevance of Material
Its reach and depth in MySQL database could only be matched by reference books. It is written with the programmer at heart. The author attempts to present to the reader solutions to real world problems facing web based programmers and he does this in a style that is thoroughly explained – recipes. This great book is not limited to MySQL database; it has a lot of materials on script languages.

Chapter Highlights

Chapter 1 would be well appreciated by someone who has not used MySQL database before. It basically covers MySQL set up and basic steps on how to run it and it is worthy to note that the author leaned heavily on Unix.

Chapter 2 is centred on connecting to the MySQL server through script languages (Ruby, PHP, Perl, Python and Java), issuing statements, and retrieving the results.

Chapters 3 and 4 are on retrieving data from the database, manipulation of tables using SQL and script languages.

Chapter 5 focuses on advanced search; how to query the database using patterns, regression and Boolean were explained, also set and collation were clearly presented.

Chapter 6 thoroughly examines Data and Time with ample recipes, this chapter could easily be used as a broad reference on Date and Time, however emphasis was on MySQL 5.

Chapter 7 takes the reader through sorting and various ways of sorting data.

Chapters 8 and 9 are on various ways by which summary reports could be done. Chapter 8 uses SQL statements which includes “ORDER BY and GROUP BY”, while Chapter 9 uses API languages.

Chapter 10 is indeed the longest chapter, and to my mind one of the most useful chapters, it is all about import and export of data. Firstly, it started by using SQL’s LOAD DATA to store files into MySQL database and using SQL’s INTO OUTFILE to export the result of a query from MySQL into a file. The author implemented (recipes) importing and exporting of data using API languages and it also covers various ways of using patterns matching in data validation. Finally, the author exposed the reader on how to export and import data between MySQL and other applications like Microsoft Access, Excel and XML.

Chapter 11 exhaustively covers Primary Key (integer) and sequence.

Chapter 12 examines multiple tables’ manipulation using JOIN and UNION on a single MySQL server and it also explains how to manipulate tables across two database servers (MySQL).

Chapter 13 uses in-built functions to generate central tendency (mean, mode and median) and measures of variation (standard deviation and variance).

Chapter 14 is on how to handle redundant data on a table using REPLACE, IGNORE and ON DUPLICATE KEY. Other techniques for removing duplicate rows were equally explained.

Chapter 15 examines Transaction and Rollback and it also examines alternative to Transaction.

Chapter 16 is on Stored Programming, which has recipes on Stored Procedure, Trigger and Event.

Chapters 17, 18, 19 and 20 are on database (MySQL) driven web pages (dynamic web sites). Chapter 17 and 18 are on getting MySQL database, Web Server and Script languages up and running, and displaying query results on a web page. Chapter 19 is on retrieving data from web page forms and storing it on MySQL database. Chapter 20 x-rays Session management.

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