Customer Reviews: Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management
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on June 7, 2004
phpMyAdmin is usually installed quickly, out of acute necessity. You need to do something with your database, and you can't do it via telnet or SSH or anything else, so you download the latest version, FTP it up, and away you go. More often than not, the install is forgotten about as soon as your need is over.
The downside of this is that you're not getting nearly the value you should out of a phpMyAdmin install. Most people work with phpMyAdmin superficially and in very narrow usage corridors - like kids walking barefoot on a painted line through a very large parking lot. There's so much about the app that you don't know.
This book is a departure from a lot of tech books in that (1) it's short and sweet (just under 200 pages - not nearly the 600-page monolith some of these things become), and (2) it seems more...conversational. Concepts are explained in plain English. I normally hate that cliche, but it fits here. I got a sense of simply having a casual conversation with a fellow geek.
I read it over the course of a week, putting in a chapter or two each night. I learned something new in every chapter, and I'd implement them in my phpMyAdmin install right after reading the chapter. By the end of the book, I'm left with a superb phpMyAdmin install that does a thousand times more than I've ever accomplished with the app before.
There's a lot of phpMyAdmin functionality under the hood that you've likely never seen. For instance, you can set it up to enforce relational integrity in your database. This is just good database design, but it also enriches the interface considerably. Foreign key fields now become drop-down lists to the foreign table with a selection of entries. You can print a PDF summary document with descriptions of all tables and columns and an entity relationship diagram showing field relationships. Bet you haven't seen that trick before.
I suddenly have a sense of liberation with phpMyAdmin. We all hate writing admin interfaces, especially for one-off apps we do in a hurry. Thankfully, phpMyAdmin can support an enormous amount of administration chores in an interface not nearly as utilitarian as the default one you get on install. It won't work for administering the data of every app you write, but I bet it will handle a lot of them.
I can now see writing apps and doing things that I stayed away from before just because I didn't want to write all the data entry and database admin scripts that easily dominate the work required to put these things together. Instead, I can concentrate on the fun of the front-end pages, while phpMyAdmin sucks up all the back-end work.
The book also includes some good information about PHP and MySQL in general. On page 86, in the chapter on importing data, there's a solid little discussion about PHP file upload and execution limits that trumps anything I've read before. I'm a better developer for having read these four paragraphs about the "upload_max_filesize," "memory_limit," and "post_max_size" parameters.
As for MySQL, did you know about InnoDB tables? This is a table format that builds referential integrity into MySQL - something the database has been missing for so long. I'll admit to being utterly ignorant about this feature until this point.
There's a chapter at the end of the book about MIME-based transformations that summarizes the general level of apathy about this app. I can't believe I haven't run across a discussion about this feature before -
You may have known on the periphery that you could store files directly into a MySQL database using a BLOB column. But did you know that phpMyAdmin will support this with a file upload field in the interface, so your users can upload files directly? Or that you can sent a MIME Transformation on that field to display a thumbnailed view of stored images in the row when browsing the database? And that you can link that thumbnail to the full-size version or the image, pulled directly from the field? I'll bet the percentage of phpMyAdmin users who know that trick is in the single digits.
So, good book. If you find yourself writing a lot of throwaway admin interfaces and hating every minute of it, the $30 cover price for this text is probably looking mighty attractive right now.
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on December 30, 2004
If you're not familiar with phpMyAdmin, then you're missing out on a very powerful tool for administering your MySQL databases. It is an effective way to handle all of your tasks with MySQL, from development to administration. Don't worry, though; if you want to get up to speed in getting the most out of phpMyAdmin, then Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management (Referred to from here as Mastering phpMyAdmin) will quickly take you from download to proficiency.

