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PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Developer's Library)
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Product Description

The PHP server-side scripting language and the MySQL database management system (DBMS) make a potent pair. Both are open-source products--free of charge for most purposes--remarkably strong, and capable of handling all but the most enormous transaction loads. Both are supported by large, skilled, and enthusiastic communities of architects, programmers, and designers. PHP and MySQL Web Development introduces readers (who are assumed to have little or no experience with the title subjects) to PHP and MySQL for the purpose of creating dynamic Internet sites. It teaches the same skills as introductory Active Server Pages (ASP) and ColdFusion books--technologies that address the same niche.

Authors Luke Welling and Laura Thomson's technique aims to get readers going on their own projects as soon as possible. They present easily digestible sections on specific technical processes--"Accessing array contents" and "Using encryption with PHP" are two examples. Each section centers on a sample program that strips the task at hand down to its essentials, enabling the reader to fit the process into his or her own solutions as required. Tables that list options and other nuggets of reference material appear as well, but the many examples and the authors' commentary on them take center stage.

For reference material on MySQL, have a look at Paul DuBois's MySQL. On the PHP side, Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 is excellent. --David Wall

Topics covered:

  • The MySQL database server (for both Unix and Windows)
  • Accessing MySQL databases through PHP scripting (the letters don't really stand for anything)
  • Database creation and modification
  • PHP tricks in order of increasing complexity--everything from basic SQL queries to secure transactions for commerce
  • Authentication
  • Network connectivity
  • Session management
  • Content customization


PHP and MySQL are popular open-source technologies that are ideal for quickly developing database-driven Web applications. PHP is a powerful scripting language designed to enable developers to create highly featured Web applications quickly, and MySQL is a fast, reliable database that integrates well with PHP and is suited for dynamic Internet-based applications.

PHP and MySQL Web Development shows how to use these tools together to produce effective, interactive Web applications. It clearly describes the basics of the PHP language, explains how to set up and work with a MySQL database, and then shows how to use PHP to interact with the database and the server.

This practical, hands-on book includes numerous examples that demonstrate common tasks such as authenticating users, constructing a shopping cart, generating PDF documents and images dynamically, sending and managing email, facilitating user discussions, connecting to Web services using XML, and developing Web 2.0 applications with Ajax-based interactivity.

The fourth edition of PHP and MySQL Web Development has been thoroughly updated, revised, and expanded to cover developments in PHP 5 through version 5.3, such as namespaces and closures, as well as features introduced in MySQL 5.1.


Customer Reviews:

  • Really well structured book
    Excellently written. If you know basic programming and have an idea to create a website with reasonable complexity free of cost with many of the free hosting solutions using PHP and MySQL this is the best book available....more info
  • Easy to Follow and Comprehend
    With this book, I was able to start programming PHP almost immediately. I've had some previous computer programming experience, but this book covers the main PHP concepts in a way that's really easy to understand for anyone.

    The MySQL section is also well-written, and the appendixes are pretty thorough in the installation of Apache, PHP, and MySQL. If you want to set up an e-commerce site using PHP and MySQL, you can't go wrong buying this book....more info

  • great book!!
    I really looked around before buying a php/mysql book, and bought this one based on: Amazon reviews! I have to say, it was a great book! For someone who knows nothing about either, but wants to jump right in working on web sites with php and mysql, this is the perfect book! It's well organized, itys easy to understand, and the examples are very useful and straightforward. I really recommend this book to anyone interested in php/mysql web development!...more info
  • The book for PHP development
    Just look at the cover of this book. It just looks like another classic.

    The first two sections are light tutorials(but not stupid) on PHP and MySql. The last section is packed with real world examples that could be used as a reference.

    It is a very productive book that will get you started in a couple of hours.

    For those of you searching for good php books, your research stops here.

