Feeds

Core Web Application Development With PHP and MySQL

Solid overview

Boost IT visibility and business value

Book review PHP and MySQL provide the development language and database components of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python) stack that drives huge chunks of the web. Over the years they have each evolved and grown in complexity and functionality and yet they are still tied together to provide a powerful and flexible platform for web applications.

Core Web Application Development book cover Aimed at the developer who wants to get to grips with building dynamic web applications, this is not a book that’s pitched at those who don’t know their mark-up. While there’s no prior knowledge of PHP assumed, the author does assume some existing knowledge of HTML and programming in general. There's little background assumed on the database side of things, not even of basic SQL. If you’ve ever hacked together a few static web pages using HTML and CSS, and have used at least one programming language then you'll find the book pitched at around the right level.

The book is organised into five distinct sections, the first of which is an introduction to PHP 5 (the latest version of the language). Starting with the absolute basics of entering simple PHP scripts, it proceeds rapidly through datatypes, control structures, functions, objects, arrays, character sets and web forms. While the emphasis is on learning the language, the context is always firmly focused on solving the kinds of problems that web developers have to face (hence the chapter on character sets in a section otherwise devoted to the language itself).

The second section of the book then shifts attention to databases. A couple of chapters discuss alternative databases (including Oracle and PostgreSQL) and introduce some of the fundamentals of relational databases, including a quick SQL tutorial. The rest of the section includes discussion of database design, transaction processing and, of course, the practicalities of using PHP with MySQL.

Part three moves on to look at some of the broader issues of web application design, including n-tier architectures, user interface design, session and user management, and the vexed issue of security (including specific coverage of SQL injection attacks). A variety of other topics – such as regular expressions, XML handling, web services, cookies and session management – are lumped together in the fourth section.

The final section of the book brings the disparate topics together in three sample web apps: a blogging engine, an appointment manager and a shopping cart application. Having the sample applications at the end of the book, rather than as a common thread that runs throughout, is a wise choice. Firstly, it means the snippets of code in the earlier section neatly encapsulate a given topic rather than attempting to build up piece-meal into something bigger. Secondly, it also means that chapters can be read standalone rather than having to be followed sequentially to understand what’s happening in the code.

Core Web Application Development With PHP and MySQL

Verdict: Overall the choice of topics provides a good solid overview both of the specifics of PHP and MySQL and also the broader issues of web application development. This makes the book a much more useful proposition than separate PHP and MySQL introductions.

Author: Marc Wandschneider

Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR

ISBN: 0131867164

Media: Book

List Price: £35.99

Reg price: £28.79

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.