Posts tagged ‘web’

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


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