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MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide Paperback – September 3, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0672328121 ISBN-10: 0672328127 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 643 pages
  • Publisher: MySQL Press; 1 edition (September 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672328127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672328121
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul DuBois is the leading author of books on MySQL topics. His book, entitled MySQL, is widely considered the definitive work on MySQL. He is a developer for MySQL AB, where he edits and maintains the official English-language documentation for MySQL. Stefan Hinz is leads the MySQL documentation team, is a MySQL trainer and consultant, and the German translator of the MySQL Reference Manual. He is also the translator of Paul's MySQL Cookbook (O'Reilly and Associates) and translator and author of MySQL-related German books. Stefan passed the MySQL Certification exam before he joined MySQL AB.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



About This Book

This is a study guide for the MySQL Developer Certification and the MySQL Database Administrator Certification. As such, it is a primer for the MySQL certification exams, but not a replacement for the MySQL Reference Manual or any other MySQL documentation. As part of your preparation for an exam, make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with the MySQL Reference Manual, the MySQL Query Browser Manual (for the Developer exams) and the MySQL Administrator Manual (for the Database Administrator exams). All of these manuals are available on-line from the MySQL Developer Zone Web site at

This introduction provides some general hints on what to expect from the exam, what to do in order to take the exam, what happens on the day of the exam, and what happens after you have passed the exam.

The remainder of this study guide covers each section of the exams, as defined in the MySQL 5.0 Certification Candidate Guide. The book is divided into two main parts, each corresponding to one of the two certifications:

  • Chapter 1, "Client/Server Concepts," through Chapter 22, "Basic Optimizations," pertain to the Developer certification.

  • Chapter 23, "MySQL Architecture," through Chapter 42, "Scaling MySQL," pertain to the Database Administrator certification.

Each of the sections is further subdivided into Parts I and II, as follows:

  • Chapter 1, "Client/Server Concepts," through Chapter 11, "Updating Data," pertain to the Developer-I exam.

  • Chapter 12, "Joins," through Chapter 22, "Basic Optimizations," pertain to the Developer-II exam.

  • Chapter 23, "MySQL Architecture," through Chapter 32, "Data Backup and Recovery Methods," pertain to the DBA-I exam.

  • Chapter 33, "Using Stored Routines and Triggers for Administration," through Chapter 42, "Scaling MySQL," pertain to the DBA-II exam.

However, the split between parts I and II within a certification title may not always be as clear-cut as is suggested by the chapter divisions. Therefore, you should be familiar with all of the material presented for a certification level before going to any particular exam.

There are many cross-references within this book that go across the "boundary" between the two certifications. For example, Chapter 22, "Basic Optimizations," which is in the Developer part of the book, contains a cross reference to Chapter 37, "Optimizing Queries," which is in the DBA part of the book. In cases like this, you are not expected to read the chapter outside the exam for which you're studying. However, doing so will obviously increase your understanding of the subject area.

You might find that the wording of a topic covered in this guide corresponds exactly to the wording of a question on an exam. However, that is the exception. Rote memorization of the material in this guide will not be very effective in helping you pass the exam. You need to understand the principles discussed so that you can apply them to the exam questions. Working through the exercises will be very beneficial in this respect. If you find that you are still having difficulties with some of the materials, you might want to consider the training classes offered by MySQL AB. These classes are presented in a format that facilitates greater understanding through interaction with the instructor.

Because the study guide is targeted to MySQL 5.0, it doesn't normally point out when features are unavailable in earlier versions (nor are you expected to know about this on the exams). This differs from what you might be used to in the MySQL Reference Manual.

Sample Exercises

The CD-ROM that accompanies this book has a number of sample exercises. It's essential that you work through the exercises to test your knowledge. Doing so will prepare you to take the exam far better than just reading the text. Another reason to read the exercises is that occasionally they augment a topic with more detail than is given in the body of the chapter.

Note that the exercises are not always in the same format as the exam questions. The exam questions are in a format that is suited for testing your knowledge. The exercises are designed to help you get a better understanding of the contents of this book, and to help you prove to yourself that you really grasp the topics covered.

