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Programming The Perl Dbi

by Alligator Descartes And Tim Bunce

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About Book

The birth of new modules for the Perl scripting language is a regular occurrence, and the publication of an O'Reilly book about one of these modules is a sign of coming of age. Perl's DBI module, which facilitates the database-independent operation of Perl, achieves its rite of passage this month with the arrival of Alligator Descartes and Tim Bunce's excellent Programming Perl's DBI. Perl's DBI interface is maintained by Bunce and includes submodule interfaces to Oracle, MySQL, Sybase, Microsoft ODBC, and many other smaller databases. O'Reilly Perl book aficionados take note: this is the cheetah book, named for the animal that graces its cover.

Far from being a formalized how-to or man page, Programming Perl's DBI is a mini textbook in database programming, ideal for CPAN-savvy Perl programmers with little or no experience in database programming. Descartes and Bunce develop primitive notions of databases by using flat files, and they introduce relational databases with careful didactic motivation. The example database used throughout the book contains ancient sacred monolithic sites in the UK and elsewhere, of which Stonehenge is the most famous. Readers will learn about these primitive places while storing, updating, deleting, sorting, and locking their descriptors using flat files, nonrelational and relational databases, and a tutorial on SQL. The last chapters describe the peculiarities of interacting with ODBC and introduce DBI's Perl-less diagnostic shell and database proxying.

The authors use many modules--including DBI itself--that are not part of the vanilla Perl distribution, and Descartes and Bunce introduce them without explaining where to find or build them. Perl newbies with no CPAN experience may find themselves derailed early. The Storage module seems not to be available on CPAN at all (at the time of this writing). Fortunately, DBI and friends build, test, and install seamlessly under Linux/Red Hat 6.1.

At 350 pages, Programming the Perl DBI is 60 percent text--filled with highly annotated Perl code--and 40 percent appendices covering a detailed specification of DBI and 3-to-5-page descriptions of each of the 14 supported databases. Brevity is a large component of this book's wit. Clarity is the rest of it. --Peter Leopold

Book Description
One of the greatest strengths of the Perl programming language is its ability to manipulate large amounts of data. Database programming is therefore a natural fit for Perl, not only for business applications but also for CGI-based web and intranet applications. The primary interface for database programming in Perl is DBI. DBI is a database-independent package that provides a consistent set of routines regardless of what database product you use--Oracle, Sybase, Ingres, Informix, you name it. The design of DBI is to separate the actual database drivers (DBDs) from the programmer's API, so any DBI program can work with any database, or even with multiple databases by different vendors simultaneously. Programming the Perl DBI is coauthored by Alligator Descartes, one of the most active members of the DBI community, and by Tim Bunce, the inventor of DBI. For the uninitiated, the book explains the architecture of DBI and shows you how to write DBI-based programs. For the experienced DBI dabbler, this book reveals DBI's nuances and the peculiarities of each individual DBD. The book includes:

  • An introduction to DBI and its design
  • How to construct queries and bind parameters
  • Working with database, driver, and statement handles
  • Debugging techniques
  • Coverage of each existing DBD
  • A complete reference to DBI
This is the definitive book for database programming in Perl.

Book Info
Explains the architecture of DBI and explains how to write DBI-based programs. Explains DBI's nuances and the peculiarities of each individual DBD. Covers understanding DBI and its design, constructing queries and binding parameters, working with database, driver, statement handles, and debugging techniques. Softcover.



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