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The Definitive Guide to Mongodb: The Nosql Database for Cloud and Desktop Computing (Expert's Voice in Open Source) Paperback – 30 Sep 2010

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About the Author

Hailing from the U.K., Peter Membrey has worked for Red Hat, holds a RHCE certification, and worked and taught at a number of educational institutions since the beginning of his career. He knows what Linux users like and need, and hopes that CentOS will get the kudos it deserves. He lives in Hong Kong and is teaching and consulting on all matters to do with Linux Enterprise networking, while studying for his master's degree.

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By Fran on 28 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good book, complete, but the format for kindle is annoying, we have many chunks of code, would be better to have them in a bigger size, not only pictures.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
First steps into MongoDB 4 Nov. 2010
By David Edwards Jr - Published on
Format: Paperback
When I started reading this book, I was an experienced developer with no idea about why NoSQL was causing so much excitement. The idea of a database without keys and tables was completely foreign to me. Needless to say, I expected this book to praise all the benefits of the NoSQL movement and never even mention any short commings or drawbacks that it might have. To be told to leave behind my rdbms systems for good.

I was wrong...

While reading this book, the authors went to great links to express not only the benefits of a NoSQL database and the benefits that MongoDB has over its competitors, but also the draw backs to using this type of database. What a relief! A product that can stand on its own, with authors and developers who have a goal and are not trying to make a system that does everything and does it for you automatically (include cook dinner) is so rare in software these days.

This book is broken into 12 chapters, but in truth it is organized into three sections. Basics, Developing and Advanced. In the Basics section they cover the topics that are needed to bring you up to speed on MongoDB and NoSQL. If you only read one part of the book, I would recommend this section. It does such a good job of explaining things that you will no longer be the guy in the conversation looking lost and confused at the next conference. The developing section is great. It covers basic implementation into a PHP and Python project as well as helping you create a Blogging application. No "Hello World" for these guys. There are quite a few examples that allow you to actually understand, line by line, what is going on in the code. They have done such a good job explaining the examples that even if you do not know PHP or Python, you will be able to understand the code. The Advanced section starts hitting the high points of administration. I started getting a little lost here, but my background is heavily weighted towards development so that is not really suprising.

In my opinion this book is not for the beginning developer and it is not for the experienced MongoDB developer/admin, but it is great starting poitn for the seasoned developer/administrator who would like to actually understand the NoSQL movement and get a basic understanding of MongoDB. The book is very short (less than 300 pages, which is short for a technical book) and provides many examples to help ease the learning curve to a manageable level.

I would highly recommend this book to any developer who is either thinking about implementing a NoSQL solution, or is just tired of trying to figure out what everyone is talking about when they say NoSQL.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good Intro for both DBA and Developer 9 Nov. 2010
By Sean P. Hull - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have to admit I learned quite a lot from this book. It is full of detail, plenty of examples, and even a sample application - building a blog publishing system with PHP & Mongodb.

What I liked:
The layout of the book is exactly how you'd want a technical book to be. The intro chapter answers some of your nagging questions such as How is data stored in a non-relational database? Why would you use a NoSQL database? What are it's use cases? From there the chapters take you by the hand, installing, querying, developing, and finally administering. So the book is easy to navigate.

As a DBA I wanted to know about replication, so I jumped right to chapter eleven. You learn about the oplog which is like the binlog in mysql, an ongoing log of changes to the database. The slaves then fetch and apply these changes themselves. Single master & single slave, single master & multiple slaves, multi master replication and cascading are all topologies that MongoDB supports.

There's of course also a whole chapter on general database administration of MongoDB, including full coverage of backups and so on. There's also a whole chapter on sharding, which is the process of scaling your database horizontally so you can handle more reads and writes.

What I didn't like:
The author seemed to make some sweeping statements that bothered me quite a bit. I won't go as far as to say there was a lack of relational database knowledge, but it was implied: "Improving performance with a relational database is usually straightforward: you buy a bigger, faster server." Well no actually, that's not really how you improve performance. As a long standing DBA with a decade and a half of experience I can tell you the best way to get orders of magnitude performance improvements is to look at how you are using resources, and use he more efficiently. In affect tuning developers code, and teaching them how to write optimal code, how to think about resources, and how to build test cases to benchmark.

Another one that was illustrative: "developers always have to work against the flow". Well I'm of two minds here. Yes they have to work against the flow, and constraints and structure is built into the database for a reason. So you have useful data at the end of the day, year, or decade of collecting it. On the other hand what I think they quote above is getting at is, the way data in an application is stored in memory, ie data structures, is very very different from how it is stored in databases. Do we have an alternative to this, and when and how might we use that?

I would have liked to see more comparisons, weighing the pros and cons of traditional rdbms's and then NoSQL solutions, and how they measure up. Since MongoDB is so new, inevitably folks considering the technology are somewhat versed already in relational databases, and are asking will MongoDB work. I would have also liked some business case studies, for instance a discussion of the recent FourSquare outage, what went wrong with MongoDB, and why.

On balance this is a really great book, well written, and easy to read. It will definitely address all of your beginning questions as both a DBA and a Developer, and send you off in the right direction to get started with MongoDB!
Very good book for developers and DBA 26 April 2011
By ME - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have used MongoDB for about an year for research and development. Very impressed the way how MongoDB works. I had some questions which I was not able to find answers in or forums but after reading this book, I came to know some basic principles and they are applied in MongoDB. This book focus on developers who would like to get started on a NoSQL platform as well as for DBAs who know nothing about MongoDB. This book was written few months ago based on version 1.6 but we have new version 1.8 with some additional features. The topic says "Database for Cloud and Desktop Computing", there is no clear references to "what they actually mean to developers/DBA". The way topics are structured is very nice (basics to advanced) which motivated me to read the book in two days.

* Gave a clear motivation on why we need MongoDB which I think is a big plus
* Very detailed
* Most aspects of MongoDB is covered

* Inconsistencies in the syntax for the examples given. Though all of them are valid, there is no clear explanation on why. That is, some keywords are in double quotes, some are in single and some did not have quotes at all. Eg., "$elemMatch", $or
* There are some references about mapReduce but there is no separate topic about that at all.

All in all, a must have book for starters.
Readable, Practical Overview of Setup, Use and Administration of MongoDB 28 Oct. 2013
By DerrickJ - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very accessible guide for those new to MongoDB and NoSQL, like myself. The work is well organized, and the author strikes a good balance between explaining concepts and providing useful practical examples. It provides a good section on administration, which is often lacking in even larger DB texts. If you have experience with previous relational databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL) and web application development, I would highly recommend this book as a 'fast track' for greeting up to speed on MongoDB and NoSQL.

Being titled 'The Definitive Guide ...', I would liked to have seen more examples/discussions of date and string manipulation, use of JavaScript functions in MongoDB, and regex operations. These are shown, but not in great detail or variety. Overall, though, great book .... I do recommend.
Excellent book 7 Oct. 2011
By Karl Vogel - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this with O'Reilly's "MongoDB: The Definitive Guide", and the two in combination are nearly perfect. What one book misses, the other one covers.

The most useful sections for me were the ones on managing indexes and importing data. I have two uses in mind: storing user activity history for our customers and creating a file DB as a table of contents for our backup server. I've tried Postgres for the file DB, and it'll be interesting to see how Mongo compares.
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