p. **Review Written by:** Ivo Jansch
**Publisher:** Packt Publishing
p. Ever since I’ve been using PHP (about 8.5 years now), I’ve been using MySQL. And ever since I’ve been using MySQL, I have used phpMyAdmin as the tool to manage the database. It’s in fact the standard database management tool at my company.
p. I mainly use phpMyAdmin for 2 things: browsing the data in the database, and changing the structure of a database. Those are pretty straightforward features, so when “packt publishing”:http://www.packtpub.com/ asked me to review a book on phpMyAdmin, I initially wondered how they could write an entire book on phpmyadmin.
h2. More than meets the eye
p. Once I started to read the book, it quickly became clear that there is a ton of features in phpmyadmin, many of which I had never heard of before, even though I’ve been using it for that long. For example, I never knew phpMyAdmin could render the contents of a BLOB column (if it contains a picture), or that it could handle relationships between tables when editing data.
p. I think one of the reasons why new features are often unknown is that people don’t read the changelogs a lot. Occasionally our sysadmins upgrade phpMyAdmin on our servers, but the developers hardly look at the changes. Another reason is that a lot of phpMyAdmin functionality seems to be hidden behind configuration values.
p. There are so many configuration options, that you can create a million different phpMyAdmin installations just by tweaking the configuration files. It would be nice if the end user had more influence on these features, but we’re not reviewing phpMyAdmin here, but the book, so let’s move on.
p. The book does a great job of explaining all phpMyAdmin’s features and configuration options. It’s easy to read, contains a lot of examples and screen shots (maybe a bit too many at times) and explains the topics in a logical order. If you’re already very familiar with phpMyAdmin, the book’s structure makes it easy to skip what’s already known and to start directly at the items of interest.
p. Every feature is explained in great detail, and in the case behaviour depends on configuration values, both the configuration values and their effect on the application are explained.
p. The book can be read as a hands-on guide, going from start to finish in the intended order, but since it has a good table of contents and index, it’s alsy very useful as a phpMyAdmin reference manual. At roughly 240 pages, it’s small enough to keep within range when working with phpMyAdmin, but large enough to be thorough on most subjects.
h2. Target Audience
p. Because the book focuses not only on functionality but also on configuration, I think the book will appeal to both the end users (usually developers or database administrators) and system administrators. In particular, you will like the book if:
*(disc) You’re new to phpMyAdmin and want to get the most out of it.
* You’re already using phpMyAdmin but want to know what else it can do for you.
* You’re setting up phpMyAdmin and want to know how to optimally configure the installation so it meets the needs of the users.