Other Required Reading

This book will give you a good overall insight into everything you need to know for MySQL certification. It will not tell you every little detail about how things work in MySQL; nor does it tell you every detail you need to know about actually attending the exam. Other material that you can take advantage of is listed in the following sections.


  • Before going to any of the exams, make sure you have familiarized yourself with the MySQL Reference Manual. Familiarizing yourself with the manual is not the same as knowing every word in it, but you should at least skim through it and look more closely at those parts that pertain to the particular exam which you are going to attend.

  • Before taking either of the Developer exams, you should read the MySQL Query Browser Manual.

  • Before taking either of the DBA exams, you should read the MySQL Administrator Manual.

Each of the manuals just listed is available on the MySQL developer Web site, You will also find many good technical articles on that Web site. These articles do not make up part of the exam curriculum per se, but they explain many of the concepts presented in this book in a different way and may enable you to get a better perspective on some details.

Sample Data

Almost all examples and exercises in this study guide use the world database as the sample data set. The accompanying CD-ROM contains the data for this database and instructions that describe how to create and populate the database for use with your own MySQL installation.

Study Guide Errata

Although this book was thoroughly checked for correctness prior to publication, errors might remain. Any errors found after publication are noted at

Certification Information at

The Certification pages at contain the overview of the current state of all things you need to know about the MySQL certification program. It is recommended that you read through this information as you start planning your certification, as well as when you plan to go to exams to ensure that you are aware of any last-minute updates.

The Certification area of the MySQL Web site provides comprehensive information on the certifications offered, upcoming certifications and betas, training offers, and so forth. After you've taken a certification exam, the Web site is also where you will be able to check the status of your certification.

The MySQL Certification Candidate Guide

Of particular interest on the MySQL certification Web pages is the MySQL Certification Candidate Guide. It contains the overall description of the MySQL Certification program, as well as all the practical information you will need in order to write an exam. The latest version of the Candidate Guide can be found at

The Candidate Guide contains a list of items providing practical advice to you as the candidate, an overview of the entire certification program, prices, policies, practical details regarding going to the exam, and so forth.

The Candidate Guide includes the MySQL Certification Non-Disclosure and Logo Usage Agreement (NDA/LUA). You'll be asked to agree to the agreement when you go to take the exam. At that point, legal agreements will probably be the last thing on your mind, so reading the agreement before you go will save you some distraction and also some exam time.

The Certification Mailing List

Anyone considering pursuing MySQL certification should subscribe to the MySQL Certification mailing list. This is a low-volume list (messages go out once every two months or so), to which MySQL AB posts news related to the certification program. The subscription address for the mailing list is To subscribe, send an empty message to that address.

Conventions Used in This Book

This section explains the conventions used in this study guide.

Text in this style is used for program and shell script names, SQL keywords, and command output.

Text in this style represents input that you would type while entering a command or statement.

Text in this style represents variable input for which you're expected to enter a value of your own choosing. Some examples show commands or statements that aren't meant to be entered exactly as shown. Thus, in an example such as the following, you would substitute the name of some particular table for table_name :

SELECT * FROM table_name;

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
Have fun studying the book and passing the exams.
Rolando A. Edwards
I would highly recommend this book to anybody with at least some solid foundations in SQL and MySQL.
Shawn Stratton
Paul's style is very readable and the book provides extensive coverage of the exam material.
Michael Hillyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Quite simply, this book should be on the shelf of anyone who intends to take the MySQL Certification exams.

The book was written by Paul DuBois, certainly the top author of MySQL related books. Paul's style is very readable and the book provides extensive coverage of the exam material.

In fact, the book is so extensive because it was written not only by Paul, but by Carsten Pedersen, certification manager at MySQL AB. The book was written by the people who created the exam, and it shows. I can tell you right now that if you read the certification study guide and know its content, you will pass the certification exam. There is not a question on the exam that is not covered by this study guide.

