Archive for the ‘Review’ Category
I enjoyed this book a lot and recommend it to everyone who uses PostgreSQL or MySQL. MySQL users should benefit from understanding PostgreSQL. Beyond that, I learned a lot from this book that I can apply directly to MySQL. In particular, the book begins with a few chapters on hardware performance, benchmarking, and configuration. This material is database-agnostic and very well done. There is about 70 pages of it — it goes into a lot of details. It is more detailed than the similar material in my own book High Performance MySQL.
The rest of the book is much more focused on PostgreSQL. There are chapters on memory use, server configuration, maintenance (with a good survey of how PostgreSQL handles things like MVCC), benchmarking, indexing, query optimization, statistics, monitoring and trending, pooling, caching, replication, partitioning, proxies, and finally an extensive laundry list of common problems and how to solve them.
It was a pleasure to read — the quality and clarity of the writing is very good. Greg is an excellent writer and obviously put a lot of work into this book.
This is a good introduction to CouchDB. I would like more information about server internals from a book titled “definitive guide.” But it orients the reader well and shows CouchDB’s strengths and use cases clearly. The writing is straightforward and well organized. I think it does a great job at helping the reader see the possibilities and the elegance inherent to the data model and conventions built into CouchDB. I ended up feeling very enthusiastic about CouchDB.
My complaints about the book are that it sometimes doesn’t go into enough depth, and it is a little wide-eyed in places. One example is the section explaining how CouchDB can scale to exabyte datasets. I would also like to see a little more formal or rigorous treatment of some topics; I saw the phrase “crash-only design” in several places, but the book never explained what that means.
I haven’t read any of the other books on CouchDB yet, but this book was fun enough to read and made me interested enough that I would like to. On a related note, I contributed an introductory white paper about CouchDB.
This is a good introduction to MongoDB, mostly from the application developer’s point of view. After reading through this, I felt that I understood the concepts well, although I am not a MongoDB expert, so I can’t pretend to be a fact-checker. The topics are clearly and logically presented for the most part; there is a small amount of repetition in one of the appendixes, but I don’t mind that. The writing and editing is top-notch, as I’ve come to expect from O’Reilly.
Read this book if you want to learn what MongoDB is, what it does, and how to use it. Don’t expect that you will learn everything there is to know about topics such as administration and tuning, although it’ll be a good start. (The MongoDB documentation is an excellent reference to continue your education in those areas.)
You might be pleasantly surprised at the lack of hype in this book. It wasn’t written by wide-eyed fanboys, and it does mention the weaknesses of MongoDB, although it understandably doesn’t spend any time bashing MongoDB for having shortcomings. I think you’ll get a balanced view of the database’s strengths and weaknesses, certainly enough to make a responsible decision about whether it’s worth investigating more deeply.
To sum up, as I wrote to the authors, “Nice book. Very well written, very clear and objective.”