Newbie Database Question

Can anyone point me to a good basic and practical reference for database management? I anticipate adding a few fields in my product details eventually, and though I generally understand the overall concepts, I have no idea how to actually make modifications w/o screwing things up. Most refs I’ve looked at were either totally dumbed down ‘start from scratch’ tutorials, or far more than I’m looking for … I just need to be able to do a few things like add fields without going back to school.

Have you had a look at any of the training CD’s available online at the likes of

They are not free but I have picked up loads of things from them as I seem to retain info better if I see a demonstration instead of reading a book?

just open up phpmyadmin, if possible create a test database and just start exploring the features, it’s simpler then reading a manual…

+1 to snorocket

Yeah, “hands on” or “show me” works best for me, I tend to nod off after the first page of most manuals. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to learn php from a manual to drop it nearly immediately. I’ve learned many times that just figuring out how to change things in CS-C smarty templates.

I’ve created db’s w/ PHPMyAdmin, but they’ve been populated by installing CS-C or WordPress. I’ll make a test db and play around.

Thanks granthams for letting me know about vtc … likely won’t buy anything for now, but their free lessons look like a good overview, at least the one I’ve viewed so far … that’ll help a lot.

So … when I see a post w/ db modifications like this ashtek’s shipping weights mod:

ALTER TABLE `cscart_orders` ADD `shipping_weight` decimal(12,2) NOT NULL default '0.00' AFTER `shipping_cost`

This is a command line action right? It’s the syntax of something like this that concerns me. That’s kinda what got me thinking I need to know more before I screw something up. Can the same action be handled via the PHPMyAdmin GUI?

mysql db’s are easy compared to scripting php/smarty code…examples like

ALTER TABLE `cscart_orders` ADD `shipping_weight` decimal(12,2) NOT NULL default '0.00' AFTER `shipping_cost`

you can just paste this code in the phpmyadmin query box and click go and it’s done. The code is pretty clear and is just saying that your altering table name cscart_orders and adding a new field named shipping_cost along with a few values, that’s it…

Thanks Sno, I’ll play around w/ it. I’m sure I’ll pick up on it quick enough, smarty is straining my brain but I’m learning pretty quickly.