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PHP & MySQL Your visual blueprint for creating dynamic, database-driven Web sites



Author: Janet Valade
ISBN: 0470048395
Publisher: Visual
307 pages
Published: Sept 2006

Keeping a good PHP and MySQLR reference next to your computer, such as this book by Janet Valade, will make your programming job faster and easier. What makes this book such a handy resource is the way it is organized. The professional programmer can use it to find information quickly and it is also nice for the novice. The book covers each aspect of creating a dynamic website in short, concise chapters and therefore does not overwhelm those just learning to program in PHP and MySQL. Besides the easy-to-follow explanations of the code, the author also includes Apply It and Extra sections which give practical examples of how to use the code in everyday applications.

In the first part of the book, the author walks you through the installation and configuration of PHP, MySQL and Apache on your system. Next Valade covers the basics of PHP such as how to add PHP code to your HTML webpage and how to use PHP to generate dynamic HTML webpages. Then, you are introduced to variables and data types. Once the basics are mastered, you are ready to advance to arrays, multi-dimensional arrays, conditionals and loops. One of the most efficient ways to program in any language is to write your code once and use that same piece of code each time you need it. The author shows you how to write PHP code in a way that it can be reused via functions and include statements. From this point, Valade discusses the built-in PHP functions.

MySQL is the most popular database for working with PHP and Valade covers all the basics of creating and manipulating MySQL databases. She also discusses the administrative tasks such as dealing with accounts, passwords and backing up your database. The most popular method of collecting information to be stored in your database is to use an HTML web form. You can hard code a simple form such as a login form but suppose you need to create a custom form based on the changing data in your database. Valade shows you how to dynamically generate the fields that will make up the form. Next, she covers how to validate and clean user input data before you send it to be stored in your database.

Valade leaves the most advanced topics to the end of the book. A few years ago, the topic of object-oriented programming was not included in a book like this one. Now, it would be remiss to not cover this topic. The author discusses the basics of OOP in PHP including objects, classes, properties and methods. She also discusses PHP cookies and sessions which are used to pass information from one webpage to another, such as in a shopping cart application.

Janet Valade is a programmer and technical writer. She is the author of several books including PHP and MySQL Everyday Apps for Dummies, Spring into Linux, PHP 5 for Dummies and PHP and MySQL for Dummies.




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