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PostgreSQL 9 Admin Cookbook [Kindle Edition]

Simon Riggs , Hannu Krosing
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Written in the cookbook style, this book offers learning and techniques through recipes. It contains step-by-step instructions for administrators and developers to manage databases on PostgreSQL. The book is designed in such a way that you can read it chapter by chapter or refer to recipes in no particular order. This book is for Sysadmins, Database Administrators, Architects, Developers, and anyone with an interest in planning for or running live production databases. This book is most suited to those who have some technical experience.


Product Description

About the Author

Simon Riggs


Simon Riggs is one of the few Major Developers and Committers on the PostgreSQL database project, and is also CTO of 2ndQuadrant, providing 24x7 support and services to PostgreSQL users worldwide. Simon has worked with enterprise-class database applications for more than 20 years, with prior certifications on Oracle, Teradata and DB2. Simon is responsible for much of the database recovery and replication code in PostgreSQL, and designed or wrote many of the latest performance enhancements. He uses his operational experience to contribute to many aspects of both internal design and usability.

Hannu Krosing


Hannu Krosing is Principal Consultant at 2ndQuadrant and a Technical Advisor at Ambient Sound Investments. As the original database architect at Skype Technologies, Hannu was responsible for designing the Skytools suite of replication and scalability technologies. Hannu has more than 12 years experience working with, and contributing to, the PostgreSQL project.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2019 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (26 Nov. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0057G9S28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking over shoulders 1 Dec. 2010
Format:Paperback
I've been reading through the recently published book PostgreSQL 9.0 Admin Cookbook of late, and found that it satisfies an itch for me, at least for now. Every time I get involved in a new project, or work with a new group of people, there's a period of adjustment where I get introduced to new tools and new procedures. I enjoy seeing new (and not uncommonly, better) ways of doing the things I do regularly. At conferences I'll often spend time playing "What's on your desktop" with people I meet, to get an idea of how they do their work, and what methods they use. Questions about various peoples' favorite window manager, email reader, browser plugin, or IRC client are not uncommon. Sometimes I'm surprised by a utility or a technique I'd never known before, and sometimes it's nice just to see minor differences in the ways people do things, to expand my toolbox somewhat. This book did that for me.

As the title suggests, authors Simon Riggs and Hannu Krosing have organized their book similarly to a cookbook, made up of simple "recipes" organized in subject groups. Each recipe covers a simple topic, such as "Connecting using SSL", "Adding/Removing tablespaces", and "Managing Hot Standby", with detail sufficient to guide a user from beginning to end. Of course in many of the more complex cases some amount of detail must be skipped, and in general this book probably won't provide its reader with an in depth education, but it will provide a framework to guide further research into a particular topic. It includes a description of the manuals, and locations of some of the mailing lists to get the researcher started.

I've used PostgreSQL for many different projects and been involved in the community for several years, so I didn't find anything in the book that was completely unfamiliar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 25 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am almost a beginner with PostgreSQL but have lots of experience with other databases. Some of the later topics are a bit advanced for me at the moment but all 'recipes' are clearly explained with good examples.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 27 Feb. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very useful book for getting Postgresql set up.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on PostgreSQL I have read (combined) 29 Nov. 2010
By Stu
Format:Paperback
I can not rate this book highly enough. There should be 7 stars.
well written, simple to follow as a learning guide and a reference.
Hight recomended to people new to PostgreSQL and those with previous experience.
brilliant!!!
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have especially for new PostgreSQL users 23 Nov. 2010
By Leo Hsu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As the book title suggests, it's a cookbook, but a cookbook that combines a question and answer style with a discussion style of writing. The tasks are neatly categorized into 12 chapters and each task smoothly builds on previous tasks discussed. It is still categorized in such a way that you can jump to a particular task you are currently having problems with without having read the other parts of the book.

Although it is titled PostgreSQL 9 -- it covers earlier versions as well.

This is one of those books I wish I had when training some of our customers or had early on. A lot of the questions - we are commonly asked or have stumbled on - like how to troubleshoot bad queries, how to tell what are my biggest tables, how to deal with data corruption etc, are all succinctly covered in this book.

