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on 1 October 2007
PHP Oracle Web Development by Yuli Vasiliev, to quote the front, covers data processing, security, caching, XML, Web Services and Ajax. Quite a lot for a mere 360 or so pages.

The book starts off with notes on both PHP and Oracle and describes how to obtain them both and how to get everything up and running using the PHP OCI8 extensions from Oracle. Whilst Oracle is a market leader in the big database arena, many developers will be surprised to learn that the full and unrestricted product is freely downloadable for development purposes - you only need to buy a licence for a production system. Even then, a free cut down version is available if you don't need the full bells and whistles.

So, with everything up and running, the book launches in to the subject at hand. I was immedietely impressed with the author's clear and easily read prose. Every subject is presented with just the right balance of detail with lots of additional notes and background information to help fill in any gaps. The author's real world experience shines through with sections on locking issues and coding for reusability. The section on object-orienation was particularly welcome.

I also liked the fact that the book didn't just cover the core subject of using Oracle with PHP but also covered vital related material such as various security models and a sizeable section on caching techniques. The sections on XML, Web Services via SOAP and Ajax ensure all the current must-have skills are represented. Ajax was presented via an example application which featured all the aspects you'd need including both code and style sheets but I'd have liked a bit more general advice and description here.

The bulk of the book though is the coverage of the OCI8 extentions and here you can find out how to issue a wide variety of SQL statements including using stored procedures, making use of triggers and a good section on transaction handling that didn't just show how to use them but also had useful advice on structuring your code to make best use of them. I would have liked some notes on avoiding things like SQL Injection attacks but that apart, the security section had some interesting nuggets.

The section on object-orientation warrents close inspection if you want to really leverage the power of the tools available in this development environment. It didn't have much on the 'big picture' of how you'd structure applications this way but it does describe how it all works and how to extend existing objects as well as create your own.

I feel I can safely say that if you need to get to grips with PHP in an Oracle environment, you'll find everything you'll need here to get up and running very quickly. The pace, content and structure of the book are all excellent with my only reserve being the assumption that everything works as it is supposed to with not much in the way of troubleshooting advice. That apart, this is a fine book.
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on 15 August 2007
While PHP is the most popular scripting language for building Web applications, Oracle is the most powerful database available today. Using PHP in conjunction with Oracle is a natural choice when it comes to developing mission-critical, high-secure data-driven web applications.

This PHP Oracle book covers all the typical topics related to PHP Oracle development and some extra including caching, XML, Web services, and Ajax. Everything you need to know is covered in detail. Here is the structure of the book:

Chapter 1: Getting Started with PHP and Oracle
Chapter 2: PHP and Oracle Connection
Chapter 3: Data Processing
Chapter 4: Transactions
Chapter 5: Object-Oriented Approach
Chapter 6: Security
Chapter 7: Caching
Chapter 8: XML-Enabled Application
Chapter 9: Web Services
Chapter 10: Ajax-Based Applications
Appendix A: Installing PHP and Oracle Software

Highly recommended. 5 stars.
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