Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL: A Book Review
Title: Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQLAuthor: Hugh E. Williams and David LanePublisher: O'Reilly & AssociatesISBN: 0596000413Price: $44.95
This book is subtitled Building Effective Database-Driven Web Sites, and I feel it is right on target. This is not a book for someone unfamiliar with programming, but if you have a programming background, the book will get you thinking about web design (system design, not graphic design), as well as PHP and MySQL programming.
Additionally, if you have dabbled with PHP and/or MySQL and are now ready to update your system design skills and move onto a larger project, this is a good book to move you along.
The book is logically organized into four parts: learning the tools, developing the application logic, a case study and five supporting appendices. The first part has chapters that cover the traditional three-tier architecture used in web database applications. It is followed by a chapter on PHP and a chapter on MySQL and SQL in general. There is enough information in the PHP chapter to make a programmer pretty comfortable with PHP. The database chapter is primarily focused on MySQL, but it also touches on other SQL databases.
In the next part of the book, these three tools--the three-tier approach, PHP and MySQL--are combined to start building an application. Chapter four is about queries, chapter five covers user-driven queries and chapter six discusses writing to databases. Throughout this part an on-line wine store is used as a practical example. When you get through this section you should be fairly comfortable developing a basic application.
The next logical step is authentication and security, which are the subjects of the following chapter. How authentication works is discussed, with a couple of illustrations supplied to help clarify things. The practice of authentication and dealing with security is then addressed.
The third part of this book finishes up the wine store example, covering things like the customer management code, a shopping cart, order handling and shipping. The last chapter, appropriately titled "Related Topics", covers all the stuff you might have left out, such as automatic housekeeping, templates, searching and browsing. The template section uses the XTemplate library.
The five appendices cover installation of MySQL, Apache and PHP, protocols, the relational database model, session management in the database tier (as opposed to session management in PHP, as was previously covered) and resources. The resources appendix is divided into client-, middle- and database-tier resources, plus a short list of security and cryptography resources.
For the right audience, this book puts a lot of information together in one place, making it possible for the authors to address all the important interactions between these various elements.
The bad parts are some minor misstatements in the introductory text and the lack of serious coverage of object-oriented programming. While PHP isn't a serious object-oriented language, seeing where OOP makes sense in the process would have been a plus. The book has about four pages on what OOP is in PHP, but it is not used in the examples.
All in all, this is a very good book. I have lots of books on PHP and databases and have found myself looking in multiple books in order to synthesize an answer. In many cases I can see the complete answer in this one book. If you don't need computer concepts and language hand-holding but want to do a database-driven web application right, this book is well worth the price.
Phil Hughes is the publisher of Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.View Now!
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide