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Introducing PHP & MySQL By: Kevin Yank June 14th, 2010 Reader Rating: Not yet rated

About the Author

In this course, I’ll guide you as you take your first steps beyond the static world of building web pages with pure HTML. Together, we’ll explore the world of database driven web sites and discover the dizzying array of dynamic tools, concepts, and possibilities that they open up.

Kevin Yank

If you’re used to building web sites with HTML, CSS, and perhaps even a smattering of JavaScript, you’re probably used to uploading to another location the files that make up your site. Maybe this is a web hosting service that you’ve paid for; maybe it’s a free service provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP); or maybe it’s a web server set up by the IT department of the company that you work for. In any case, once you copy your files to their destination, a software program called a web server is able to find and serve up copies of those files whenever they are requested by a web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox. Common web server software programs you may have heard of include Apache and Internet Information Services (IIS).

Kevin began developing for the Web in 1995 and is a highly respected technical author. He wrote Build your own Database Driven Website using PHP and MySQL, a practical step-by-step guide published by SitePoint, and he's co-author of the SitePoint Tech Times, a bi-weekly newsletter for technically-minded web developers. Kev believes that any good webmaster should have seen at least one episode of MacGyver. View all articles by Kevin Y ank...

PHP is a server-side scripting language. You can think of it as a plugin for your web server that enables it to do more than just send exact copies of the files that web browsers ask for. With PHP installed, your web server will be able to run little programs (called PHP scripts) that can do tasks like retrieve up-to-the-minute information from a database and use it to generate a web page on the fly before sending it to the browser that requested it. Much of this course will focus on writing PHP scripts to do exactly that. PHP is completely free to download and use. For your PHP scripts to retrieve information from a database, you must first have a database. That’s where MySQL comes in. MySQL is a relational database management system, or RDBMS. We’ll discuss the exact role it plays and how it works later, but briefly it’s a software program that’s able to organize and manage many pieces of information efficiently while keeping track of how all of those pieces of information are related to each other. MySQL also makes that information really easy to access with server-side scripting languages like PHP. MySQL, like PHP, is completely free for most uses.

9/12/2010 22:25

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