Most software purchases I've made rarely begin with me carefully taking out the manual and reading it before installing the software. My goal is to toss aside the manual and other bits in favor of getting to the install media as quickly as possible. If there's ever a problem, then it's time to fish out the manual and see what I missed. Manufacturers caught up with this mentality and include mere pamphlets compared to the gigantic tomes that used to be included with software in the late 80s and early 90s. So why pick up Mastering phpMyAdmin? Can you get along just fine without a manual? phpMyAdmin is easy to use, and very straightforward, but Mastering phpMyAdmin shows just how powerful phpMyAdmin can be. Those who like to have more of a hand-held approach or want to have printed documentation will find Mastering phpMyAdmin to be invaluable and an asset to their use of phpMyAdmin.

Mastering phpMyAdmin is a very thin book, weighing in at a spartan 205 pages, but those 205 pages are put to work with plenty of screenshots and information. The book covers using phpMyAdmin under Linux and Windows, so both sets of users will be able to benefit from phpMyAdmin. Each chapter in the book is short, roughly 10 pages each, but each chapter is packed with useful information. The author is quick to give attention to functions and features tha are genuinely useful. Unlike other books that describe a configuration file by dedicating a chapter to configuration, the author chose instead to describe the configurable portions of phpMyAdmin as each function is introduced. This allows the really useful bits of phpMyAdmin to shine without getting muddled in useless details. phpMyAdmin has lots of little interface tweaks in the file, but the book touches on the ones that anyone but the serious interface hacker would be interested in. This makes the book read like an experienced tour of functionality rather than a "drink from the firehose" reference manual. The author covers all aspects of phpMyAdmin: installation, database creation/deletion, table creation/modification/deletion, searching, and administration. phpMyAdmin features such as BLOB editing, bookmarks, linked tables, and relational schemas are also covered in depth with the same attention to detail and brevity as the other chapters.

I highly recommend anyone who wants to get more than a simple front-end for MySQL look into picking up phpMyAdmin and Mastering phpMyAdmin. Mastering phpMyAdmin is an excellent resource for phpMyAdmin, and both beginners and experts alike will benefit from this excellent resource. It's brief enough to be a quick introduction, yet detailed enough to make anyone feel like an expert with this incredibly useful tool.
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on May 5, 2004
I have two copies of the book that we got for our staff, who are finding the book helpful. Initally I was sceptical that there could be enough to phpmyadmin to merit a whole book, and was pleasantly surprized with the compreshensive coverage of topics. The abundance of screenshots make it easy to follow even when not actually sitting with phpmyadmin. The writing style is a bit dry, but very clear.
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on May 5, 2004
Never read books by this publisher before, but this turned out to be a good buy. The book is really a comprehensive guide to phpMyAdmin. I've been using phpMyAdmin for a long time now, but never really explored it's various features and functionality beyond creating the basic structure of the database and basic tweaking...
What I like most about this book is that the chapters are very precise - focusing on just what they should. This is very useful when I want to read up on one particular feature...the step by step instructions are also very handy. I specially enjoyed reading the chapters on bookmarks and MIME based transformations.
Any DBA who uses phpMyAdmin should get this book.
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on August 17, 2006
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!
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on March 28, 2006
I had quite a few questions that no amount of Googling would answer....this book answered them all!

Clear pictures, troubleshooting. A must to include with any MySQL development..go Linux!
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on November 18, 2010
The book contains what it needs to say. Nothing exquisite or amazing. But it does the job it's meant to do. Don't buy it unless you are in real need. You can pretty much learn about phpMyAdmin all by yourself using internet formus.

But its worth the cheap price if you want some immediate look and reference guide.
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on February 17, 2010
It wasn't the easiest read, but it will give you all the information you need to handle phpmyadmin. I am not a programing guru, so I needed something I could handle and understand. This did the job. I bought the book used and though it was a previous edition, it provided me with everything I needed.
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on September 26, 2005
If you work with phpMyAdmin to work with your mySQL server, you will want this book. It breaks down tasks in non tech-geek language. I use this as my first reference books when I need information to help accomplish a task.
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