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If you're reading this book, you probably already know what PHP is-one of the world's most popular programming languages for web development. Flexible, scalable, easy to program in, and supported by an international community of developers and users, PHP is today in use on over fifteen million web sites, an impressive achievement, especially considering that the language was originally developed by volunteers who made its source code freely available to anyone who cared to ask for it! One of the most important factors driving PHP's popularity over the last couple of years has been its support for a variety of databases, including MySQL, mSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft Access. By simplifying and streamlining database access, PHP enables developers to build complex data-driven web applications, while enjoying short development cycles because of the simplicity and flexibility of the language.

This book assumes that you have some experience with PHP. This book is not meant to be an introductory text on PHP programming but is instead a book on some of the more advanced uses for PHP that you won't find in many of the introductory books or tutorials on the Web. Having said that, I am still providing here a brief introduction to PHP for those who may need a quick refresher or are already familiar with a similar language, such as PERL.PHP is a language that was designed to be easily embedded into HTML pages (although you don't have to do it that way). Most PHP pages have PHP code and HTML intermixed. When a Web server reads a PHP page, it is looking for two things to let it know it should start reading the page as PHP rather than HTML, the start and end PHP tags: , respectively.

This is a comprehensive, practical guide for programmers who want to develop production-quality, database-enabled web applications with PHP and MySQL. Long-time developer Marc Wandschneider systematically addresses the entire process: not only coding, but also upfront application, user interface and database design, PLUS security, testing, and more. Youll walk through building three applications from start to finish: a calendaring system, a weblog engine, and an e-commerce store. Along the way, youll master essential strategies for creating robust web database applications and learn how to avoid the common pitfalls that trip up many developers moving to PHP and MYSQL.