You know quite a bit about using MySQL now. You can set up a database and create tables. You can put records into those tables, retrieve them in various ways, change them, or delete them. But the tutorial in this chapter only scratches the surface, and there's still a lot to know about MySQL. You can see this by considering the current state of our sampdb database. We've created it and its tables and populated them with some initial data. During the process we've seen how to write some of the queries we need for answering questions about the information in the database. But much remains to be done. For example, we have no convenient interactive way to enter new score records for the grade-keeping project or new member entries for the Historical League directory. We have no convenient way to edit existing records. And we still can't generate the printed or online forms of the League directory. These tasks and others will be revisited in the upcoming chapters, particularly in Chapter 7, "The Perl DBI API," and Chapter 8, "The PHP API."
Where you go next in this book depends on what you're interested in. If you want to see how to finish the job we've started with our Historical League and grade-keeping projects, Part II, "Using MySQL Programming Interfaces," covers how to write MySQL-based programs. If you're going to serve as the MySQL administrator for your site, Part III of this book, "MySQL Administration," deals with administrative tasks. However, I recommend acquiring additional general background in using MySQL first, by reading the remaining chapters in Part I, "General MySQL Use." These chapters discuss how MySQL handles data, provide further information on the syntax and use of query statements and show how to make your queries run faster. A good grounding in these topics will stand you in good stead no matter the context in which you use MySQL?whether you're running mysql, writing your own programs, or acting as a database administrator.