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Although the MySQL™ Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) has existed for many years, it's only within the last two years that MySQL has gained official recognition in many enterprise settings. The growth has been tremendous—in just a few years, the number of MySQL installations worldwide has risen from a few hundred thousand to an estimated four million in early 2003.

The growth of MySQL in the enterprise, paired with downturn in the economy at the turn of the century, has created a new phenomenon: There are more companies than ever looking specifically for people with MySQL skills. At the same time, many people with MySQL knowledge are out looking for a job after the burst of the dot-com bubble, which means that companies interested in hiring can pick and choose at will.

MySQL AB, the company behind the MySQL RDBMS (yes, even though the MySQL RDBMS is an open source product, there's a thriving company behind it) developed the MySQL Certification Program to help companies identify individuals with the skillset they need and expect from their employees. The certification program also helps individuals by setting them apart from hobbyists, increasing their prospects for finding challenging new tasks.

MySQL AB currently offers certification at two levels:

  • The Core Certification tests basic MySQL knowledge and usage, knowledge that's sufficient to maintain a basic MySQL installation and to create application programs that use MySQL as a backend database.

  • The Professional Certification goes into more detail regarding such topics as large table maintenance, storage engines, and optimizations.

This book meets the demand that was created by the introduction of the MySQL Certification Program. How do you prepare for the exams? Reading this study guide is the best way to enhance your chances of passing the demanding MySQL Core and Professional exams.

Although the topics covered by each exam (as listed in the "MySQL Certification Candidate Guide") might seem basic, the exams aren't easy, and they require a combination of study and practical experience. This book will help you understand many of these topics in-depth. Combined with real-world experience, this will help you pass the exams.

Another means of gaining skills and knowledge to both help you pass the exams and be successful in the field of MySQL administration and usage is to attend one or more of the courses provided by MySQL AB.

More information on the MySQL training and certification programs may be found on the MySQL AB Web site (see

I would like to thank Paul DuBois, Stefan Hinz, and Carsten Pedersen for bringing this book into existence. Thank you to Trudy Pelzer, who reviewed and edited all exercises as well as large parts of the text. Also thank you to the following people, each of whom has reviewed and given extensive comments on the text: Thomas Bassel, Jeremy Cole, Bob Donahue, Jason Frisvold, Peter Gulutzan, Mike Hillyer, Arjen Lentz, Max Mether, Heikki Tuuri, Nils Valentin, and Peter Zaitsev.

I am happy the book is now out. MySQL AB now has an excellent answer to the most frequent question we get about certification, namely, "How do I best prepare for it?"

Good luck on your exam!

—Kaj Arnö, MySQL AB, Vice President, Professional Services

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