    A great beginners book....more info
  • Good Resource
    This book starts off in a detailed description of PHP coding and sends the reader into a project instantly. The first project is simple and useful, utilizing the basic PHP commands for storing and retrieving data. The source code in the book is awesome, it shows many examples of coding, most of which is used on many websites.
    The few problems I have with the book are in the later chapters. I felt that while this book does teach the basics, when it jumps into the "advanced" section the authors really didnt explain the steps in enough detail for beginners.
    The things I like about the book is that it covers Php sessions, working with the file system directly, Ftp uploads, user authorization, and it even shows you how to make your own email page using PHP.
    MySql is lightly covered in the book; it does not go into "high" detail with MySql but it does cover the basic commands such as create database, use database, create table, insert commands, and some basic authentication processes.
    In the appendix it also has Apache, MySql, Php tutorials to help you set up your own little webserver. Overall I would hand this book to anyone who wants to learn PHP & MySql the proper way.
    -us3rX-...more info
  • Scads of example applications
    In open source usage, the book describes a powerful and popular combination of PHP and MySQL to build websites. Each program has several texts devoted solely to it. But it is in the interaction between the two that often developers need assistance on.

    The book does start with chapters exclusively on explaining PHP, and other chapters on MySQL. In themselves, you might find these to be concise and useful explanations.

    But the meat of the book is given in several chapters, where each chapter is devoted to making one common application. Like constructing a shopping cart. Or a Web-based email service. These are things that you have surely experienced as a user. Now you get to see how to code them in PHP and MySQL. Which explains some of the book's size. There are 10 chapters in this section. Enough to give you plenty of examples to draw ideas from....more info
  • Excellent Documentation to Building an Active WebSite
    With the newest versions of PHP and MySQL, anyone thinking of building a database driven web site would have to think long and hard about building it using anything but PHP and MySQL. There are just three reasons for this: First the software is damn good. It's solid, fast, reliable and feature rich. Second, the software is basically free. Yes, you can buy support packages for it, but even if you do you are paying a lot less than for commercial packages. Third, the level of documentation that you can get for the software is as good as anything you can get for the commercial packages.

    This book is a good example of the latter. It is a specialized book oriented to building a database oriented web site using these two packages. It accomplishes this task exceedingly well. Limited to about a thousand pages, it's enough to get you through the first year or so of building your web site. ...more info
  • PHP5 Libraries begin with this book
    Welling and Thomson hit the nail on the head with this book. The only place to go from this book is into the black and yellow php5 references written by Gilmore and Darie. Start here and grow. The code is clear. The sample code is correct. Yhe included CD includes everything you'll need as a nivice and more.

    1 star for code.
    1 star for clarity.
    1 star for editorial acumen.
    1 star for relevance.
    1 star for overall performance.

    Excellent reference, a cornerstone in every php library....more info
  • Excellent reference guide
    I reviewed this book and found it very helpful in designing PHP it gives visual details and instructions on various integral PHP functions in conjunction with MySQL. I reccommend it for beginners and intermediate users who are still trying to grasp how to write working PHP scripts....more info
  • The ONLY book I needed to master PHP/MySQL
    This is an excellent book! It took me from a complete novice (the last programming experience I had was with structured BASIC back in the 8th grade, over 15 years ago) to developing complex, secure, database-enabled sites. I couldn't have done it without this book. The sample projects are excellent. I owe all my PHP/MySQL success to the authors of this book....more info
  • Detailed and informative
    Having a programming background and knowing a few languages already, I was interested in learning PHP in depth. That said, I wanted to pick up one book that will cover everything that I need to know about the language and based upon the available reviews, this was a clear choice. For multiple reasons, this book is a keeper and I indeed made a great choice for learning more about PHP.

    The book starts out by giving you the basic syntax and usage, then the functions, and it progresses to the more advanced topics. Each chapter in the book are short but concrete, and it just gives you enough coverage to really understand the underlying concept. For starters, the material flows nicely from chapter to chapter, which somehow eliminates the boring-ness that a lot of technical books possess. There's a few chapters towards the middle that can be considered somewhat dry but essential, and it's concerning security in web development.

