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on 16 March 2009
I bought this book as I am studying dynamic web pages linked to a MySQL database which I edit using PHPMyAdmin. The book has been an enormous help, particularly when I was really struggling trying to finish the end of course assignment. There are LOTS of files to download from the publisher's web site and these are referred to in the book. There are places where the instructions are not quite as clear as I would have liked and I had a certain amount of difficulty developing my own pages based on the instructions in the book. The only place where I totally disagreed with him was his recommendation to download XAMP to get PHPMyAdmin, PHP, MySQL etc rather than downloading them individually. I never did get XAMP to behave and then had major hell removing it, with subsequent problems with PHPMyAdmin as it complained about the root password not being correct. I eventually found how to reset the root password, but only after many hours of searching on the Internet. I strongly recommend setting up an Apache server on your home computer plus installing PHPMyAdmin, PHP and MySQL as developing dynamic web pages is a difficult subject to master and one evening at college is not nearly enough time to master this topic.

The publisher's web site included updates for all of their books where readers have found errors, or have made suggestions for improvements. I have submitted a number of suggestions for improvement but I note that these have not yet been included on the web site.

If you are planning to study how to develop dynamic web sites, DO go on a Dreamweaver course first as I didn't and have really struggled trying to learn basic aspects such as formatting pages and tables, inserting hyperlinks etc. I had more than enough to do just learning about PHP and SQL without trying to learn Dreamweaver as well.
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on 12 March 2010
Background : Long time analyst/programmer in non-web architecture - but absolutely no website experience, and no use of PHP or sql and wanted to get an understanding as to what is involved in a database driven site.

Experience : I have used the free trial Dreamweaver, and in the 30 days trial have covered most of the book which really does hold your hand stage by stage. The instructions and explanations are concise and accurate, and he also explains why you might be getting error messages if you didn't follow the guidance.
Though you can work through developing your own pages chapter by chapter from simple to complex, you can jump in at any stage by using one of the pre-prepared pages in his download.

His understanding of the range of programming experience of users of the book is shown by the timely 'don't worry if you don't get this yet ... ' type comments, and reference to further / pre-learning as apprpriate.

The Dreamweaver explanation has been good, the set-up of WAMP server has been good, the introduction to using php has been good, I am currently at the integrating database into webpages and am confident this will also be good !

I definitely recommend.
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on 23 May 2010
I really have found this book invaluable in taking the next steps into getting more out of Dreamweaver and entering into using server side scripting, database and dynamic scripting. Really clear and easy to follow it a fantastic resource and saved me loads of time as I was handcoding a lot of PHP when learning from another book.

This is not a book for complete beginners but David Powers does state this. If you need a beginners book try the Adobe press books otherwise you could quite easily get a bit lost as it assumes (rightly) a certain amount of basic HTML ,CSS and basic Dreamweaver knowledge. I am a relatively new freeleance developer and it has saved me loads of time and helped me create some really clever sites.

Highly recommended.
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