- Paperback: 768 pages
- Publisher: Sams (December 28, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0672322609
- ISBN-13: 978-0672322600
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.7 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,120,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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PostgreSQL Developer's Handbook
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From the Back Cover
PostgreSQL is an object-relational database server that is widely considered to be the world¿s most advanced open-source database system. It is ANSI SQL-compatible, and it offers powerful features to enable more complex software design than would be possible with relational databases that are not object-oriented. PostgreSQL is extremely modular, it supports a large number of datatypes, and programming interfaces for PostgreSQL are available for all important programming languages, including C, Perl, Python, Tcl, Java, and PHP.
PostgreSQL Developer¿s Handbook provides a complete overview of the PostgreSQL database server and extensive coverage of its core features, including object orientation, PL/pgSQL, and the most important programming interfaces. The book introduces the reader to the language and syntax of PostgreSQL and then moves quickly into advanced programming topics.
About the Author
Ewald Geschwinde and Hans-Jürgen Schönig are partners in Cybertec Geschwinde & Schönig OEG (www.cybertec.at), a company based in Vienna, Austria that provides commercial PostgreSQL support, training, tuning, and remote administration to international clients. They also offer training through the first PostgreSQL Academy. Their accomplishments include the creation of a popular Webshop using PostgreSQL and the implementation of a massive scientific database containing data on millions of Austrian social insurance recipients.
Before founding Cybertec, both Geschwinde and Schönig worked at Synthesis, an Austrian research company focusing on forecasting the Austrian labor market. While there, the worked with Unix systems and automated text production using EFEU, LaTex, and Perl.
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Top customer reviews
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If you are a developer like myself that works with PERL, PHP, or Python, you will find the information in this book very helpful. The authors discuss in detail on how to interface PostgreSQL with these languages. In addition, there is a good tutorial on the basics of SQL and the terminologies associated with it. This is not a good reference on SQL but a good refresher.
If you are a complete novice to the world of databases, you might not find this book as easily digestible. This book does make certain assumptions, namely, familiarity and comfort with using a command prompt either on UNIX, Linux, or Windows. PostgreSQL is a little tricky to install on Windows if you are not comfortable with the assumptions made by the authors.
If you are a DBA, look elsewhere for advanced topics like load balancing and replication using PostgreSQL. This book is more of a welcome to PostgreSQL type than an advanced database management book using PostgreSQL.
Like every book in the market, this one is not perfect either. However, the positive aspects of this book far outweigh the missing literature. I would not recommend this book if you are a complete novice to databases. If you are coming from another database application or server, you will definitely feel comfortable with the author's informal style of presenting the information. Developers will also feel at home with this book and get up to speed fairly quickly.
I've read other reviews saying this book was developed as a reference for developers. Unfortunately every time I pick it up as a reference I am truly disappointed.
The worst aspect is the book's index. I can not recall the last time I found anything I needed in the index. For example, I quickly needed to read the details on NEXTVAL (or however you spell it). As soon as I'm done with this review (this was the straw that broke the camel's back), I'll call up Google and find the answer. I can not recall any definition I've needed that I found in the index of this book.
Of secondary distaste is the treatment of basic syntax. This is less of a reference to the syntax than the Linux psql 'h' command provides. I wouldn't buy this book again if there was a better alternative. In fact, I'm leaning towards MySQL as a replacement since documentation seems to be better.
This book is for someone who knows a little bit about SQL and databases.
The chaper on SQL is not too large, which is exactly what it should be. There are enough SQL books! The SQL chapter is to-the-point, more as an overview of available SQL functionality in the database. The O'Reilly book spends too much time being a SQL tutorial, combine that with a chapter on some product for Apache called LXP, and a whole section on commands, you are left with pretty much 50% of the book dedicated to SQL.
An end-user, with little database or SQL experience will probably like the Wrox book best. Someone who is going to administer PostgreSQL or a developer (especially a developer) will probably find this book more suited to their skill level and requirements.
The book is well written and covers most of the major items of concern. Part II of the book includes real world examples, which are very helpful. The largest chaper is chapter 9, which covers programming interfaces between various languages such as C, Perl, Python, PHP, Java, etc. There is also a helpful chapter on dealing with binary data and date calculations.
In my opinion, this book, along with the New Riders reference book, work well together.
If you want to learn PostGreSQL, this is a suitable book. However, if you want to explore the more advanced features of PostGreSQL, this book is not for you.
I would say this book goes into a little more depth for the application developer than the other notable PostgreSQL books I have seen (Practical pgsql, pgsql Essential Reference, Beginning Databases with pgsql), but not much, and the more useful information is mixed with a lot of less useful information.
I do not think this book is a waste of money, but it is definitely not a must have.