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 http://dev.mysql.com.
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.
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, http://dev.mysql.com. 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.
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 http://www.mysql.com/certification/studyguides.
Certification Information at http://www.mysql.com
The Certification pages at http://www.mysql.com/certification 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 http://www.mysql.com/certification/candguide.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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;