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Programming the Perl DBI

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List Price: $34.95
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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 3.48

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: proved its value within days of buying it
Comment: this is a solid book that's been needed for a long time. it's a good introductory text for perl programmers on how databases work, and how to use the dbi to access them.

i'm one of many who has spent hour after hour bashing my head against the dbi. of everything i've developed in perl, database interactivity and the dbi specifically has had by far the steepest learning curve. what i would have given to have this book six months ago.

even though it comes after my painful experience, though, i've already found information in this book i hadn't gleaned elsewhere that will help me immediately in projects i'm working on. the chapter on dbish alone is worth the price of the book to me.

i'm also glad to see a very detailed breakdown by major dbd drivers. my most significant problems were sussing out the specifics of dbd::informix; even with the generous help of jonathan leffler, i had a hard time figuring out some of what's clearly stated here.

the one thing this book is missing is a detailed explanation of installing the dbi. addressing the basic issues for each major driver would probably easily double the size of the book, but this information is some of the hardest to learn on your own. since the book is targeted at perl programmers, it would be valuable to include the rdbms-specific information about installing the drivers that perl programmers are unlikely to have experience with. this information would also be crucial in easing communication with the various sysadmins and dba's whose help will likely be needed to get any perl-database project off the ground.

i'd like to see an expanded second edition, or perhaps an advanced title, to expand on this complex topic. it would be nice to see an explanation focused for db developers and dbas on how to use perl for their work.

kudos to alligator descartes and tim bunce for an excellent book that makes the dbi more accessible. once i got a rudimentary understanding of the dbi under my belt, i was quickly able to demonstrate perl's power for database connectivity in my work environment. by easing the initial learning curve, descartes and bunce are helping perl prove its reputation as an easy-to-use, powerful programming language.

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: still a valuable reference for multiple databases
Comment: This book has been a valuable reference of mine for several years for web database programming projects. I bought the book soon after it was released and continue to use it - sometimes on a daily basis depending upon the project I am currently developing. I realized from the beginning that much of the material in this book came from the online documentation and have still found the book to be useful enough to stay on my A-list of reference materials. Applications like CGIScripter need to utilize up to half a dozen different databases so I have found the reference section on each database be the section I often turn to first. I have not found this info available anywhere in the online documentation. When you program and debug on multiple computers with multiple windows open simultaneously, having a reference book is often more manageable than opening another window on the computer. And for those times when I am struggling with an especially troublesome programming issue, I have found it very helpful to sit in my easy chair with a reference book like the Perl DBI book in order to research the problem. The only reason I am not giving the book 5 stars is that it hasn't been updated in a few years so it doesn't include info on some of the new DBI supported databases like SQLite.

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Good book for what it is.
Comment: It's hard to imagine an entire book about this. It's not bad, for what it is though. If you have any database knowledge and read the appropriate sections already in Programming Perl or the Perl Cookbook, I don't imagine you'll get too much use from this.