Just to get a taste of what this book offers:

1. Chapter 1: First steps This is mostly a newbie chapter, that introduces you to PostgreSQL, guides you thru connecting to the database using commandline and PgAdmin. Some other examples of commonly used GUIs. Configuring access control, troubleshooting failed connections. It provides tips both for the Linux as well as the Windows user.
2. Chapter 2: Exploring the database starts to get into what I would call intermediate territory. It covers tasks such as determining where your database files are, how to determine disk space utilization for both whole database and individual tables. Getting quick estimate of number of rows for large tables where doing a count would be really slow. Using psql and the various system tables to determine object dependency.
3. Chapter 3: Configuration A good chapter not just for PostgreSQL users but I would say any database designer. I think this chapter holds useful nuggets for all levels of users. It covers basic considerations when planning your database and based on the needs how to configure the key PostgreSQL configuration settings by server, user, and database. It had tricks like how to determine which parameters are at non-default settings. I am ashamed to admit, that I learned a lot from this chapter. Stuff I really should have known before. My only lame excuse is that PostgeSQL has always worked so well, that I never had a need to delve into these nuances.
4. Chapter 4: Server Control - A very intermediate chapter slowly getting into more nuances. It covers connection pooling, viciously and not so viciously kicking users off, gracefully shutting down, using schemas to partition data. Again a lot of stuff here I didn't know so will have to reread when I find myself in these situations.
5. Chapter 5: Tables & Data - This chapter covers general good practices for namings tables and other objects, setting up keys, finding duplicate data, deleting duplicate data, . My favorite pasttime, techniques to generate test data. It concludes with loading data from flat files and csv files. Fundamentals of using pgloader utility created by Dmitri Fountaine.
6. Chapter 6: Security Covers new GRANT management in PostgreSQL 9.0, setting up users, auditing DDL and data changes, integrating with LDAP, using SSL, ensuring secure passwords, and encrypting data with pgcrypto.
7. Chapter 7: Database Administration - starts getting a bit into creating functions using plpgsql, plproxy. Running SQL scripts in parallel. Fundamentals of PostgreSQL DDL such as creating schemas, tablespaces and setting new configuration options for those introduced in 9.0. Moving objects to different schemas and tablespaces.
8. Chapter 8: Monitoring and Diagnosis - covers how to catch blocking queries, query monitoring. Using pgFouine for log processing and alerting you of issues. The thing I most enjoyed about this chapter were the cut and paste queries utilizing various PostgreSQL system tables to track down issues.
9. Chapter 9: Regular Maintenance - this topic is normally a very dry one,at least for me. It covers fundamentals you should know, like backup,recovery testing, reclaiming space, transaction wrap around (less of an issue with newer versions of PostgreSQL), but that puts a narcoleptic like me into a comatose state. I awoke when reading the topic of Carefully removing unwanted indexes. It shows you how to turn indexes off without removing them so you can see if they are really useful. I've really got to try this one out.
10. Chapter 10: Performance & Concurrency - My favorite chapter. Can't get enough of this stuff. Just read it. You'll learn a lot regardless your walk of life.
11. Chapter 11: Backup & Recovery - Covers using PostgreSQL specific tools such as pg_dump and other tools such as rman and rsynch for doing differential backups.
12. Chapter 12: Replication and Upgrades - It covers replication terminology, the new 9.0 streaming replication, hot standby as well as longtime favorites like Londiste, Slony-2.0 and load balancing with pgpool, and using pg_upgrade.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content 16 Dec. 2010
By gabrielle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Disclaimer/note: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher, in pdf format.

The PostgreSQL community has been waiting for a "cookbook", and I'm really excited that we finally have one. The PostgreSQL 9 Admin Cookbook contains many tips & techniques I'm going to put to immediate use. Like, pgloader and the ON_ERROR_STOP option to psql. This book also reminded me that there's still a lot I don't know about Postgres: for example, I've never worked with pg_controldata or the quote_ident() function. If you're a Pg admin (or wannabe), you should give this book at least a run-through, even if you think you already know everything.

Most of the "recipes" in this cookbook will stand on their own; some require material from previous or other referenced sections to make sense. I am a sucker for conversational style, and while the book gets off to a rough start, it does even out after a bit. Big blocks of SQL are formatted consistently in a style that, while it's not one I use myself, is easy to read.

The authors give a great explanation of why they prefer their filesystem set up a specific way, and how to do it (of course, it probably helps that I agree with them on this point); and good advice about schema & relation names. Specific problem-solving tools I found useful are: the list of steps to troubleshoot failed connections; specific things to do if a backend is hung, or a query is taking too long; and generating test data and taking random samples of real-world data. They also give warnings where something you do might cause application downtime.

