I am a Microsoft SQL Server DBA and did a very small amount of work with MySQL last fall to teach a class on the SQL language. I am very good at programming Microsoft SQL Server in Transact-SQL. I want to become a self-educated expert on MySQL. I bought MySQL by DuBois, 2nd edition. I admit I have not gone through this book thoroughly. At first glance, it seems to be concentrating on the SQL language. I admit I have not read Part III regarding administration.
The MySQL documentation is probably okay for those with a certain "critical mass" of knowledge. I do not seem to have that critical mass yet. What I am looking for is a book I can use for self-study, akin to the Microsoft Press books for SQL Server. Do you have any suggestions for such a book?
My first recommendation would be to read part III of Paul Dubois' book. The book is very good and having read it I can recommend chapter 4 and part III as being paticularly useful for those with SQL knowledge who are looking for MySQL specific information.
The MySQL-provided documentation can be intimidating in regards to its depth and breadth, but it remains your ultimate resource, and a quick search can usually prove fruitful. As a side note, let me give a quick tip on searching the MySQL Web site: through clever use of Apache's post_vars interface, the MySQL site can return a search directly from the address bar. All you need to do is enter http://www.mysql.com/search-term and if the URL does not exist, a search will be performed. For example, to quickly find the MySQL INSERT syntax, type http://www.mysql.com/insert into the address bar and a search will be performed.
Another good resource, also by Paul Dubois, is the MySQL Certification Study Guide, published by the MySQL Press (ISBN 0672326329). While you may not be studying for the certification exam, I have found the book to be a very good study aid for those learning MySQL in general. The book offers a wealth of information, and also provides excercises to improve your knowledge. Additional MySQL Press books include the MySQL Tutorial by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson (ISBN 0672325845), but this is more an introduction to the SQL standard using MySQL as the example database.
One final recommendation would be MySQL - The Complete Reference by Vikram Vaswani (ISBN 0072224770). This books is good reference for users who are new to MySQL, but may once again leave an experienced SQL user skipping ahead. For a book that helps the experienced user optimize and existing MySQL database see High Performance MySQL by Jeremy Zawodny (ISBN 0596003064).
For More Information
- Dozens more answers to tough MySQL questions from Mike Hillyer are available here.
- The Best MySQL Web Links: tips, tutorials, scripts, and more.
- Ask the Experts yourself: Our SQL, database design, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase, MySQL, object-oriented and data warehousing gurus are waiting to answer your toughest questions.
This was first published in June 2004