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on 25 November 2010
This book has lots of simple examples and hand-holding to get you from the initial download of the software through to writing PHP code.

However, the MySQL chapters are found heavily wanting.

There's a whole chapter on installing MySQL and writing SQL queries, but just a few pages on how to get PHP to connect to a database and even less content on how to actually query the database and manipulate the data.

There are a few examples in the very last chapter where you can see the database functions in action, but unfortunately, with very little explanation.

This book certainly does not deserve 5 stars because of the omission of key content. The cover promises so much, and fails to deliver.
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on 27 April 2009
All the Dummies books I've seen are good and this one is excellent! Janet Vallade really knows her stuff and she walks you through until suddenly you look back and see how far you've come. I'm already a developer and wanted to build my skills and yet this book is still very helpful.

If you're new to PHP development or even intermediate this book is a must have if you want to advance quickly. I bought it as a reference to keep on the shelf and refer to for years to come. It really does contain everything you need to know.
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on 11 July 2009
This book is perfect for learning PHP and MySQL.

PHP is the preeminent programming language of the web and powers the world's most popular websites like Facebook. MySQL is used on nearly all these websites too and the two technologies are fundamental to anyone wanting to create a high quality website.

This book moves at a perfect pace - it makes it very easy for beginners to learn. Also, people with knowledge of other languages won't feel this moves to slowly. The book is also great for quickly finding a feature you need and provides clear and easy to understand code examples.

A great book highly recommended.
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on 6 May 2010
As an experienced IT person and programmer I have come to rely on Dummies guides to introduce me to new subjects. I decided to learn how to program PHP and MySQL and I could not have chosen a better guide. After reading it from cover to cover and finding it all entirely understandable, very logical, and actually quite enjoyable, I have embarked on my first project. It's gone like a dream by snatching bits of code out of the book and developing it to do what I want it to do. It's now my constant reference.

The book is actually six books in one but they all relate to each other where necessary in a seamless manner. It seems to be very complete - I've only got one question that it doesn't appear to answer, which is a pity because I can't find the answer anywhere else either! I only found one thing that doesn't work (on my PC at least) but that was easily worked round. As a retired Head of Security for a large multi-national I was especially impressed with the fact that one whole 'book' is devoted to programming security into dynamic web pages and making it very clear just how important it is.

Highly recommended.
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on 27 December 2011
(Review written in Jan 2012, from a Windows 7 perspective)

I have a Windows 7 PC (64 bit) and I am having loads of trouble. It requires you to download PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin and a server.

First issue: The book states is for PHP, but PHP 6 has not been released as we are still on PHP 5.3.8 (January 1st 2012).

Second issue: The book is designed for people using Microsoft Vista and earlier. Therefore with Windows 7 installations I found myself looking it up on the internet rather than using the book as it has all changed.

Third issue: Using the internet, I managed to install PHP 5.3.8 (latest version) and MySQL along with one of the popular servers IIS. However, I am unable to use phpMyAdmin (a tool for managing mysql databases) due to a conflict with a 64bit system. Therefore I have had to once again look up alternatives on the internet. I chose "Adminer-3.3.3" and it seems to be ok. However, I installed this fully using the internet as the book does not talk about alternatives.

Fourth issue: The whole 1st book/chapter of this book is therefore out of date. Also, by installing other options and different versions to those stated, I am pretty sure I will come across problems later in the book as they will be describing things for phpmyadmin. I'm just hoping I can figure it out as I go along.

I have not currently read the rest of the book yet, but it does not fully explain why you need to install all these things, as I'm pretty sure they are not needed to write php code. I can only assume they are for MySQL purposes later in the book.

I hope that the rest of the book (or some part of it) is fine, I have a degree in Information Systems and passed with 1st Class honours, so I'm not a newbie to this, and yet it is one confusing book as it is out of date. It may have been for dummies when it came out, but it sure isn't anymore.
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on 16 June 2010
Taking a website forward to an interactive level rather than just for viewing requires forms and databases for the users and this book helps a great deal in starting you off on that journey.
You need to know something about writing HTML before tackling this but apart from that it's a doddle.

If you are familiar with the "for dummies" books, this one is just as good and is a great help.
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on 14 October 2009
As the author explains, this is a reference book not a learning route. However, having started at the beggining and read through, thus far I have found it an easy book to follow.
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on 19 January 2012
Bought this book as a desk reference having already studied a book on PHP and mySQL, this book is great as a reference. It is also good for dipping into and quite readable, it also has a dedicated book on security which is probably required reading for anyone thinking of setting up a site using PHP and MySQL. Each of the books stand up quite nicely on their own and cover enough varied subjects that at least some of them will be likely to be of use to people working with PHP and MySQL. It is also quite cheap compared with similar alternative books.
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on 2 February 2011
A solid hands on book. Bulky, but comprehensive.
I have not yet read all of it, but enough to have the feeling that can help a lot.
It is described as not being a tutorial, but a desk companion. Not true, it is also a very good book to learn from the scratch.
If I have to pin point a fault, it is that it get longish in the set up part, that could be skipped...anyhow, thumbs up!
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on 7 January 2013
A good book to help one get to grips with what for many of us is an alien subject. The title makes me smile as as far as I can see it is definitely NOT for dummies.
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