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Book Review: MySQL Stored Procedure Programming

January 27th, 2010 Categories: Book Reviews, Databases, MySQL

I’ve been using MySQL for almost 7 years now without realizing it had stored procedure capabilities.  So when I saw MySQL Stored Procedure Programming, by Guy Harrison with Steven Feurerstein, I decided to take the opportunity to advance my skills with MySQL.  It’s a pretty good sized book, and it took me a while to get through it because it’s just one of those books you have to keep putting down.

That’s a good thing in my opinion, because it means the material is so interesting that I can’t read for more than a chapter without getting on the computer and trying it out.  The first chapter was a tutorial, I thought I knew everything after I had gone through it and it took quite a bit of discipline (as well as a few error messages) for me to get back to the book and go through the topics.

There are three things I especially like about the book.

First was the additional coverage on triggers and transactions.  After reading this I feel like I haven’t really used MySQL at all– having never used stored procedures, OR transactions, OR triggers.  They were all topics that have been immediately applicable to my projects, because they were needed somewhere I just didn’t realize I could do them.

Second was the discussion of the material in the context of sound software engineering principles.  I always enjoy a refresher in those, and when I’m learning a new technology that’s usually when I need it most because I’m ready to hack everything together in my excitement.  For example, there’s an entire chapter on “Creating and Maintaining Stored Programs” as well as som optimization material and a discussion of best practices.

Third was their treatment on using stored procedures with specific programming languages.  These may some day go out of date, but they had chapters devoted to showing how to use stored procedures from PHP, Java, Perl, Python, and .NET.  All of which are relevant 4 years after publishing.

This book was an excellent choice for someone who has database experience, and some stored procedure experience (Oracle).  Even if you’re only familiar with the basics of MySQL, you will benefit from this book.  And it isn’t at all over the head of anybody with some database programming experience.  My only regret is that I didn’t find this book 4 years ago when it came out.

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