Top critical review
43 people found this helpful
A book about the DBI, not programming databases from Perl.
on June 7, 2000
This is a good book, IF:
- You want the online documentation with some extra fluff on databases, extra examples and the DBI spec. in one handy place (pages 187 - 333 are pretty much available online, the rest of the book is the online material filled out).
- You are interested in learning about the DBI, the book is about the DBI rather than database programming.
This is not a good book, IF:
- You want to learn how to program databases from the web (the widest application of Perl today is covered on one example/page and is an absolute joke).
- You want to learn how to program databases other than Oracle (the massive Windows market, and other markets are left to you, the reader, to extrapolate techniques from the book to practice).
This is a terrible book, IF:
- You are a Perl/programming beginner.
- You want to learn about databases.
- You want to troubleshoot your application (to not include much more driver specific material, when the DBI relies so heavily on the database's driver, means that essentially the book's use is very limited in the real world).
The DBI is a great tool in the Perl armoury; this book does not do it justice. You will learn more from the online documentation, DBI mailing list and the very generous Perl community than you could ever get from here - save your money (The forthcoming 'Web Databases with Perl' from Manning looks far more promising, but it's not out until Oct 2000).
Of course, if the book is supposed to be nothing more than a guide to the DBI in the very limited scope of being a recycle and slight expansion of existing material, then you can't fault it, and it is a nice read. A lot of the reviews for the book reflect this sentiment. However, if you are after more, you will end up questioning what O'Reilly were thinking. On these grounds three stars is generous.