Feeds

Core Web Application Development With PHP and MySQL

Solid overview

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?