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Learning MySQL: Create databases and web apps with MySQL

November 14, 2006

Sebastopol, CA--A relatively recent entrant into the area of relational database management systems, MySQL has introduced millions of everyday computer users and amateur researchers to the world of powerful information systems. Now it's the backbone of web applications that we use everyday in the most casual manner: we'll visit an online shopping site, see what's in stock, place an order, and then track the order until our goods are delivered--with no intervention from the site's staff--all owing to the workings of MySQL. As Seyed M.M. "Saied" Tahaghoghi and Hugh E. Williams, authors of Learning MySQL (O'Reilly, US $44.99), observe, the Web has inspired a new generation of database use, and MySQL is at its heart.

Indeed, the database server market has consolidated into a handful of products, with MySQL positioned as a strong open source alternative to commercial server software such as DB2, Oracle, and SQL Server. Consequently, an increasing number of corporations are adopting it and both the need and desire to learn the technology are on the rise among IT professionals. "With the recent release of MySQL 5.0 (and 5.1), MySQL is better positioned than ever to be used for high-throughput and mission-critical applications," notes Saied.

He adds that MySQL is a complex piece of software, so it's difficult pinpoint a single critical skill, but Learning MySQL covers most everything a reader will need for all but the most advanced and large-scale applications. "This includes installation and secure configuration of the software, structured database design, using the MySQL command line tools, and writing PHP and Perl command-line and web programs to interact with MySQL databases."

  • This densely packed tutorial covers the range from beginner to advanced intermediate, giving the reader the skills to design and build complex databases, and develop applications using the two main languages used to interact with MySQL: PHP and Perl.
  • It covers important areas often skipped by other books: security, customization, and backups, and teaches structured database design principles that help readers avoid common design mistakes.
  • The authors provide very detailed instructions on how to get MySQL up and running on different operating systems, including Windows XP and Vista, Mac OS X, and different flavors of Linux.
  • Other topics include basic and advanced querying, tuning for improved efficiency, and building web database applications.

Both authors of Learning MySQL have always been interested in using computers as a tool to make things faster, more efficient, and more effective. "Over the past few years we've repeatedly found that the MySQL database management system--and the PHP and Perl programming languages--provide a perfect platform for serious applications such as managing research records and marking student assignments, and not-so-serious ones like running the office sweepstakes," they explain. "On the way, we've learned a lot of lessons that we'd like to pass along; this book contains the tips that we think most readers will find useful on a daily basis."

Saied Tahaghoghi is a senior lecturer at the RMIT University School of Computer Science and Information Technology, and is a member of the RMIT Search Engine Group, where he supervises research on text, image, video, and code retrieval.

Hugh E. Williams is a software design engineer at Microsoft's Windows Live Search in Redmond, Washington. He's published over 70 research papers and holds several patents, mostly in the search engine area.

Background and Market Information:

Additional Resources:

Learning MySQL
Seyed M.M. "Saied" Tahaghoghi and Hugh E. Williams
ISBN: 0-596-00864-3, 598 pages, $44.99 US, $58.99 CA
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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