How Safari Books Online uses Google

This guest post was written by Daniel Peter, Senior Programmer Analyst at Safari Books Online.

Safari Books Online is a subscription service for individuals and organizations to access a growing library of over 30, 000 technology and business books and videos. Our customers browse and search the library from web browsers and mobile devices, generating powerful usage data which we can use to improve our service and increase profitability. We wanted to quickly and easily build dashboards, improve the effectiveness of our sales teams and enable ad-hoc queries to answer specific business questions. With billions of records, we found it challenging to get the answers to our questions fast enough with our existing MySQL databases.

Looking for alternative solutions to build our dashboards and enable interactive ad-hoc querying, we played with several technologies, including Hadoop. In the end, we decided to use Google BigQuery.

Here’s how we pipe data into BigQuery:

Our data starts in our CDN and server logs, gets packaged up into compressed files, and runs through our ETL server before finishing in BigQuery.

Here’s one of the dashboards we built using the data:

You can see that with the help of BigQuery, we can easily categorize our books. This dashboard shows popular books by desktop and mobile, and with BigQuery, we are able to run quick queries to dive into other usage patterns as well.


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Be the best time for you to pay the yearly fee ($99) but if you become a
member of the ACM you get free access to a selection of safari online books
and books24x7 books as well as a bunch of CBTs from skillsoft. I haven't
looked at it yet, but there are CBTs for shell scripting and perl in the
list. Safari would have most, if not all, of the good Perl books, since
it's O'Reilly. They also have career oriented resources, but I don't know
much about them since I just joined myself.

If someone formed a study
group online somewhere for Perl I'd consider joining in, assuming the pace
is not too fast has large selection new/used books

Be sure to read their privacy policy ... it is a delight the consumer's eyes.
You've already been referred to the O'Reilly's open book resource, but be sure to check out the Safari bookshelf
Specific book recommendations:
1. MySQL by Paul DuBois / New Rides Press
2. MySQL Manual in print by O'Reilly or available free online
3. Running Linux by Walsh et al / O'Reilly Press
4. Linux in a Nutshell by Siever et al / O'Reilly Press


Hello, as far as books go, I stopped buying them a year ago and subscribed to 'Safari Books Online' from Oreilly... it's a great deal, for 5 bucks a month you can have access to up to 5 of their books at a time, and they cover every computer topic you could imagine.
But, for websites, check this one out:
Those 3 tutorials are great, I really got a lot out of them.
Good luck!

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Safari Books Online - Advanced Search
Safari Books Online - Advanced Search

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