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May 12, 2005

"MySQL in a Nutshell": New Quick Reference Leads to Faster, More Productive Queries

Sebastopol, CA--Stable and reliable, MySQL may not possess the elan of trendier open source technologies, but it has definitely earned its standing as one of the true success stories of the open source movement. Long a favorite database in the Linux and open source communities, it's made significant inroads into areas that used to be the exclusive province of Oracle or MS SQL Server. While its price is attractive--the GPL-licensed version is free for internal use, and commercial licenses and support are quite inexpensive--affordability is not the only factor in MySQL's success. There are, after all, other cost-free, open source databases available, but few can compete with MySQL's solid reputation for speed, ease of use, and flexibility.

"The popularity of MySQL has grown immensely. Monty Widenius and the others at MySQL AB have built an excellent database system. As a result, it's becoming dominant in the market place," observes Russell J.T. Dyer, author of the new MySQL in a Nutshell (O'Reilly, US $39.95). "From the efforts of a small company with about 175 employees scattered around the world, located on every continent but Antarctica, MySQL AB is averaging about 35,000 downloads of their software every day. It's estimated that there are over 4 million installations worldwide."

As Dyer points out in his book, administration of MySQL is fairly effortless, owing to a variety of utilities that are packaged with the database. Nevertheless, MySQL and the APIs used for interacting with it are so rich and complex that it's challenging to remember all the possible nuances. MySQL in a Nutshell provides the syntax with easily understood explanations and examples, presented in the classic, quick-reference format of O'Reilly's In a Nutshell series that makes retrieving information quick and simple.

"I wanted a book that I can grab when I can't remember syntax for an SQL statement or a function," says Dyer. "I wanted a reference source that will give me what I need and quickly." Writing for MySQL administrators and developers of all skill levels, Dyer states that the goal of his book is to help readers quickly and easily understand how to get MySQL to do what they want or need it to do.

After introductory information on installing and formatting queries to MySQL, the book presents a reference listing of MySQL's features. Contents include:

  • SQL statements, with the clauses of the more complicated statements broken into groups of related functionality for easier reading
  • Functions provided by MySQL
  • Arguments and configuration options for the mysqld server
  • Arguments for the terminal client and a number of MySQL-related utilities, both within and outside the core distribution
  • API functions for Perl, PHP, and C
  • MySQL in a Nutshell offers a wealth of examples based on realistic applications that show how features will benefit users and make for simpler, faster, more productive queries. "It really is a required reference book for all members of the MySQL community," notes Dyer. "They will be able to find the syntax and usage of MySQL statements and functions, along with clear explanations for each and examples for almost all of them." The information in the book can make every MySQL user more productive--novice and veteran alike.

    Additional Resources:

    MySQL in a Nutshell
    Russell J.T. Dyer
    ISBN: 0-596-00789-2, 321 pages, $39.95 US, $55.95 CA
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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