    I've read tons of technical books in the past and I would consider the writing style of this book to be top notch. I could only wish that books of such degree carry the same explanation of concepts and value but this is somewhat rare nowadays. Overall, this book has everything that you'll need to build web applications in PHP and MySQL, and it even includes chapters of concepts relating to good web practices in general. From beginners to more advanced programmers, anyone can learn something new from this book. If you can only pick up one book in PHP, this would definitely be it....more info
  • A Beginner's Love
    When I first got a job in the web development business I had no idea what I was getting into and, like many people out there, I was simply the most qualified person in the company. After 2 years of programming primarily with DHTML and XML I realized, painfully, that the knowledge I had just wasn't cutting it and began looking for alternatives. Thankfully, the server I had been operating on was running PHP and I was able to immediately begin testing scripts that I was learning through the internet. But learning through online tutorials wasn't enough.

    A friend of mine who was getting out of the web development business gave PHP and MySQL Web Development to me and, after reading the first chapter, I fell in love. The great thing about this book is its multitude of examples. Spread throughout each chapter are sections of fully articulated scripts meaning that when I need to do something likeset up an array I can just flip over to the arrays chapter and take a look at the example and read the descriptions. Another great thing is that the explanations are focused on what something can do instead of on how it does what it does, a plus for a beginner.

    All in all great book. The only reason I gave it only 4 stars is that it is a bit dated making it not as relevant today as it was when I first began programming with it....more info
  • Extremely interesting book but !
    I find this book very easy to understand and follow. The code is well explained except in some cases. For example the Page Class in Listing 6.1 uses the function htmlentities() but this function was not defined anywhere so it is left up to the reader to guess its implementation. I find this very frustrating. Also in the section on regular expressions on page 126 it is said "Note that when a dot is used at the beginning or en of a character class, it loses its special wildcard meaning and becomes just a literal dot". But just below this sentence we find that the dot is escaped with a backslash when validating the email so a very frustrating contradiction. Also in the listing 19.1 when it gets the stock quote using a regular expression. This stock quote is retrieved from the second element of the array $quote as $quote[1]. Why not the first element of this array as $quote[0]? I'm confused here!. I haven't finished the book yet but I found these errors very frustrating. That's why I give this book 4 stars and not 5. I'll keep reading and hopefully I won't find more inconsistencies and contradictions....more info
  • Best PHP/MySQL Web Developer Book Ever
    So I knew C++, MySQL, HTML, CSS and worked with some PHP, perl, etc., and then I found an entire web development e-commerce project in my hands. And I had to single-handedly make the whole thing, and run millions of dollars through it. Eek.

    I got this book when I was actually looking for a PHP/MySQL learning guide. I was in line with some giant Learn PHP/MySQL-type of book, and something told me it wasn't the right book. I got out of line and found this book, "PHP and MySQL Web Development". When I started browsing the book, it dawned on me: I need to master this stuff AND be building my project at the same time. This book does exactly that.

    You will learn the ins and outs of PHP and MYSQL AS IT PERTAINS TO WEB DEVELOPMENT. I strongly recommend this book to anyone about to build a web application with PHP and MySQL. It is just perfect for it....more info
  • Good book for beginners, but ...
    Just found one problem. In Chapter 5, the authors claim that "PHP does not support function overloading";
    Yet in Chapter 6 when talking about constructors, it says "PHP supports function overloading" .........more info
  • Not for Newbies
    Here you have this 3 inch thick book chocked full of information just waiting to be digested. In the introduction, the authors tell the reader that,"This book will teach you how to create interactive websites from the simplest order form through to complex, secure e-commerce sites." Well that is all good and fine, but what they leave out is the instructions on just how to accomplish that goal. What I mean to say is that they do not tell you where to place you files in order for the server to do its job. I think some basic instructions would have been great. I was not even able to get through the first exercise because the authors presumed that I knew what I was doing. Well that is why I purchased this book; to learn just where to put my files and how to get results.

    So, if you are like me and have not idea of nuts and bolts of php you might what to search else where for a book with more basic instruction. Atter that, then you might want to progress to this book. ...more info
  • Excellent book - poor publishing (1st & 2nd edition)
    * Note: I refer here to both the first and second edition *

    This is the book I purchased to get started on server-side scripting; it probably says "user-level intermediate-advanced" to avoid lawsuits; I had no prior knowledge of server-side programming, and no trouble understanding.

