Web Database Applications shows Web developers how to build rich Web database applications using two leading open-source technologies, PHP and MySQL. The authors also assume use of the Apache Web server, which is by far the most common PHP scenario. Both PHP and MySQL are introduced from scratch, although this is a fast-paced book best suited to at least intermediate developers.
After a brief discussion of Web database applications, the authors offer a rapid tour of PHP essentials, including loops, expressions, functions and common mistakes. Next comes a quick-start guide to MySQL, focusing mainly on the SQL language itself. The following chapters tackle connecting to MySQL and other databases, implementing user-driven queries and enabling writing as well as reading data. There is a useful chapter on data validation, both on the client and the server and excellent coverage of another crucial subject: security and authentication. This looks at the fundamentals of HTTP authentication and examines security features in both Apache and PHP, identifying weaknesses and explaining pros and cons. The closing chapters form a detailed case study, an online wine store, with complete code available for download. It embraces user management, a shopping cart, searching, ordering and delivery, covering many key topics in the process. At the back of the book are appendices on a range of issues, including installation, Web protocols, database modelling and session management.
Web Database Applications is tightly-focused, packing in lots of solid technical information without wasting words. It does not pretend to cover all the potential uses of PHP, and the screen shots will not win prizes for design, but it's a great handbook for building robust, secure database applications with these popular technologies. --Tim Anderson
"As symbolized by the duck-billed platypus on the cover it is a book that will help you to survive in a rapidly changing world. Submerge yourself in proven technology and emerge unscathed once the dots have fallen out by the wayside. Recommended for its excellent examples which will save you thousands in case you need to develop a similar application." Information Security Bulletin, July 2002 "The book manages to deliver on two levels at once - the concepts, planning and design process as well as implementation. It's also surprisingly well written, and manages not to be too smug or patronizing." - Nick Veitch, LinuxFormat, October 2002