Read Your Way Into MySQL, MariaDB and PostgreSQL
Thursday, 09 February 2023
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Read Your Way Into MySQL, MariaDB and PostgreSQL
MariaDB & PostgreSQL

Open Source databases offer a great alternative to proprietary systems such as SQL Server, but the documentation isn't always as good as you might hope.

One of the databases you’re most likely to have to work with is MySQL (and its offshoots), so we’ve selected books that will teach you about MySQL, MariaDB and PostgreSQL. For Programmer's Bookshelf we pick only the best and recommend the books you might find helpful at different stages in your personal development.

The I Programmer team considers hundreds of programming titles per year, good and bad, to make it easier for you to find the right ones. We rate books on a 5-point scale with 5 stars awarded only to books that are considered excellent for their intended audience.

If you want to read more of the original review click in the link in each title. Clicking on the book jacket in the side panel will take you to Amazon. If you just want to find out more about the book click in the top portion of the thumbnail to open the book's product details page. If you do decide to make a book purchase accessing Amazon from a link on I Programmer means that we are credited with a few cents - so thanks to all of you who support us in this way.


MySQL 5th Edition

Author: Paul DuBois
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Pages: 1176
ISBN: 978-0321833877

Any book that gets to a 5th edition is probably worth reading, and this book on MySQL by Paul Dubois certainly fits this pattern. We gave it the maximum five stars


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.

High Performance MySQL 3rd Edition

Authors: Baron Schwartz, Peter Zaitsev & Vadim Tkachenko
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 828
ISBN: 978-1449314286

This book is packed full of techniques to make MySQL fly. Since we covered the third edition it has been updated, but still covers areas including optimization, backups and replication, alongside how to use open source utilities to delve into MySQL performance.


Working out whether a server is running slowly, and how to improve that performance, is difficult. The authors show how to profile entire apps, particular queries, and workloads, then how to use the profile for optimization. Some of the material is tough going, such as problems with slow replicated systems. Giving it a maximum 5 rating, Kay Ewbank said that it’s densely packed and a hard read, but she’s sure the book will improve the way your apps perform.

MySQL Troubleshooting

Author: Sveta Smirnova
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2012
Pages: 266
ISBN: 978-1449312008

In this book, Sveta Smirnova tackles the problem of what to do when queries don't work, drawing the material from Smirnova’s discussions with customers as a principal technical support engineer at Oracle. The premise is that there are a number of common problems that can be avoided or minimized, and the book takes you through them one by one showing the best way to set up MySQL to prevent them happening or to weed them out when they do occur.


Giving the book a rating of 4.5, we concluded that “This is a very good book, and if you’re running a MySQL server it’s worth reading. You may well know some of what’s covered, but seeing it all written down logically is still useful. The writing style is pretty dense and heavy on code, but still understandable and refreshingly short on waffle.”

MySQL High Availability

Authors: Charles Bell, Mat Kindahl and Lars Thalmann
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 733
ISBN: 978-1449339586


This book looks at the techniques used to run a highly available MySQL database using replication and clustered servers. The authors assume you'll have basic knowledge of SQL and MySQL administration, but not a great deal. We gave it a rating of 4.5 stars, concluding that  this is a good way to learn about MySQL high availability. It won’t teach you everything, but it will take you a long way into the topic. The authors are good at including examples in SQL, Python and PHP, and overall I’d recommend it.

Murach's MySQL 3rd Edition

Author: Joel Murach
Publisher: Mike Murach
Pages: 628
ISBN: 978-1943872367

This new edition of a popular title brings the material up to date to cover MySQL 8, and covers newer MySQL features such as window functions, Common Table Expressions (CTE), and roles for database security.


Awarding it five stars, we concluded that this is a thorough book, and the topics are covered well. One point to note is that the book is very similar to the equivalent Murach title for SQL Server - MySQL specifics are all correct, but much of the general material is presented without much change. That's not necessarily a criticism, just an observation if you happen to already have the SQL Server version of the book. Overall, this is a good, solid book that presents everything you need to use MySQL.







Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 February 2023 )