Applications with PHP and MySQL, by Williams and Lane
Schneider, Ph.D., send e-mail
by: O'Reilly, go
to the web site
was beginning to wonder when O'Reilly would come
out with a PHP book. For those who are unaware of
it, PHP is one of the faster growing web development
languages and is akin to ASP and Cold Fusion. O'Reilly
answered my question not once, but thrice, with three
different books that deal with PHP and/or MySQL.
(MySQL is an Open Source database program that is
also quite popular). Web Database Applications with
PHP and MySQL, or the platypus book for short, approaches
the topic in a novel manner.
of a traditional how-to or build-from-the-basics
programming book, Williams and Lane chose a single
application, a wine store. They teach you from
start to finish how to develop this project. Following
this path, they do provide you with a solid base
of knowledge about PHP and MySQL, but the focus
remains on the development of this major application.
As such this book is not recommended for beginners,
but for those who already have database and/or
programming background and some knowledge of PHP.
rundown is as follows, Database Applications and the Web,
PHP, MySQL and SQL, Querying Web Databases, User-Driven Querying,
Writing to Web Databases, Validation on the Server and Client,
Sessions, Authentications and Security, Winestore Customer
Management, The Winestore Shopping Cart, Ordering and Shipping
at the Winestore, Related Topics, and of course several Appendices,
Glossaries, and Indices. Like all O'Reilly books, the obligatory
CD does NOT come with the book, but instead they point you
to a web site where you can obtain the equivalent information.
get-go Williams and Lane introduce the book's focus, your
online wine store. The first several chapters contain bits
and pieces of the wine store application, but these are largely
used to introduce some core concepts and additional related
information. The concepts introduced here are important ones
and can be used in almost any large web-based application.
The subsequent chapters continue to do the same, but as you
move forward, it is the core wine store elements that receive
the focus. In the end you cover everything ranging from handling
large numbers of people to security and e-commerce.
find much to complain about in terms of the book's coverage,
style or otherwise. Though this may have been due in part
to the influence of the wine I sipped as I wrote my review.
This was done, mind you, strictly in the celebration my new
online wine store - honest! The authors' approach to teaching
these tools was admirable. E-commerce is one of the most popular
applications on the web and the development of such an engine
employees a great many skills in terms of programming and
database design. Important elements such as security, multiple
users, managing inventory users, and multiple pricing thankfully
received ample book time.
book is not is PHP and MySQL for dummies. Granted you don't
have to be a smartie, but some experience will certainly aid
you in digesting the book's concepts. One thing that was not
present that I would like to have seen was some time spent
on application presentation. The wine store application, while
not ugly, is rather plain. I would have liked to see the authors
delve into setting up system wide configurable images and
colors so as to enhance the overall look and feel of the product
while retaining the flexibility a database application provides.
the best way to sum the book up is that I now feel fairly
confident about developing my own online store, though I'm
hoping it will be a wine store, or at least something that
has different vineyards!
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
Send e-mail to: email@example.com