We have divided this book into four sections. Part I introduces the world of relational databases and MySQL’s place in that world. Part II supports database administrators by covering all the elements of MySQL database administration. Part III builds upon the basic understanding of MySQL from the first section by demonstrating how to build applications that use your MySQL database. Finally, in Part IV, we provide a reference section as a resource for quickly looking up APIs we cover in the first three sections.
Part I is naturally aimed at people new to relational databases and/or MySQL. It begins with a basic introduction to MySQL and relational databases and covers getting started with MySQL. You might want to skip Part I if you are an experienced MySQL user or simply skim it if you have experience with other database engines.
The job of the database administrator is to make certain that the database is up and running efficiently and supporting its applications. If this is your job, Part II is for you. We cover security, performance tuning, and database design. Proper database design is essential for database architects if the goal is to build database applications flexible enough to scale as their needs change. You also need a proper database design if you want your database to actually perform well.
Part III is aimed at database architects and programmers. It contains chapters devoted to programming in specific languages or using specific tools. Of particular interest to web programmers will be the chapters on Perl, Java, Python, and PHP.
The book closes with a reference section covering elements of MySQL and some APIs.