Beginning MySQL: Not just for the beginner

July 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm 18 comments

Talking with many PHP developers, it is quite clear that one of the weak points a lot of of them face is their lack of a deeper understanding in terms of MySQL. That is why when we got Beginning MySQL, by Robert Sheldon and Geoff Moes, published by the great Wrox publishing, we got quite excited.

Of course, as the title says it is a “beginning” series book, but since we found that so many good developers are looking for a good guide on MySQL, we assumed we start from A and only than will we review the more advanced books.

For those out there who are not yet familiar with it, MYSQL is an open-source standard DBMS that is one of the most popular in being used as the back-end on millions of websites. MySQL boasts ease of implementation, minimal overhead, consistent reliability, and low total cost of ownership.

We found this book to be not only a wonderful starter guide to learning MYSQL but also as a great tool for people who have learned some MYSQL on their own and want a guide and/or resource for learning more intermediate topics.

In this book you will find great resources on how to get, install and configure MYSQL whether it be on a Windows or UNIX environment. As we all know, jumping into creating your tables before you understand design theory can be disastrous down the road when you realize you need to re-design your tables which can lead to hours of extra work. This is why right at the beginning of the book, the author on topics like how to create a relational database while explaining good design with normalization, relationships (one to many, many to many, etc), understanding what a data model is, and showing some good database examples.

The authors go into explaining the SQL (Structured Query Language) in how to create a table, retrieve data, update, append and delete data. The book spends a good amount of time on the basics of SQL and shows some really great examples. After the basics it discusses the MYSQL specific syntax and more complex queries and uses coupled with more good examples for each of them. The author does a great job of going through the syntax first then shows some examples and then goes through using the new syntax in a database project as well.

After going through the basics the book leads you into administration tasks such as exporting and copying databases, managing transactions, setting up security and optimizing and performance issues. The final three chapters cover using different web technologies (PHP, ASP.NET and Java) to interact with MYSQL databases and show data on a web page, being very nice change of pace that can prove helpful if you want to get into web development as well.

To sum it all up, we would advise every person who want to learn MYSQL to go out and get this book. Getting this book will assure you know your way around MySQL when your queries begin getting more complex than a simple SELECT statement… We believe that by the end of the book you’ll have a solid foundation for understanding MySQL as a robust, flexible, and easy-to-implement application that has many diverse uses.


Entry filed under: Books. Tags: , , .

The ideal point A: Head First PHP & MySQL Web Database Applications with PHP, and MySQL: Your PHP Launchpad Station

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. biilasio8337  |  July 8, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I checked out this book on Amazon. Whewwwww…. it’s one hefty book, lots of meat in there….

  • 2. qilfia_zomm  |  July 8, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Is this book specifically targeted towards PHP developers?

    • 3. drupalmeister  |  July 9, 2009 at 7:25 am

      There actually is an extra chapter in the book dedicated to PHP and how it it used in conjunction with MySQL.

      There are also two other chapters covering ASP and Java, so it does not matter where you are coming from, you will find this book very useful.

  • 4. JMintheAM  |  July 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Do you need to have a website to try mysql?

    • 5. drupalmeister  |  July 9, 2009 at 7:27 am

      No. You may develop and run MySQL on your local machine using WAMP/MAMP/LAMP.

      If you don’t know what these terms mean, you can just pick up the book, and get all the instructions in there.

      You will be up and running on your local machine in no time.

  • 6. jimmy dell_user  |  July 8, 2009 at 11:51 pm


    thanks 4 d review.

    i’d like 2 know if u need 2 know mysql in order 2 work with drupal

    • 7. drupalmeister  |  July 9, 2009 at 7:29 am

      Well, yes and no.

      Of course, you don’t really need to even know PHP in order to use Drupal at it’s very basic level.

      But when it comes to customizing drupal, tweaking it, or writing new modules you definitely need to know your way around both PHP and MySQL.

      Knowledge of both PHP and MySQL is what you really need in any open source project based on PHP/MySQL.

  • 8. mikyniky  |  July 9, 2009 at 7:08 am

    is this book also covering oracle?

    • 9. drupalmeister  |  July 9, 2009 at 7:30 am

      This book covers MySQL as it states on the cover. Now, I’m sure some of the concepts in this book can be applied to Oracle databases as well, since most databases use SQL to communicate.

  • 10. jamaica  |  July 9, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Great review. thanks.

  • 11. bashthecrash  |  July 9, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    is this book covering the latest edition of mysql?

    • 12. drupalmeister  |  July 10, 2009 at 5:55 am

      Since this a beginner book, the difference between versions is not much of a concern to you, since the additions that were added in later versions are only advanced features.

  • 13. HopBop  |  July 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    wer can i by dis book?

    • 14. drupalmeister  |  July 10, 2009 at 5:56 am

      You can buy it through Amazon (There is a link in the post), or you can buy it at your local book store (Barnes & Nobles, Borders… you name it!)

  • 15. billy, texas  |  July 9, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    what is the difference between this book and the other book you covered, also from wrox, that has php included in it. is this book better or the other one?

    • 16. drupalmeister  |  July 10, 2009 at 5:58 am

      Good question, Billy.

      Well, just to give you an idea of the difference, consider that book books are of about the same size, yet this one is all dedicated to MySQL, while the other is mostly dedicated to PHP.

      In other words, this book really focuses on MySQL, while the other is trying to give you an idea of what MySQL is and how it can be applied in a PHP development environment.

  • 17. admed  |  July 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm


    my name is ahmed, and im from lebanon.

    one, thank you very much for you review.

    i want to know if this only is a beginner book what else could you learn to better know MYSQL? thanks you

    • 18. drupalmeister  |  July 10, 2009 at 5:59 am

      As we wrote in the review, we plan on reviewing more MySQL books in the near future, so…. Stay tuned!


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