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Fast & Friendly Dynamic Content

The pairing of PHP and MySQL for managing web content has become the most-installed databasing tool on the web since we first mentioned it here in 2001. If you haven't jumped on the wagon by installing a PHP-powered blog or discussion board, here's a quick primer and some links to tools to get you going.

What is PHP?

PHP is a malformed acronym for something like Pre-Processor Hypertext something-or-other. It's actually an awesome open-source server-side scripting language. One of its more popular and effective uses is interacting with databases using MySQL, which begs the question,

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a query language based on SQL (Structured Query Language) that is very powerful, fast, cross-platform, secure, and in some cases FREE, being that it's also open-source, which begs the question,

What is Open-Source?

Open-Source, if you're not already aware, is an all-inclusive term for a burgeoning community of developers that believe in freely distributed applications. Things like Linux, PHP, MySQL, etc. Code and scripts can be downloaded, tinkered with, and shared with other users. Quite often, if you know what you're doing, you can build a much more stable, functional, and elegant solution for a web appplication, and not spend any (or much) money doing it.

Getting Started

We've provided some links to resources to get you started. If you find it intriguing but daunting, contact us. We'd love to help you build a database application that doesn't use Microsoft, and doesn't cost $5,000.00 before you open the box. Not to knock Microsoft, of course, but one of the nice things about open-source applications though, is that they interface easily with a lot of otherwise proprietary applications, so you can still use your Microsoft-based tools like Access and Excel as necessary, without spending thousands on licensing the server-side applications.

Recommended Reading:
This Quick Start guide is written by the author of the best selling books on both PHP and MySQL, Larry Ullman. The publisher also provides excellent companion material and erratta via their web site.
PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites
PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide

If you can do what this book says on the cover, we want to meet you asap:
If you can learn MySQL in 21 days, we'd like to meet you...
Sams Teach Yourself MySQL in 21 Days

Recommended Links:

Complete source code and documentation can be found here.

PHP Resource Index
Thousands of downloadable scripts here, many free. Also offers discussion boards and tutorials.
Home of "the world's most popular open source database"
An excellent step-by-step tutorial showing how PHP works with MySQL
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