Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL offers web developers a mixture of theoretical and practical information on creating web database applications. Using PHP, and MySQL, two open source technologies that are often combined to develop web applications, the book offers detailed information on designing relational databases and on web application architecture, both of which will be useful to readers who have never dealt with these issues before. The book also introduces Hugh and Dave’s Online Wines, a complete (but fictional) online retail site that allows users to browse, search a database, add items to a shopping cart, manage their membership, and purchase wines. Using this site as an example, the book shows you how to implement searching and browsing, store user data, validate user input, manage transactions, and maintain security.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.
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