I've borrowed this book from the library after a wait list, but after working with the content, I decided to buy it as a reference book.
I would like to give it 5 stars for its content, but the 1 star left out is for the following reasons. ALL softwares have their own little quirks to be mastered. For a starter, on a practical level, sometimes opting to download an older version of a freeware is more productive than the latest version. The older version may have been worked on longer and by larger crowds. So when you do all the rules right, but you still get stuck on resolving an issue, you will find more solutions by googling. For the older versions, there are more fixes. I will specifically recommend getting the older version when setting up your local host. I've spent many days trying to figure what I was doing wrong. It turned out to be a bug in their programming and not resolved yet.
For starters, it is a 5 star index on keeping things organized, be it in your head or putting into practice. You will know what to expect when building a business/shopping website. The book gives you a clear path of what to do next, where to look, tips to crucial security measures, and most importantly, the importance of data handling. Even if some technical item doesn't make sense, just follow the author's instructions.
As Larry Ullman also indicates, this is not a php/mysql reference book. Manuals for php language or the mysql can be found online. Mr. Ullman is giving you the practical tools to implement for your start-up e-business. Which I found is a good level to start up with.
I am not a novice to computing. I worked many years in building databases, but even to me, Mr. Ullman had a few tricks to teach. Among other things, I was fascinated to learn that MySQL has the capability of replicating your database. Meaning, you store your data on several servers. When one fails, you still have others running for you with the same data.
What I found excellent about this book is that it is very encouraging and effectively simplified. Just even by looking at the programming text in some pages or start feeling overwhelmed for what is required in a shopping website, you get these nicely itemized steps and solutions.
I'm already in the post-mid of my project, but I need this book to fall back to, not only to make sure that I am taking correct/safe steps, but also as a guide for my next projects.