    It is divided in four logical parts:
    (1) PHP tutorial
    (2) MySQL tutorial
    (3) General discussion on server-side scripting & e-commerce (very interesting)
    (4) Projects

    This book does an excellent job at explaining PHP & MySQL to the beginner, and goes much beyond the frustrating "intermediate" level where similar books often stop. It assumes a working knowledge of HTML, which everyone interested in this book already has in all likelihood.

    It is cleverly written, clear and concise. The authors share their extensive experience with the reader, notably in the third part where common pitfalls are discussed.

    The index is well done, which makes this book an excellent desktop reference in addition to being a good tutorial.

    The CD contains all the code for the examples, the complete book in searchable PDF, and other goodies like the Apache Server and PHP.

    My recommendation: go to phpide.de and download PHPTriad to install & configure Apache/PHP/MySQL on your PC, or have someone knowledgeable do it manually for you to avoid headaches.

    The only reason I can't give five stars to the first or second edition is the number of mistakes/typos in the code examples. The upload code doesn't work, PDF generation uses obsolete functions even in the second edition, etc.

    Although most of the code supplied as example functions properly, it is annoying to know that a book written to teach you to program contains errors in the programming examples.

    The second edition adds a chapter about XML and removes outdated URLs. Otherwise, it is the same book (including code typos).

    Combined with the PHP & MySQL manuals available for download from their respective sites, allow a week or two of reading and you should have everything needed to start working.

    All things considered, I strongly recommend this book.

    PS: if your heart balances between ASP & PHP for server-side, consider that more servers are PHP-enabled, since it is cheaper (free).
    If you want to stay in known terrain and use JScript, than go for ASP....more info

  • Exactly what I ever wanted in a web development book.
    These people know how to write concisely and very clearly. Their explanations were ordered in a manner which allowed me to learn the most content the quickest. Right now I'm on page 255 of 864 and they still have my attention. Because of this book I want to do more PHP and MySQL programming than I wanted to before.

    Specifically their explanations were not over-filled with emotional cracks and fillibusters like many other books I've read on Web Design (note that Web Design and Development are different things). At the outset of reading this book I had very little programming experience (took a college course in C++ about 3 years ago) and a I had worked on 2 or 3 mid-sized (10 to 20 tables) MS Access databases. This book went at exactly the right pace for my experience level.

    Thanks Welling and Thomson!!!...more info
  • The ONLY Book You Will Ever Need To Master PHP/MySQL
    I cracked open this book knowing only basic HTML. About halfway through it, I was a website developer. By the end of the book, I was a website professional with highly sought after skills.

    This book is not only written well, but is written in a manner that kept my short-spanned attention all the way through with plenty of momentum. Possibly the only computer book I have ever read all the way through. ...more info
  • The most thorough coding book I've read.
    I thought this book was comprehensive and well paced. It starts basic and continues at a steady ramp through advanced site programming methods. I had very little coding background and set up many of my web tools using the database and php fundamentals included in this manual.

    I still find it a great reference resource and continually return to its information for refreshers on concepts. I have occasionally searched online for solutions and then think to check my copy of the manual only to find exactly what I needed.

    It is one of the heaviest books I've ever bought, but I still took it on flights with me! =)...more info
  • Great learning tool
    This book ranks amongst the best on the subject. I spent nearly three months reading every page and duplicating examples on the CD. The book is remarkable in the way it manages to avoid coding errors which plague many computer books. Actually, there is only a very small number of typographical errors.

    The book is easy to understand, even though at times one gets the impression the description is concise. It is to be appreciated how the authors covered the subject in about 800 pages. The PHP and the MySQL manuals each exceed 1000 pages. At times I found it helpful to read an independent description on the the subject, even though the manuals often lack the clarity of the authors' book.

