Arguably the most capable of all the open source databases, PostgreSQL is an object-relational database management system first developed in 1977 by the University of California at Berkeley. In spite of its long history, this robust database suffers from a lack of easy-to-use documentation. Practical PostgreSQL fills that void with a fast-paced guide to installation, configuration, and usage.
This comprehensive new volume shows you how to compile PostgreSQL from source, create a database, and configure PostgreSQL to accept client-server connections. It also covers the many advanced features, such as transactions, versioning, replication, and referential integrity that enable developers and DBAs to use PostgreSQL for serious business applications. The thorough introduction to PostgreSQL's PL/pgSQL programming language explains how you can use this very useful but under-documented feature to develop stored procedures and triggers. The book includes a complete command reference, and database administrators will appreciate the chapters on user management, database maintenance, and backup & recovery. With Practical PostgreSQL, you will discover quickly why this open source database is such a great open source alternative to proprietary products from Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal on the cover of Practical PostgreSQL is a mammoth. Mammoths (of the genus Mammuthus) inhabited the Earth during the last Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago. There are several types of mammoths, such as Colombian and Imperial, but the best known is the woolly mammoth. Mammoths resided on the tundra of Asia, Europe, and North America over the Bering Strait land bridge.Known for their large size, mammoths ranged from 12 to 15 feet tall at the shoulder and weighted as much as 6 to 8 tons. They had long, dense hair and under fur, long trunks, and large ears. Their most prominent features were long, curved tusks that measured up to 16 feet. Mammoths used their tusks for digging underneath the snow to find food, for protections, and in mating rituals. As herbivores, they ate leaves of willow, hornbeam, fir, hazel, and alden. They lived up to 60 years in age. Scientists attribute the mammoths' extinction to the climate changes that ended the Ice Age. Sarah Jane Shangraw and Jeff Holcomb were the copyeditors for Practical PostgreSQL. Jane Ellin provided quality control.Ellie Volckhausen designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.The print version of this book was created by translating the DocBook XML markup of its source files into a set of gtroff macros using a filter developed at O'Reilly & Associates by Norman Walsh. Steve Talbott designed and wrote the underlying macro set on the basis of the GNU troff -gs macros; Lenny Muellner adapted them to XML and implemented the book design. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book; the code font is Constant Willison. This colophon was written by Linley Dolby.Whenever possible, our books use a durable and flexible lay-flat binding.
I came to this book after a decade away from databases in order to review stuff that I used to know. To this end it worked well, and was a relatively easy read.
All of the reviews below are valid, but hey guys we have to remember that this book is 11 years old therefore cannot cover more recent technologies ( that is now a negative ) and it IS about the databse "back end" of modern use cases. It should not be expected to cover new technologies.
With that said, I also have to rate it down on structure and production points. There are many incidents where early in the book advanced features are used as examples of basic syntax use before the reader has been made aware of the feature, and therefore much of the meaning is lost. Also - the proof reading is shocking - there are numerous cases where example results do not match the example code given. This is just shoddy proof reading, and adds difficulty for readers who are not expert in the subject matter.
My recommendation is to seek out a more up to date reference.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Is was helpful with installation and initial configurations, but there was little or no explanation on how to interface with the database in Perl, C/C++, or any other standard language. It is as if the author never expectred you to use the database for a web-based application.
A poor index doesn't help.
The book suppports 7.1 and we are now on 7.4 and there is no "Second Edition" yet. I hope that a second edition (if there is one) os better organized.
I am a dyed-in-the-wool O'Reilly book fan. At home and at work I have several dozen unix/linux, windows, database, and diverse programming language titles. They are readable, well-engineered books, by and large, and they have helped me immeasurably over the years, an ROI that I will probably never match elsewhere.
Except for Practical PostgreSQL.
My god, does this book suck. The most egregious of its defects, are its table of contents and its index. They are so brief and incomplete, that they alone render the book practically useless. We are not talking about an electronic document. which is searchable by hook or by crook. We are talking about a 600+ page physical book. To depend on exhaustive, page-by-page searches or serendipitous surprise to find things is crippling at best.
I will not dwell on any other issues, such as lack of coverage of the PostgreSQL Catalog, the lack of programming tips in C, C++, or perl, etc. I hope the next edition, if one is ever produced, will represent an overhaul of the book's coverage and a robust indexing project. I will wait to see the online user reviews befor buying it, though.