MySQL Cookbook, 3rd Ed

Author: Paul DuBois
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 836 
ISBN: 9781449374020
Kindle: B00M7EN798
Aimed at: MySQL developers
Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank 

Is MySQL Cookbook the best book on MySQL? This latest edition certainly keeps up its reputation as the go-to reference.

This is the third edition of one of the best books on MySQL. The subtitle of the book is ‘Solutions for database developers and administrators’, and that sums up the content perfectly. This isn’t an intro for beginners as it assumes a basic level of knowledge about MySQL. Having said that, the book starts with an intro to the MySQL client program, followed by a chapter on writing MySQL-based programs showing topics such as how to connect to the server and issue queries. Dubois uses a mix of Perl, Ruby, PHP, Python and Java in his examples throughout the book. The book is organized into sections each posing a problem you might face, followed by the solution in one of the example languages, and a discussion of the techniques used. 




Having introduced the basics, Dubois moves on to the essentials of selecting data from tables using the Select statement. The administrator element of the book is apparent in the next chapter, which covers table management and topics such as copying results between tables, cloning tables, and changing a table’s storage engine. There are a couple of solid chapters on strings, dates and times, and the section on queries concludes with chapters on sorting query results and generating summaries. There’s a good chapter on stored routines, triggers and scheduled events, though I’d have liked to see more ‘recipes’ – the chapter has three on stored procedures, four on triggers, and three on events.

Metadata and how to work with it is the next topic, with a good description of what metadata is and how to use it. This is followed by chapters on importing and exporting data, and on validating and reformatting the data once you’ve imported it. A chapter on generating and using sequences has useful descriptions of how to find the most recent value and how to re-sequence a column, and there’s a solid chapter on using joins and subqueries.

From this point onwards the book gets more interesting for developers who already know the basics of working with databases. There’s a good chapter on statistical techniques covering frequency distributions, regressions and correlations. A chapter on handling duplicates shows how to find and remove duplicates, and more usefully how to stop them happening in the first place. The chapter on handling transactions discusses how to write transactional code in all the example languages – Perl, Ruby, PHP, Python and Java.





The next four chapters discuss using MySQL on the web, including generating web content from query results, processing web input, and MySQL web-session management. The book closes with chapters on server administration and security.

This is a very thorough book that gives good examples throughout. DuBois does assume a certain level of knowledge about SQL and MySQL, so I wouldn’t recommend the book for a beginner, but if you want to learn more about the workings of MySQL you’ll certainly find useful information. I’d describe the coverage as broad rather than really in-depth; the descriptions tell you what to do in specific situations, but don’t go into the underlying reasons why a particular choice has been made, what your alternatives are, or why this method works.

My overall impression of the book is that if you’re trying to work out how to do something specific in MySQL, the chances are DuBois will have a solution showing how to achieve your aim. It’s a very good addition to any MySQL bookshelf.  

Related Review

MySQL 5th Edition 

Author: Paul DuBois
Publisher: Addison Wesley,  2013
Target audience: Developers working with MySQL
Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank

This is a very good book for anyone needing to know how to use MySQL. It has good descriptions of even difficult topics, and the examples are well written and good at illustrating the point.  A book you’ll want to keep on your desk when learning MySQL, and on the shelf once you know it for those occasions when you meet something incomprehensible.



Machine Learning with PyTorch and Scikit-Learn

Author: Sebastian Raschka, Yuxi (Hayden) Liu & Vahid Mirjalili
Publisher: Packt
Date: February 2022
Pages: 770
ISBN: 978-1801819312
Print: 1801819319
Kindle: B09NW48MR1
Audience: Python developers interested in machine learning
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Mike James
This is a very big book of machine le [ ... ]

High Performance SQL Server, 2nd Ed (Apress)

Author: Benjamin Nevarez
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 420
ISBN: 978-1484264904
Print: 1484264908
Kindle: B08TQR3NMF
Audience: SQL Server DBAs and Devs
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Ian Stirk

This book aims to improve the performance of your SQL Server, how does it fare?

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 December 2014 )