Top critical review
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Good, but incomplete
on March 18, 2009
I bought this book hoping to get a detailed understanding of how to best create and use indexes for my high traffic web site. While the book does a great job of covering the pros and cons of standard indexes, it devotes only a single page to the utility of index_merge (introduced in Mysql 5.0). Combined with a general dearth of information about index_merge on the web, this was a really disappointment, since index_merge seems to afford the possibility of using multiple, smaller indexes, rather than smaller number of bulky indexes (as this book recommends).
In my eyes, a thorough analysis of indexing techniques in Mysql 5+ must discuss the strategic opportunities afforded by index_merge. It would seem to me that this gives the developer the ability to simply index the fields they want indexed, without having to sweat left-precedence of combined indexes or trying to make long indexes that include all of the possibly needed indexes in an order that will satisfy all possible query combinations.
If limitations to the utility of index_merge make some of these possibilities not feasible, the book ought to at least give a rundown of the pros and cons of index_merge vs. compound indexes.
The near-total omission of a new feature that could have profound implications upon the most optimal way to query & index makes me recommend this book with a tablespoon of salt.