Welcome to the exciting world of Web database applications. This book provides the basic techniques to build any Web database application, but I certainly recommend that you start with a simple one. In this book, I develop two sample applications, both chosen to represent two types of applications frequently encountered on the Web: product catalogs and customer- or member-only sites that require the user to register and log in with a password. The sample applications are complicated enough to require more than one program and to use a variety of data and data manipulation techniques, yet simple enough to be easily understood and adapted to a variety of Web sites. After you master the simple applications, you can expand the basic design to include all the functionality that you can think of.
Think of this book as your friendly guide to building a Web database application. This book is designed as a reference, not as a tutorial, so you don't have to read it from cover to cover. You can start reading at any point — in Chapter 1, Chapter 9, wherever. I divide the task of building a Web database application into manageable chunks of information, so check out the table of contents and locate the topic that you're interested in. If you need to know information from another chapter to understand the chapter you're reading, I reference that chapter.
Here's a sample of the topics I discuss:
Building and using a MySQL database
Adding PHP to HTML files
Using the features ...