Sadly, this book suffers from inadequate editing, dragging the rating down from a solid four stars. I often struggled against the grammar and organization to understand what the authors were trying to express. This frustrated me and slowed me down; a detriment in a technical manual. I also found that I couldn't rely on the (seemingly auto-generated) index to find what I need, although the TOC and chapter headings helped out a lot there.

Bottom line: would I buy a hard copy? At the listed pricepoint (US$45 at this time), probably not. However, it's a great first effort and I eagerly await the second edition.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PostgresSQL 9 Admin Cookbook 4 Aug. 2011
By Mat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First and foremost, this is not a beginners book to postgres. This book contains tips, tricks, and tweaks to the postgres database engine. I picked up this book to further my proficiency of postgres as well as learn more about securing and monitoring the system. What I liked most about this book was the authors approach to the problem--usually beginning in a section called "getting ready", then to "how to do it", and followed-up by "how it works". This provides a great point-based approach to the task at hand and not only tells you how to do it, but how it's actually working in the background to fully round-out one's understanding of the topic.

The first couple of chapters are pretty rudimentary--getting started, setting up the database, configuration. Nothing too special, here.

The next three chapters covered server control, tables & data, security. To be honest, the chapter on security was the reason i wanted this book. I was curious to know about how to encrypt sensitive data in the database, and more so with encryption at rest. While the topics of encryption were covered with pgcrypto package, I just wish this section was a bit longer and provided more examples--especially on covering really sensitive information.

The next three chapters covered database administration, monitoring, and maintenance. I found the maintenance chapter quite useful for managing and repairing/removing indexes. Also, the monitoring session on who's doing what proved quite interesting.

Finally, we finish up with concurrency, backup/recovery, and replication. The other chapter I was really after in this book was over backup and recovery. Understanding crash control recovery, hot backups, and restorations were all extremely useful--especially recovering tables from an incremental/differential backup.

Overall, I received quite a bit of content out of this book. While I wish there was more content on what I was after, this book will make a handy addition to my collection to help improve database performance. I recommend this book for intermediate users of postgres who wish to fine tune and dive a little deeper into the administration of postgres.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd had this earlier 6 Sept. 2011
By Karl Vogel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book does exactly what it advertises -- it tells you what to do and NOT to do if you want your PG application to fly.

I've read the pgsql-performance mailing list from Jan 2011 to now (Sep 5th), and you can find a lot of the stuff covered in the book, but it's not nearly as well organized. Save yourself the time and get more info by getting the book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking over shoulders 1 Dec. 2010
By eggyknap - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been reading through the recently published book PostgreSQL 9.0 Admin Cookbook of late, and found that it satisfies an itch for me, at least for now. Every time I get involved in a new project, or work with a new group of people, there's a period of adjustment where I get introduced to new tools and new procedures. I enjoy seeing new (and not uncommonly, better) ways of doing the things I do regularly. At conferences I'll often spend time playing "What's on your desktop" with people I meet, to get an idea of how they do their work, and what methods they use. Questions about various peoples' favorite window manager, email reader, browser plugin, or IRC client are not uncommon. Sometimes I'm surprised by a utility or a technique I'd never known before, and sometimes it's nice just to see minor differences in the ways people do things, to expand my toolbox somewhat. This book did that for me.

As the title suggests, authors Simon Riggs and Hannu Krosing have organized their book similarly to a cookbook, made up of simple "recipes" organized in subject groups. Each recipe covers a simple topic, such as "Connecting using SSL", "Adding/Removing tablespaces", and "Managing Hot Standby", with detail sufficient to guide a user from beginning to end. Of course in many of the more complex cases some amount of detail must be skipped, and in general this book probably won't provide its reader with an in depth education, but it will provide a framework to guide further research into a particular topic. It includes a description of the manuals, and locations of some of the mailing lists to get the researcher started.

I've used PostgreSQL for many different projects and been involved in the community for several years, so I didn't find anything in the book that was completely unfamiliar. But PostgreSQL is an open source project with a large community. There exists a wide array of tools, many of which I've never had occasion to use. Reading about some of them, and seeing examples in print, was a pleasant and educational experience. For instance, one recipe describes "Selective replication using Londiste". My tool of choice for such problems is generally Bucardo, so I'd not been exposed to Londiste's way of doing things. Nor have I used pgstatspack, a project for collecting various statistics and metrics from database views which is discussed under "Collecting regular statistics from pg_stat_* views".

In short, the book gave me the opportunity to look over the shoulder of experienced PostgreSQL users and administrators to see how they go about doing things, and compare to how I've done them. I'm glad to have had the opportunity.
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