Posts tagged ‘mysql’

Web Database Applications with PHP, and MySQL: Your PHP Launchpad Station

Hello all,

Today we would like to preset to you another great O’reilly book that we deep very valuable for beginners willing to kick start their career in PHP/MySQL.

The book is called Web Database Applications with PHP, and MySQL by Hugh E. Williams, David Lane. (Buy it on Amazon)

As the title clearly indicates, this book is all about building websites powered by database applications. The book uses PHP and MySQL, two open source technologies the are often combined to develop web applications, for a scripting language and a database technology respectively, offering a fine mixture of theoretical and practical information on creating web database applications and detailed information on designing relational databases.

Since E-commerce is one of the most popular applications on the web and the development of such an engine employees a great many skills in terms of programming and database design, you will definitely want to get your hands on this book and use it as your personal launchpad into your PHP career since it will teach you both the concepts, planning and design process as well as some hands-on implementation.

Although familiarity with programming and computers is assumed but other than that, not much else is assumed. The authors do an excellent job of explaining some of the fundamental concepts underlying database driven websites, including important elements such as security, multiple users, managing inventory users, and multiple pricing. All problems in the book are addressed with a straight code listing, followed by text that explains what’s happening in the preceding steps.

With about 13 chapters and 5 appendices spanning 550 pages, the authors start out 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 mentioned above. 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.

All this is done in simple terms without too much jargon. To top it all off, a tutorial style approach is taken to illustrate how all these concepts come together. The tutorial is on building an online retail site that sells wines, the lovely 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. If you want to build small to medium-scale web database applications that can run on modest hardware and process more than a million hits a day from users (Not bad, hu?…), this book will show you how.

Programming veterans will want more than this book offers (although they’ll probably find themselves thinking ‘Gee, I wish I’d had this when I began learning PHP’), but newbies will find ‘Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL’ to be an excellent launch pad for their future endeavors. And veterans who are responsible for teaching PHP to their subordinates couldn’t wish for a better instructional aid

Enjoy creating your own database driven website!

July 21, 2009 at 7:02 am 12 comments

Beginning MySQL: Not just for the beginner

Talking with many PHP developers, it is quite clear that one of the weak points a lot of of them face is their lack of a deeper understanding in terms of MySQL. That is why when we got Beginning MySQL, by Robert Sheldon and Geoff Moes, published by the great Wrox publishing, we got quite excited.

Of course, as the title says it is a “beginning” series book, but since we found that so many good developers are looking for a good guide on MySQL, we assumed we start from A and only than will we review the more advanced books.

For those out there who are not yet familiar with it, MYSQL is an open-source standard DBMS that is one of the most popular in being used as the back-end on millions of websites. MySQL boasts ease of implementation, minimal overhead, consistent reliability, and low total cost of ownership.

We found this book to be not only a wonderful starter guide to learning MYSQL but also as a great tool for people who have learned some MYSQL on their own and want a guide and/or resource for learning more intermediate topics.

In this book you will find great resources on how to get, install and configure MYSQL whether it be on a Windows or UNIX environment. As we all know, jumping into creating your tables before you understand design theory can be disastrous down the road when you realize you need to re-design your tables which can lead to hours of extra work. This is why right at the beginning of the book, the author on topics like how to create a relational database while explaining good design with normalization, relationships (one to many, many to many, etc), understanding what a data model is, and showing some good database examples.

The authors go into explaining the SQL (Structured Query Language) in how to create a table, retrieve data, update, append and delete data. The book spends a good amount of time on the basics of SQL and shows some really great examples. After the basics it discusses the MYSQL specific syntax and more complex queries and uses coupled with more good examples for each of them. The author does a great job of going through the syntax first then shows some examples and then goes through using the new syntax in a database project as well.

After going through the basics the book leads you into administration tasks such as exporting and copying databases, managing transactions, setting up security and optimizing and performance issues. The final three chapters cover using different web technologies (PHP, ASP.NET and Java) to interact with MYSQL databases and show data on a web page, being very nice change of pace that can prove helpful if you want to get into web development as well.

To sum it all up, we would advise every person who want to learn MYSQL to go out and get this book. Getting this book will assure you know your way around MySQL when your queries begin getting more complex than a simple SELECT statement… We believe that by the end of the book you’ll have a solid foundation for understanding MySQL as a robust, flexible, and easy-to-implement application that has many diverse uses.

July 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm 18 comments


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