Book review: MySQL Administrator’s Guide and Language Reference

Posted on in Categories Book Review last updated August 16, 2006
MySQL Administrator's Guide and Language Reference

MySQL is a multithreaded, multi-user, SQL Database Management System (DBMS). Used by millions of web site everyday. It is known for its speed, high reliability, and ease of use. MySQL is rapidly becoming a low-cost alternative to high priced databases. With such a large user base, this book comes on right time.

This book is written by the creators of MySQL and edited by one of the most highly respected MySQL authors, the MySQL Administrator’s Guide and Language Reference is the official guide to installing MySQL, to setting up and administering MySQL databases, and to storing and retrieving data in these databases.

This is the ultimate reference from the MySQL AB itself. This book offers extensive advice on installing and administering MySQL that you always wanted to know.

Chapter 1: General Information

This chapter starts with an overview of MySQL AB, the company behind the MySQL product. It explains the MySQL core values, overview of MySQL database management system, history of MySQL, the main features of MySQL, overview of MaxDB etc. To be frank you can skip this chapter if you just wanted to get started with MySQL.

Chapter 2: Installing and Upgrading MySQL

This chapter explains how to get and install MySQL Don’t skip this chapter as it offers detailed installation instructions, desired installation directory structure and much more. In-depth coverage has been given for MySQL installation under various oses:
Mac OS X
MS Windows
Other UNIX like oses

Chapter 3: Using MySQL Programs

This is the most important chapter for new MySQL admin as it provides a brief overview of the command-line programs. How to use MySQL GUI and client tools for connecting MySQL server. How to pass options to MySQL programs etc. It also covers configuration file syntax and basic usage. Overall, this chapter helps you to understand the basic usages of MySQL programs.

Chapter 4: Database Administration

The core database administration is covered in this chapter such as
Configuring the server
User accounts management
Making backups
Understanding the server log files
And the most important the query cache which is extremely useful in an environment where you have tables that do not change very often and for which the server receives many identical queries.

Chapter 5: Replication

Data replication helps you to make backup copy of data. However, replication offers other benfits too such as speed, robustness, load-balancing etc. This is extremely important chapter. It introduces you to replication concepts, shows how to set up replication servers, and serves as a reference to the available replication options. It also provides a list of frequently asked questions (with answers), and troubleshooting advice for solving replication problems.

Chapter 6: Optimization

Now you know how to setup MySQL and replication to your clients. It is time to take your understanding to next level. Optimization helps you to make sure you get hightest performance from same computer h/w and software. However, optimization is a complex task because ultimately it requires understanding of the entire system to be optimized.
This chapter tries to explain and give some examples of different ways to optimize MySQL.

Chapter 7: Client and Utility Programs

MySQL comes with tons of client and utility programs. These programs are used for database administrative tasks or client programs that connect to the server to access databases. This chapter provides a brief overview of these programs along with syntax and examples.

Chapter 8: Storage Engines and Table Types

MySQL use different storage engines and table types to store your data. Understanding of storage engines and table types enhances your admin skills. MySQL storage engines include both those that handle transaction-safe tables and those that handle non-transaction-safe tables. This chapter gives you a brief introduction on MySQL storage engines.

Chapter 9: MySQL Cluster

High availability is a system design protocol and associated implementation that ensures the availability of service. For example, Google or Yahoo search engine almost available everyday using High availability techniques.

MySQL High-availability clusters are computer clusters that are implemented primarily for improving the availability of databases (data) which the cluster provides. MySQL uses the NDB Cluster storage engine for clustering.

This chapter covers basic MySQL cluster concepts and a How-To that describes the basics for how to plan, install, configure, and run a MySQL Cluster.


Overall, a great book that touches all administrative aspects of MySQL database server management. This book is highly recommended to all new MySQL administrators:

  • It saves time – No more hunting using google to find out one tiny command or concept
  • Ease of understanding – The Language is plain and natural. The book carries a good number of examples to make concept clear.
  • Book title: MySQL Administrator’s Guide and Language Reference
  • Author: MySQL AB
  • Publisher: MySQL Press
  • Pub Date: April, 2006
  • ISBN: 0672328704
  • Pages: 888
  • Level of experience needed: Beginners/Intermediate sys admin
  • Who will find useful: MySQL admin
  • Additional goodies included (such as CDROM) : No
  • Purchase online @ Amazon

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