The interestingly named Alligator is a database programmer and Perl module developer. Tim Bunce wrote DBI--the Perl DataBase Interface. DBI is a series of Perl modules providing a standard API to a variety of database engines. Perl DBI is a natural choice for dynamically generating Web pages from databases. DBI's greatest strengths are portable code and the concealment of proprietary database interfaces.
The first half of Programming The Perl DBI covers non-DBI database types, pros and cons and data handling. Perl is used to create, explain and work with these. It's assumed that the reader is a competent enough Perl programmer to write the scripts as well as follow them. The point is to familiarise you with database technologies.
Having dealt with SQL and other database related issues in chapter three, the authors introduce the DBI, demonstrate database connection and error handling in chapter four. The last four chapters cover database interaction, advanced DBI features, ODBC and finally shell and database proxying. Three appendices cover the DBI specification, driver and database characteristics and the ASLaN Sacred Site Charter. (The authors are megalithic site aficionados and use UK megalithic sites as database examples throughout the book).
Descartes and Bunce's book is a rare combination--an entertaining and accessible guide to using Perl DBI that's also a readable and often amusing introduction to database technology.--Steve Patient
This book is a must-have for the corporate systems administrator who need to coordinate projects that require multiple teams of programmers. -- Jon Holman, Unix Review, Dec 2001