The exercises are good, though not always formatted the same as what you will encounter on the actual exam. Doing the exercises should reveal how well you understand a given topic in the guide.

Here's an overview of what the book covers:

* MySQL and MySQL AB

* MySQL Software

* Using MySQL Client Programs

* Data Definition Language

* The SELECT Statement

* Basic SQL

* Update Statements

* Joins

* Importing and Exporting Data

* MySQL Architecture

* MySQL Installation and Configuration

* Security Issues

* Optimizing for Query Speed

* MyISAM Tables

* InnoDB Tables

* Advanced Server Features

Finally, here is the best part about the MySQL Certification Study Guide: it's free. In the back of the guide is a voucher code for 25% off the cost of a certification exam, or roughly the price of the book. If you are serious about taking the MySQL Certification exams, you can't go wrong with this book.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Benton on June 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found myself wanting more when it came time to try the practice exam questions. The book comes with PDF's that serve as the practice exam. What I expected was software that would simulate the test. I'm taking the DBA class next month and I don't expect any issues passing the exam, though I would feel more comfortable forking out the $ to take it if I had a wider pool of questions to study from.

The book does a fairly good job of covering both exam tracks (DBD & DBA) from what I've seen thus far and is laid out in a practical way for those preparing for the exam. This book is not intended as a reference, though some new admins may choose to use it like that.


Post-exam follow-up:

The certification study guide did a good job of helping me pass the exams the first time through. Primary goal - accomplished. If you plan to attend the MySQL 5.0 DBA class, I got a copy of my own in the class so I wound up with an extra (so I keep one at work and one at home). Combine this with the on-line resources available and the value of this book increases.

I do find myself recommending this book to other developers and administrators to learn how to improve their MySQL skills, but I don't recommend it as a reference. It accomplishes its purpose well, however, I think it could have been better by having more of the information we need after the exam is over. This is not a manual for MySQL and clearly does not stand on its own for that purpose. If your goal is to get certified as a DBD or DBA, this book will likely help. If your goal is to use this book as your only manual for MySQL, this is not the best investment of resources to that end.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Brian on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love this book, but I am outraged that VUE refuses to honor the included voucher code for MySQL 5 exams. The book is targeted for MySQL 5, and the text in the book clearly states the voucher is for ANY MySQL exam. But VUE claims the included voucher is only valid for MySQL 4 exams.

I attempted to escalate this issue but was told by VUE that it is Amazon's fault for including the wrong voucher number. The code is clearly printed by the book publisher, not Amazon, so this is just very poor finger pointing by VUE trying to blame Amazon.

The book is worth every penny despite the false advertising related to the voucher.

UPDATE: I contacted the publisher and got a quick response. The publisher is working on fixing VUE's screw-up, so hopefully this will be resolved soon.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. van Emde Boas on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book covering MySQL in great detail.

I did buy this book not because I want to be certified, but because I wanted to have detailed information about MySQL version 5 and all the new functionality it has. I am certainly not disappointed.

There are useful examples for every subject covered and the book is much more readable than the online MySQL manual.

This is not a book for beginners or a book about designing a relational database. If you want to learn SQL or database design you should look elsewhere.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ruslan Moskalenko on July 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is quite big and my first impression was it's going to take a long time and it's full of useless info. But once I started reading, I had a nice surprise. The book actually covers 2 certifications (Dev and DBA), 2 exams each. I can't speak for the Dev part, but the DBA part was very well structured and each exam required less than 200 pages of reading. The information was dense enough and always up to the point. The practice questions were really not a question samples, but more like a 60 pages summary of possible exam topics.

I also liked the style very much. It's very proffesional but not too dry and reading is not boring.

There are a few glitches here and there (table of content is off, the CD ROM didn't work well), but they are not really impacting your study.

Overall, I liked it very much and I wish more vendors would adopt that format and style.

And, by the way, I passed both exams at the first try using this book only (well, I've been working with MySQL a bit in the past, but I clearly had holes in my knowledge before).

So I highly recommend this book as a perfect MySQL certification guide and general reference.
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