    The command mode approach is covered in the beginning of the book, while most of us have abandoned it, and it was a minor effort with some of the examples. However, the examples work, unlike some reviewers suggested. One has to be careful about case sensitivity of variables, which may be problematic with Linux servers.

    Chapter 24 was a challenge to follow, considering the large number of functions employed by the example. However, patience prevailed, and was able to get it working after appropriate changes in parameters, such as user, password, and database names. Having the right to use only one database does not help my case.

    What can be confusing to a student is having different entities with the same name, such as database name, table name, and column name all being called user. While this book avoided such an issue, my specific selection of variable names presented a problem. Overall, I find it difficult to generate comments detracting from the excellent rating of this book.

    It was a great benefit to have a pdf version of the book on my hard disk. I could locate specific subject matters a lot quicker than I could by turning pages....more info

  • Cornerstone of PHP coding
    This is the best reference on PHP in the real world. Real code to drive real problems encountered by web-based programmers. I will not add any more since all has been said in previous reviews but it is a must to have for any professional development. REQUIRED READING!...more info
  • Excellent Introduction to PHP and MySQL
    Before reading this book I had an abundance of programming experience in C/C++ but none with HTML or programming a dynamic website. This book allowed me to quickly realize that there is not much difference between traditional programming and server-side web programming. True, one has to know a little something about html to present input and output, start a session, keep track of session and form variables, and interact with a database, but aside from this the programming is much the same: variables, loops, control statements, functions, and objects. And may be the strength of this book is that Welling's and Thomson's presentation makes this very clear. The presentation is no more difficult than it needs to be to get a web application up and running, whether it is a simple on-line survey, or an industrial strength e-commerce site. I was almost alarmed at how easy it seemed to zip through the chapters, or skim through later chapters finding the right tidbits of helpful information.

    I found the chapters on MySQL very good, although I did supplement them with Parts I and II "The Relational Model of Data" from Christopher Date's "Introduction to Database Systems", as I wanted to have a slightly more advanced perspective on SQL database querying and a better understanding of what comprises a database system.

    Finally, I should note that a benefit of using MySQL and PHP is that both tools have very good online reference manuals that will answer questions about advanced syntax and use that is omitted from this book (although I must say that this book covers a significant amount of both manuals, and places them well within the context of actual website development).

    I couldn't have asked for a better book. ...more info
  • Great book
    This is a great PHP, MySQL book. If you are new to PHP and MySQL but have experience in other programming or scripting language, this is the book for you.
    It does not bore you with reference information that you can find online, it explains the basics and then provides a vast array of example code that helps you understand and develop your own code.
    If you want to develop PHP/MySQL web applications I strongly recommend this book....more info
  • Well Written and Hard to Stop Reading
    Being a productive web developer, I am constantly buying new books and looking through information online to better myself and make my online applications better. This is the first book that I have run across which reads easily and doesn't bore you to death. It is VERY well written and covers information easily and with great examples to help you understand something when you need it. That was the greatest thing - EVERY time that you get to a point where you are about to scratch your head and think, "huh?!", you are given a more detailed explanation, graph, diagram, image, etc. The authors and the publisher did a great job with this book and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone thinking about using PHP 4 and MySQL for web development. I cannot say enough good things about it....more info
  • cyberkid
    This book has excellent coverage from database creation to web development with the most prominent open source tools available as the title implies. I used one of the models in the book to guide in developing a website for my Web Administration class project from start to finish earning an "A" in the project. I purchased this book as a supplement to the text book used in class that lack the explecit coverage that I found in this book.

    Great job....more info
  • Great Book for Beginer and Intermediate Programmers
    This book walks you through some very applicable examples of PHP and MySQL. This and SAMS Teach Yourself PHP in 24 Hour have taught me so much about PHP. I used them to create a gaming website back in high school (knowing nothing about programming to creating a website with a database of users, a calendar, message board, and even a score and ranking system).

    I now write PHP code for a living through college. This book was DEFINATELY a valuable asset to my learning PHP. (also, for you newbie PHP people, be sure to use PHP.net if you can't find a function... it is like a function dictionary - it's amazing)....more info