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Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL [Paperback]

Hugh E. Williams , David Lane
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 32.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 May 2004 0596005431 978-0596005436 2

There are many reasons for serving up dynamic content from a web site: to offer an online shopping site, create customized information pages for users, or just manage a large volume of content through a database. Anyone with a modest knowledge of HTML and web site management can learn to create dynamic content through the PHP programming language and the MySQL database. This book gives you the background and tools to do the job safely and reliably.

Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL, Second Edition thoroughly reflects the needs of real-world applications. It goes into detail on such practical issues as validating input (do you know what a proper credit card number looks like?), logging in users, and using templates to give your dynamic web pages a standard look.

But this book goes even further. It shows how JavaScript and PHP can be used in tandem to make a user's experience faster and more pleasant. It shows the correct way to handle errors in user input so that a site looks professional. It introduces the vast collection of powerful tools available in the PEAR repository and shows how to use some of the most popular tools.

Even while it serves as an introduction to new programmers, the book does not omit critical tasks that web sites require. For instance, every site that allows updates must handle the possibility of multiple users accessing data at the same time. This book explains how to solve the problem in detail with locking.

Through a sophisticated sample application--Hugh and Dave's Wine Store--all the important techniques of dynamic content are introduced. Good design is emphasized, such as dividing logic from presentation. The book introduces PHP 5 and MySQL 4.1 features, while providing techniques that can be used on older versions of the software that are still in widespread use.

This new edition has been redesigned around the rich offerings of PEAR. Several of these, including the Template package and the database-independent query API, are fully integrated into examples and thoroughly described in the text. Topics include:

  • Installation and configuration of Apache, MySQL, and PHP on Unix®, Windows®, and Mac OS® X systems
  • Introductions to PHP, SQL, and MySQL administration
  • Session management, including the use of a custom database for improved efficiency
  • User input validation, security, and authentication
  • The PEAR repository, plus details on the use of PEAR DB and Template classes
  • Production of PDF reports

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Product details

  • Paperback: 820 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (23 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596005431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596005436
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 17.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 498,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Web Database Applications shows Web developers how to build rich Web database applications using two leading open-source technologies, PHP and MySQL. The authors also assume use of the Apache Web server, which is by far the most common PHP scenario. Both PHP and MySQL are introduced from scratch, although this is a fast-paced book best suited to at least intermediate developers.

After a brief discussion of Web database applications, the authors offer a rapid tour of PHP essentials, including loops, expressions, functions and common mistakes. Next comes a quick-start guide to MySQL, focusing mainly on the SQL language itself. The following chapters tackle connecting to MySQL and other databases, implementing user-driven queries and enabling writing as well as reading data. There is a useful chapter on data validation, both on the client and the server and excellent coverage of another crucial subject: security and authentication. This looks at the fundamentals of HTTP authentication and examines security features in both Apache and PHP, identifying weaknesses and explaining pros and cons. The closing chapters form a detailed case study, an online wine store, with complete code available for download. It embraces user management, a shopping cart, searching, ordering and delivery, covering many key topics in the process. At the back of the book are appendices on a range of issues, including installation, Web protocols, database modelling and session management.

Web Database Applications is tightly-focused, packing in lots of solid technical information without wasting words. It does not pretend to cover all the potential uses of PHP, and the screen shots will not win prizes for design, but it's a great handbook for building robust, secure database applications with these popular technologies. --Tim Anderson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"....All in all, it is a comprehensive guide to developing web applications using PHP and MySQL....." -- Les Benson, Big Blue & Cousins Newsletter, June 2002

"....If you don't need computer concepts and language hand-holding but want to do a database-driven web application right, this book is well worth the price." -- Phil Hughes, Linux Journal

"....Recommended for its excellent examples which will save you thousands in case you need to develop a similar application." -- Information Security Bulletin, July 2002

"A first class reference and highly recommended instructional guide." -- Wisconsin Bookwatch, June 2002

"A useful book that offers a lot of varied information in one place for updating your skills...." -- Phil Hughes, Linux Journal, June 23, 2002

