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Book Review: Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management

(Page 2 out of 2)

Now that we know how to use PMA's export feature, it's not really surprising that Chapter eight ("Importing Structure and Data") talks about importing data with PMA. In this chapter you will learn all about PMA's import feature, and the limits that it has (e.g. the time limits). As with the export feature, the author goes through every option of the import feature, and does a really thorough job.

Chapter nine ("Searching Data") is about using PMA to search for data in your database, and the author does a good job at explaining every feature that's available to you when searching for data. In chapter ten ("Table Operations") you will learn about the PMA's table operations functionality, which is fairly straight-forward, and most of the things explained in this chapter are easy to understand.

Chapter eleven ("Relational System") gets you started with one of PMA's most interesting features: the Relational System. Because MySQL doesn't natively support a relational system (except for InnoDB tables), PMA comes with a relational system which can be used to link tables together. In this chapter you will learn exactly how to set it all up, and link different tables together with PMA's relational system, but the author also explains how to use InnoDB's relational system. This chapter is definitely one of the most interesting chapters, and highly worth reading.

Chapters twelve ("Entering SQL Commands") and thirteen ("Multi-Table Query Generator") are about PMA's SQL query box and the multi-table query generator to create a query that uses a JOIN to combine two (or more) tables. Although these chapters explain two important features of PMA (especially chapter twelve), a quick read through them is more than enough.

In chapter fourteen ("Bookmarks") we learn about another one of PMA's unique features, and this time it's about bookmarks. Unlike many other database types, MySQL doesn't support stored procedures or views, but again PMA comes to the rescue, and allows you to create an SQL query, and store it, so you can use it again later. You can even create an SQL query with a parameter, like a stored procedure. In this chapter you will learn everything about PMA's bookmark system, and the author clearly explains every part of the bookmark section.

Chapter fifteen ("System Documentation") is about PMA's "Print View" and PDF features to document your database. Fairly interesting chapter, and I never knew about the PDF functionality, but you probably won't use it a lot, so there's no problem in skipping this chapter.

Chapter sixteen ("MIME-Based Transformations") talks about another interesting feature of PMA: MIME-based transformations, which allows you to display BLOB fields right in the PMA field, and even display images and thumbnails. You can even display links and use external applications to display data. This is definitely one of the advanced features of PMA, and although you probably won't use it a lot (I've never used it), it's still worth quickly reading through chapter.

In chapter seventeen ("Character Sets and Collations") the author discusses the use of different character sets and collations in PMA and MySQL. I must admit that I found this chapter extremely boring, and quickly skipped it. It is an important part of PMA, because it could lead to data corruption (especially when you change the character set), but it's not really exciting to read about. It's something you should read thoroughly at least one time though (maybe after you've finished the rest book).

Finally, the last chapter with new information, chapter eighteen ("MySQL Server Administartion with phpMyAdmin") shows you how to use PMA to manage the MySQL server it self, and you will learn how to manage the MySQL users, view the server statistics, and more. PMA's MySQL features are pretty interesting, so this chapter is certainly worth reading.

The last chapter of the book, chapter nineteen ("Troubleshooting and Support") doesn't introduce any new information, but instead takes a look at the most common PMA errors, and gives you the solution to them. In this chapter you will also learn where you can get support for PMA when something isn't working.

Final Verdict

Although this book doesn't contain even one snippet of PHP code, it's still really useful to any PHP programmer, especially if you're just starting out. It's likely that you'll use phpMyAdmin during development, and it's important to know about all the (hidden) features, so you can save time and work as efficient as possible.

Initially, I had some worries that this book might be mainly targeted towards beginners, but this is not the case at all, and it's more of a complete guide to phpMyAdmin than just a beginner's book. This book is targeted towards everyone, and even the most advanced programmers will learn a thing or two from this book, especially about PMA's own unique features.

If you're looking for a good phpMyAdmin book, or still don't feel really comfortable with phpMyAdmin, I can definitely recommend this book. This is one of the best guides to phpMyAdmin, and the author has done a terrific job!

I'd like to thank the publisher for sending me a free copy for reviewing purposes.

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About the author
Dennis Pallett is the main contributor to PHPit. He owns several websites, including ASPit and Chill2Music. He is currently still studying.
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