MySQL semi-newbie - please point me towards the right stuff

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A friend of mine has created a database with MS Access which he now
would like to migrate to MySQL.  He has asked me for my help even
though my experience of databases is limited: I have worked with MS
Access in the past (programming GUI interfaces in VB6 for it) and I
have had some training with Oracle.  That's it.  My friend is entierly

Being myself an avid GNU/Linux user I *only* want to run MySQL on a
GNU/Linux machine (probably on a Mandrake 9.2 box).

I need to refresh my SQL knowledge and get a crash course in MySQL

Also, I will need to use the MySQL GUI tools such as the "MySQL
Administrator" and the "MySQL Query Browser" to make it "look" as much
as MS Access in my friend's eyes as possible (the CLI will only
intimidate him).

BTW - I never programmed with PHP, but I enjoy Python and I would
prefer to use the latter with MySQL if needed.

I have the basic MySQL client and server apps on a Knoppix disk and I
can already start practicing with that (with the CLI for the time
being).  Later, I will try to get the RPMs for a HD install (including
the GUI tools) and if this is not possible, I will install them either
with scripts or by compiling them.

Right now what I would need is a good book for a MySQL newbie which
would *not* be centered on the MySQL/PHP combination but on the use of
this database for a standalone (non-internet oriented) database to be
used on one computer (sort of like a home or small office user would
want).  Also, I would much prefer a book which would not be Windows/MAC
OSX -centered as I have absolutely no interest for these OSs.

Could you reccommend any good books/tutorials which would help?

Many thanks in advance!


Re: MySQL semi-newbie - please point me towards the right stuff

----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: mailing.database.mysql
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 9:01 PM
Subject: MySQL semi-newbie - please point me towards the right stuff

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Just use MS Access as the front end to your Linux/MySQL server.
With the MySQL ODBC driver installed, you use the Access linked table wizard
to create linked tables to the MySQL database.  The linked tables you create
will look and act just like ordinary Access tables to the entire MS Office
system.  You may run into a *gotcha* here and there but you won't find a
better GUI. You can look at this as "training wheels" or you can consider it
a robust solution to integrate MySQL/Linux with Windows workstations running
Microsoft office.

There are GUIs for MySQL.  MySQL Control Center comes to mind and this has
it's equivalent running under Windows or Gnome/Linux.  Unfortunately, it
will come up very short compared to Access.  Others I haven't tried but if
one if one is used to Access, I fear the missing pieces are likely to be all
too obvious.

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Like all language arguments, this is a matter of choice.  My personal choice
is to forget PHP and use Python.  And if you "enjoy" Python then there is
certainly no reason to bother with PHP. The MySQLdb library works fine and I
believe there are others.

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FWIW - you can also write "passthrough" queries in MS Access which can take
strict MySQL syntax and deliver it directly to the MySQL engine.  You can
also use VB to script your MySQL interaction. If you want to integrate a
Linux/MySQL server to a bunch of Windows workstations, this is the way to

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PHP/MySQL books tend to flood the scene due to that combinations popularity.
This doesn't mean you can't find what you are asking for. One good book that
gets very quickly to the meat of things without fluff (and no PHP to speak
     MySQL Tutorial by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson
That one will get you going quickly. Then, after you've learned how to
walk - you learn how to run with a comprehensive (and very essential!)
     MySQL by Paul DuBois

I'm sure others will have their favorites.

MySQL is very well covered.
Thomas Bartkus

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Re: MySQL semi-newbie - please point me towards the right stuff

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for all the info.  My short comments are inside your post below.

Thomas Bartkus wrote:
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find a
consider it
this has
but if
be all

I can't.  I just can't.  Really.  I H-A-T-E proprietary software, and
most of all, of course, Microsoft.  I used Access in the past, when I
was programming win32, and yes, it has a neat interface, but at this
point in time my distaste for proprietary software is so overwhelming
that I simply do not use any of it.  All my computers are 100& free
(and mostly GPLed).

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there is
fine and I
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great.  Python has been a true discovery for me (coming from VB6 you
can imagine...).  I enjoy working with it a lot (although something
better than IDLE would really make my day perfect).

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book that

I have already ordered it (with another one called "MySQL: Essential
Skills" by John Horn).

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Thanks for the pointer - I looked it up and it looks very good.  But
the price is a whopper (and amazon does not offer the March 2005 3rd
edition yet).  But I will probably get it some time in the future.

Thanks again,


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