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PHP and MySQL Web Development Book & CD Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 075-2063317846
ISBN-10: 0672317842
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The PHP server-side scripting language and the MySQL database management system (DBMS) make a potent pair. Both are open-source products--free of charge for most purposes--remarkably strong, and capable of handling all but the most enormous transaction loads. Both are supported by large, skilled, and enthusiastic communities of architects, programmers, and designers. PHP and MySQL Web Development introduces readers (who are assumed to have little or no experience with the title subjects) to PHP and MySQL for the purpose of creating dynamic Internet sites. It teaches the same skills as introductory Active Server Pages (ASP) and ColdFusion books--technologies that address the same niche.

Authors Luke Welling and Laura Thomson's technique aims to get readers going on their own projects as soon as possible. They present easily digestible sections on specific technical processes--"Accessing array contents" and "Using encryption with PHP" are two examples. Each section centers on a sample program that strips the task at hand down to its essentials, enabling the reader to fit the process into his or her own solutions as required. Tables that list options and other nuggets of reference material appear as well, but the many examples and the authors' commentary on them take center stage.

For reference material on MySQL, have a look at Paul DuBois's MySQL. On the PHP side, Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 is excellent. --David Wall

Topics covered:

  • The MySQL database server (for both Unix and Windows)
  • Accessing MySQL databases through PHP scripting (the letters don't really stand for anything)
  • Database creation and modification
  • PHP tricks in order of increasing complexity--everything from basic SQL queries to secure transactions for commerce
  • Authentication
  • Network connectivity
  • Session management
  • Content customization

From the Back Cover

PHP & MySQL Web Development teaches the reader to develop dynamic, secure e-commerce Web sites and Web applications. The book shows how to integrate and implement these technologies by following real-world examples and working sample projects. It also covers the related technologies needed to build a commercial Web site such as SSL, shopping carts, and payment systems.

The CD includes a Linux distribution, MySQL, PHP4 and utilities for the projects and code listings.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; Book & CD edition (March 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672317842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672317842
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is such a good book that I wanted to take the time to write a review and give it 5 stars, which it richly deserves. The other glowing reviews helped me to choose this book over others, and they were right on the money.
I'm an experienced C/C++ programmer on Windows, but I knew nothing about PHP and MySQL -- and very little about Apache and Unix -- prior to opening this book. I've now read about 80% of it and, in the process, I've built a commercial-grade Website with user registration and shopping cart facilities, which was my objective. Reading this book was a very efficient use of my time -- it gave me exactly what I needed to build a practical Web application system with PHP and MySQL, and very little extraneous stuff.
The main prerequisite for this book is a working knowledge of HTML, and just a little background in procedural programming. Some of the earliest examples use HTML tags for tables and forms, with PHP use thoroughly explained, but without many notes on the HTML. A beginning programmer can learn effectively from this book, but as an experienced programmer I felt that it also worked well to bring me up to speed quickly on a new language.
Another value of this book not mentioned in other reviews are the many good recommendations for organizing your PHP code (applying basic software engineering principles) as your Web application gets larger and more complex. Many, many Websites have been built haphazardly and are now difficult to maintain because they haven't followed the excellent advice in this book.
I did notice the typos mentioned by other reviewers, but after reading 80% of this (867-page) book I feel they are very minor and really do not detract from the book significantly at all.
All in all, this is one of those rare books that is probably worth ten times the amount that you pay for it, and much more if you use it effectively.
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Format: Paperback
I have just started learning some PHP & MySQL development using "PHP & MySQL Web Development" published by Sams and "Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL" from O'Reilly. Prospective readers might be wondering the difference between the two in deciding which one to buy, so I hope to shed some light on the issue.
Sams: The Welling and Thomson book is more "hands-on" in that it takes the reader step-by-step in developing an e-commerce website. The chapters are organized in a goal-oriented manner: PHP, MySQL, the basics of e-commerce, security, and design of the site.
O'Reilly: The Williams and Lane book is structured in a similar way by showing readers PHP and then MySQL. Examples to reinforce concepts are also provided. While the O'Reilly book also tries to take the reader in developing an e-commerce site, it is a bit more theoretical. Also, there are some differences in focus: the O'Reilly book has a section on using JavaScript while the Sams book has a final chapter on creating PDF files using PHP.
If I had to choose just one book, I would go with the Sams book due to its more gentle learning curve. However, I believe that the O'Reilly book is no slouch, and I will probably come to appreciate it more once I gain more experience in PHP and MySQL development.
One last word about my programming background: I knew a bit of Perl, Java, HTML, and JavaScript before tackling PHP and MySQL. I consider myself to be an "advanced beginner" (an oxymoron, of course). To get the most out of these two books, you should know HTML well enough to read it (you should at least recognize some tags) and it would definitely be helpful if you have some programming experience.
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By A Customer on July 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although it has a purple spine, this book contains everything a person would hope to know about php and mysql. From the basics of php 4.0 to mysql privleges, Welling and Thomson provide quick easy and painless reading.
It provides it's message to the windows crowd, which in itself is a beautiful concept; usually books about php and mysql are directed at unix users (rightfully so, I admit). I am a user of windows, and the php installation instructions for either the windows build of Apache or MS IIS were definately adequate.
The php crash course chapter is an especially good reference. For example, other books I've purchased on php ignored some of the useful variations of the if-then control structure. The chapter on php session control was beautifully simple, although at first it came as a surprise, since other php books didn't cover it (session control was first implemented in php 4.0).
I did have some difficulty installing and using the gd image library, since most of the sites listed in the book didn't exist. Windows users, just remember that the php.ini file needs to be edited (remove the semicolon before the gd dll) and the gd dll needs to be moved into the php working directory. Of course, maybe that's intuitive and I'm just a moron.
In conclusion, it's a good book.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book when I was just getting started on a website for my neighborhood, and although I am an experienced developer with knowledge of ASP, JSP and SQL, I had not personally worked with PHP or MySQL before.
In less than a month's time, using only this book and the PHP language reference (included with PHP) I was able to build a website with user logon, discussion forums, user-customizable profiles with the option to upload pictures of themselves, and online web email. I wrote all of this from scratch, using the examples from this book, and this book alone.
For those of you who are learning to develop "live" (ie. non-static HTML) websites, and you've chosen to use only open-standards technology to do so, I can't imagine a better book to assist you than this one. It does a fantastic job of explaining things in simple terms, and provides a very good overview of PHP and MySQL, covering the subject matter clearly and concisely, without a lot of additional, unnecessary verbage.
I was originally going to develop my website using JSPs, but learned that my ISP did not support JSPs, only Java servlets (!), so I was forced to look at PHP as a faster, easier way of developing the site. It has been an exciting learning experience, thanks mostly to this book. The book is worth the price, and then some.
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