- Paperback: 582 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (March 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596000413
- ISBN-13: 978-0596000417
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,720,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL 1st Edition
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PHP and MySQL go hand in hand; the former has been carefully adapted, through the efforts of the open-source community, to the latter. For situations that require dynamic content but don't merit the complexity and development time of Java or .NET enterprise applications, the PHP language and the MySQL database server fit the bill perfectly. That's the point Hugh Williams and David Lane make in Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL, which combines language tutorials with application design advice to yield a comprehensive picture of its subjects at a reasonable price. Williams and Lane--both Australian academics who use an online wine store in many of their examples--deserve tremendous kudos for their way of presenting recommended coding strategies. Though the code listings themselves aren't remarkably well commented, the authors do a commendable job of explaining in prose what the code is up to.
Case in point: The ever-essential task of using PHP to open a connection to a MySQL database, submit a query to that database, receive a response, and format the returned rows, if any. The book addresses this problem with a straight code listing, followed by text that explains what's happening in five numbered steps. Similar care goes to the other popular applications of the PHP/MySQL duo: session management, shopping carts, and authentication of users. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to use the PHP server-side scripting language and the MySQL database engine to underlie dynamic Web sites (those that rely on database queries) and full-on Web applications, such as those that require session management and maintenance of user rosters. Tutorials in both subjects begin with the basics and proceed through moderately complicated stuff, though there's no absolutely comprehensive reference here.
"As symbolized by the duck-billed platypus on the cover it is a book that will help you to survive in a rapidly changing world. Submerge yourself in proven technology and emerge unscathed once the dots have fallen out by the wayside. Recommended for its excellent examples which will save you thousands in case you need to develop a similar application." Information Security Bulletin, July 2002 "The book manages to deliver on two levels at once - the concepts, planning and design process as well as implementation. It's also surprisingly well written, and manages not to be too smug or patronizing." - Nick Veitch, LinuxFormat, October 2002
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If you're an experienced programmer looking for a more streamlined reference manual, I recommend O'Reilly's "Programming PHP" instead.
Unfortunately, after taking a Database Design class in Oracle, I've become a lot more aware of MySQL's limitations. Yes, it's free, but postgreSQL may be a better choice if some of MySQL's lacking features aren't added in the next version.
Since I started counting, I've found an error every 4 to 5 pages. Some are cosmetic, but some seriously damage the value of the examples and descriptions. The text contradicts itself at several points; some examples don't produce the results the text says they will; some figures are glaringly broken.
This book is the victim of an obviously poor editing job, for which I blame O'Reilly more than the authors. Either way, you should probably look elsewhere unless you already know enough to silently correct all the errors you'll find.
PHP is a powerful language that is open source and that can be used in lieu of Java and .NET technologies for many web applications that aren't too complex. For most small business owners, this should suffice. I am not too sure about using it in large corporations. This is one of the most popular open source technology along with Linux and MySQL.
MySQL is an open source database that can be used instead of SQL Server, Access, or Oracle. Once again, when the database application gets complex, I am not confident of its ability to handle the complexity. This is also excellent for small businesses but not large corporations.
There are about 13 chapters and 5 appendices spanning 550 pages starting with an introduction to database applications and the web, continuing with an intro to PHP and MySQL, covering the main concepts behind web technologies and ending with the sample wine store application. The main concepts discussed are querying databases, writing to databases, validations on the server and client, session management, user authentication and security. The appendices handle installation, modeling and designing relational databases, managing sessions in the database tier, etc.
Overall, the selection of topics is perfect for Intermediate programmers and the explanations are very detailed yet simple. This is probably one of the reasons this book is so popular. I have thoroughly enjoyed using this book and I am not surprised to see such a high quality book from this publisher. I am not familiar with the authors but I am going to keep an eye open in the future for other books by them.
I felt it was a bit pricey for a book of this nature but this is the only one I could find that covered these specific topics so I am not going to complain. Enjoy creating your own database driven website!
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