"O'Reilly books are often seen as the missing manuals and training courses for the open source world, and this book is no exception to this rule. -- Simon Bisson, Application Development Advisor, August 2002 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Investment I've Made! 21 Jun 2002
By A Customer
I'm a 2nd year computing student, with limited experience of Perl and SQL. I'd never used PHP or MySQL and, with this book as my 'bible', I installed and configured the software and built an online voting application in a couple of weeks....and it's given me lots of other food for thought!
The book covers a very broad range of content - web protocols, database design, php essentials, sql, authentication, session management and much more. It doesn't skimp on detail, though - There's enough here to enable anyone with any relevant programming experience to build a web database application with PHP and MySQL. The style is very accessible - each topic is covered in tutorial style and then applied to an example application (an Online Winestore) which is developed throughout the book and the code is available to download.
I've got more out of this one book than any number of others combined - I'd highly recommend it.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, shows you PHP and MYSQL well 17 May 2002
By A Customer
A very good book, showing you how to use these two very powerful tools. Text is clear and well written, and the examples are good. It also has useful beginners references on database design, sessions, TCP/IP and HTTP. All in all, more about writing an application more than just PHP/MySQL.
Criticisms? Lacks the depth of a PHP or MySQL specific book, but thats okay. Main complaint is that the examples seem just a little to specific - more general example code rather than just the wine store would be nice. Thumbs up though, guys!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O'Reilly are the best 27 May 2003
Having bought many expensive computing books over the years, I find that O'Reilly tends to deliver what I'm looking for pretty much every time. With Web Database Applications with MySQL and PHP there was no exception. I found I was able to get MySQL and PHP working on Linux pretty quickly, by using this in combination with the PHP, Apache and MySQL install notes. Following that I have been able to get started on developing real web applications within a couple of days, and the examples given in the book have been useful and clear.
Although there is a brief "What is a database?" and "What is a webserver?" discussion at the start of this book, you should not expect to learn web concepts, SQL or HTML here. Having done lots of Oracle/Ingres and Java development before I hit the ground running. However, it might be too much too soon if your background until now has been building static webpages with Microsoft Frontpage.
It is interesting that there is no discussion as to when PHP and MySQL might be an appropriate solution. Indeed the back cover of the book asks "What do eBay, Amazon.com and CNN.com have in common?", answering that "they are all applications that integrate large databases with web interfaces". Interesting choice of examples, as Oracle is almost always the database of choice for this kind of very large implementation (including those mentioned). It seems to me that the real advantage of going down the PHP / MySQL route is that the software is free and hosting is very cheap. A dedicated chapter outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the PHP / MySQL approach would have been a nice addition.
All in all, I'd recommend this book as an excellent technical starting point if you want to use PHP and MySQL for your next development project. Having this book to hand will mean you don't need to delve too heavily into the nuts and bolts of the documentation for the first few weeks!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't really lead by example 20 Oct 2005
It's a good and thorough book, and as far as it goes or any other book goes on this subject I would recommend it. There are however some caveats to this. The first is that there is a huge chunk in the middle which just lists a whole bunch of functions. It is essentially a reference section in the middle of the book. They do the same for MySQL as they do for PHP. So what are we upposed to do with this? Read amd memorise the whole lot?
It would have been a lot more helpful to bash through and construct a database application (which is what this book is about actually) and explain the code and have a reference section or a pullout at the end.
I now regularly use phpfreaks.com for their tutorials as this is what they do. Take a chunk of useful code, break it down bit by bit, line by line. when properly structured this is a much better way of learning as one really digests the commands and syntax. Just reading an incredibly dry list of commands and functions or being expected to do this is pretty unreasonable. I am still looking for that book that has a complex web application project that includes nearly all of the fnctions and syntax of PHP and MySQL where the reader is led through and comes out of the other end with a thorough understanding of all that is involved.
Summary: great reference book with an example of a web application towards the end of the book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful book, but some shortcomings 7 April 2003
I managed to learn a lot from this book fairly quickly. From knowing absolutely nothing about PHP (and not being a programmer either!) to running the examples was a rapid progression.
It is, however, not a reference manual, and there seems to be occasional stuff presented and used that's not explained (like sessions).
The examples are good, though and give one a pretty good idea of what's going on on.
Unfortunately, php has moved-on slightly since the book was published. The examples one downloads from the publisher's website have been updated, but do therefore differ from the examples published in the book. The publisher's website also has an errata which does contain some significant corrections.
Two main criticisms:
1)The book doesn't really touch Windows - it focuses on Linux as the base OS. I did eventually manage to get Apache, MySQL & php all installed & working on Win2K - In the end it was easy, and all 3 seem to run just fine, but it was darkness all along the way.
2) Some of the stuff around authentication and sessions doesn't work - at least *I* can't get it to work - neither locally nor on the remote (Linux) web server & I have no idea why it doesn't work. As I said, I'm no programmer!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good introductory book on web applications development with PHP
It is a good introductory book on web applications development with PHP.
It is well written and easy to understand. Maybe for an experienced programmer it is a little verbose.
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by lz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Books
i am a PHP programer, i like O'REILLY's books, this book covered all the key point of PHP, its worth to read.
Published on 14 Oct 2010 by I.R.Smart
1.0 out of 5 stars Obsolete and not fit for purpose!
I am a complete newcomer to PHP and MySQL and I bought this book only a few weeks ago upon recommendation. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2010 by anon
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but Dated!
This book is very well, and clearly , written.However, when attempting to use the examples , the PHP versions often conflict with the MySql versions. Read more
Published on 1 Aug 2009 by I. A. Peden
1.0 out of 5 stars What's PEAR got to do with it
I wholly concur with the comments of D.Lloyd "TVT". I bought this book with the intention of building a website using PHP and MySQL only. I don't want or need PEAR. Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2008 by D_MAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well written!
This book is an extremely well written book. The best thing about this book is that it builds a sample web database application (wine store) throughout the book. Read more
Published on 13 July 2005 by Muhammad Nazmul Islam
4.0 out of 5 stars Good concise and easy to understand
I like this book - yes it is a bit heavy in terms of pages but it also covers a few of the things that are harder to find in other books - The OOP section is a very good and worth... Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2004 by R. Powell
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars Really
I would generally agree with much of what's been said by other reviewers, particularly the poor support for Windows -- which is a reasonable environment for playing and practising... Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2004 by Rose Cotton
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not recommanded for beginners
average: Good book for intermediates i do not recommanded it for beginners or advance ppl.
The book show how to build up your web database system using php and mysql. Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK book but not for Windows users.
I bought this book as a complete newbie to PHP and MySQL. I thought it would help me to install and run PHP and MySQL on Windows but the book focuses entirely on Unix. Read more
Published on 23 April 2003 by "markgales"
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