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PostgreSQL 9 Admin Cookbook Paperback – October 26, 2010

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About the Author

Simon Riggs is one of the few Major Developers and Committers on the PostgreSQL database project, and is also CTO of 2ndQuadrant, providing 24x7 support and services to PostgreSQL users worldwide. Simon has worked with enterprise-class database applications for more than 20 years, with prior certifications on Oracle, Teradata and DB2. Simon is responsible for much of the database recovery and replication code in PostgreSQL, and designed or wrote many of the latest performance enhancements. He uses his operational experience to contribute to many aspects of both internal design and usability. Hannu Krosing is Principal Consultant at 2ndQuadrant and a Technical Advisor at Ambient Sound Investments. As the original database architect at Skype Technologies, Hannu was responsible for designing the Skytools suite of replication and scalability technologies. Hannu has more than 12 years experience working with, and contributing to, the PostgreSQL project.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849510288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849510288
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Leo Hsu on November 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
As the book title suggests, it's a cookbook, but a cookbook that combines a question and answer style with a discussion style of writing. The tasks are neatly categorized into 12 chapters and each task smoothly builds on previous tasks discussed. It is still categorized in such a way that you can jump to a particular task you are currently having problems with without having read the other parts of the book.

Although it is titled PostgreSQL 9 -- it covers earlier versions as well.

This is one of those books I wish I had when training some of our customers or had early on. A lot of the questions - we are commonly asked or have stumbled on - like how to troubleshoot bad queries, how to tell what are my biggest tables, how to deal with data corruption etc, are all succinctly covered in this book.

Just to get a taste of what this book offers:

1. Chapter 1: First steps This is mostly a newbie chapter, that introduces you to PostgreSQL, guides you thru connecting to the database using commandline and PgAdmin. Some other examples of commonly used GUIs. Configuring access control, troubleshooting failed connections. It provides tips both for the Linux as well as the Windows user.
2. Chapter 2: Exploring the database starts to get into what I would call intermediate territory. It covers tasks such as determining where your database files are, how to determine disk space utilization for both whole database and individual tables. Getting quick estimate of number of rows for large tables where doing a count would be really slow. Using psql and the various system tables to determine object dependency.
3. Chapter 3: Configuration A good chapter not just for PostgreSQL users but I would say any database designer.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By gabrielle on December 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Disclaimer/note: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher, in pdf format.

The PostgreSQL community has been waiting for a "cookbook", and I'm really excited that we finally have one. The PostgreSQL 9 Admin Cookbook contains many tips & techniques I'm going to put to immediate use. Like, pgloader and the ON_ERROR_STOP option to psql. This book also reminded me that there's still a lot I don't know about Postgres: for example, I've never worked with pg_controldata or the quote_ident() function. If you're a Pg admin (or wannabe), you should give this book at least a run-through, even if you think you already know everything.

Most of the "recipes" in this cookbook will stand on their own; some require material from previous or other referenced sections to make sense. I am a sucker for conversational style, and while the book gets off to a rough start, it does even out after a bit. Big blocks of SQL are formatted consistently in a style that, while it's not one I use myself, is easy to read.

The authors give a great explanation of why they prefer their filesystem set up a specific way, and how to do it (of course, it probably helps that I agree with them on this point); and good advice about schema & relation names. Specific problem-solving tools I found useful are: the list of steps to troubleshoot failed connections; specific things to do if a backend is hung, or a query is taking too long; and generating test data and taking random samples of real-world data. They also give warnings where something you do might cause application downtime.

Sadly, this book suffers from inadequate editing, dragging the rating down from a solid four stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mat on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
First and foremost, this is not a beginners book to postgres. This book contains tips, tricks, and tweaks to the postgres database engine. I picked up this book to further my proficiency of postgres as well as learn more about securing and monitoring the system. What I liked most about this book was the authors approach to the problem--usually beginning in a section called "getting ready", then to "how to do it", and followed-up by "how it works". This provides a great point-based approach to the task at hand and not only tells you how to do it, but how it's actually working in the background to fully round-out one's understanding of the topic.

The first couple of chapters are pretty rudimentary--getting started, setting up the database, configuration. Nothing too special, here.

The next three chapters covered server control, tables & data, security. To be honest, the chapter on security was the reason i wanted this book. I was curious to know about how to encrypt sensitive data in the database, and more so with encryption at rest. While the topics of encryption were covered with pgcrypto package, I just wish this section was a bit longer and provided more examples--especially on covering really sensitive information.

The next three chapters covered database administration, monitoring, and maintenance. I found the maintenance chapter quite useful for managing and repairing/removing indexes. Also, the monitoring session on who's doing what proved quite interesting.

Finally, we finish up with concurrency, backup/recovery, and replication. The other chapter I was really after in this book was over backup and recovery.
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