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Book Review: Mastering phpMyAdmin 3.4 for Effective MySQL Management

Packt Publishing has generously donated to AtlantaPHP a couple copies of “Mastering phpMyAdmin 3.4 for Effective MySQL Management” to raffle off at our next meeting. However, I (Kevin) didn’t want to just hand them out without first reviewing the title (and I promised Packt I’d review it). It’s a good book. Read on if you are interested…

If you’ve used MySQL on any shared hosting platform, you’ve likely done your database administration with some version of phpMyAdmin, an application developed in PHP with some JavaScript providing UI polish. Mastering phpMyAdmin is an ideal resource.

The book is very well organized, and provides a good introduction to MySQL while it covers phpMyAdmin in detail, so it works well as both the “missing manual” for phpMyAdmin and as a resource for anyone wanting to learn MySQL. The text is well-paced and consistently good at explaining what is occurring when a particular phpMyAdmin operation is invoked.

There are a few awkward phrases here and there in the text that I suspect betray the fact that English is not the author’s first language (e.g. telling people that we are “over viewing” a topic), however such instances are few, and the quality of the English writing overall is very good. I just wish the text used “you” instead of “we” when explaining everything since the latter doesn’t seem as natural to me.

The first two chapters cover the details of how to install and configure phpMyAdmin (including how to secure it), and chapter three takes you through everything you need to know about the user interface. Subsequent chapters deal with how to manipulate MySQL databases using phpMyAdmin,  however the author does not give a dry screen-capture run-through of all the screens. He instead explains the purpose of them with practical examples.

Chapters four and five introduce creating and manipulating MySQL tables, and a provides good explanations of basic column types.

Chapters six and seven take you through exporting and importing data with detailed examples and explanations of the various import and export types.

Chapters eight and nine introduce database queries and table operations.

Chapter ten introduces relational operations, referential integrity, and alternative storage engines.

Chapters eleven and twelve introduces SQL syntax, the query window, multi-table queries, and the (new to me) visual query builder that became available in version 3.4 of phpMyAdmin.

Chapter thirteen gets into synchronizing and replicating databases, and setting up a test environment.

Chapter fourteen introduces query bookmarks.

Chapter fifteen deals with phpMyAdmin features for documenting your database system

Chapter sixteen shows you how to transform the display format of your MySQL quey results using MIME.

Chapter seventeen looks at how phpMyAdmin supports new MySQL 5 features (views, stored procedures, triggers, partitions, scheduler, etc.)

Chapter eighteen covers phpMyAdmin support for logging transaction.

Chapter nineteen covers server administration tasks.

Mastering phpMyAdmin provides complete coverage of the phpMyAdmin application, and is a great introduction to MySQL for novices. It really is the “missing manual” for phpMyAdmin (I find the documentation on the phpMyAdmin website too spartan). I recommend it.



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