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REVIEW:Step by Step Web Database Development.

INTERNET BUSINESS NEWS-(C)1995-2000 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

This book deals with the information and concepts needed for anyone who wants to start developing online databases.

The author, however, expects the reader to be familiar enough with basic HTML to be able to 'hand-code simple web pages' as well as knowing the basics of Microsoft Visual Basic. I would recommend the reader to take this advise seriously, as the book deals extensively with the code needed for online databases.

The book itself is divided into six parts. The first part, containing chapter one, introduces basic concepts like why and where databases come in handy online and also .HTML .ASP files and VBSscript. This chapter also describes, in explained steps, how to create a web database display of the simple kind.

The second part, which contains chapters two to six, deals with central concepts, while part three deals with the development of applications in chapters seven to ten. In part four, it is time for the advanced subjects, such as text queries and managing sessions, which are described in chapters 11-12. XML is the subject of part five, and chapter 13 deals with XML and the browser while chapter 14 deals with XML and servers. The last part of the book, number six, deals with 'tuning and debugging'. There is also a reasonably extensive index at the back of the book.

The book is supplied with a data CD, which contains the files and information used in the examples and exercises throughout the text. This book will provide the information needed for those who need to develop a basic database, as it starts from the beginning and explains every step along the way. It will take some concentration to get through however, especially if the topic is unfamiliar. I would also recommend the reader to have some background knowledge of HTML and Visual Basic before starting to read the book, just as the author recommends, as it will otherwise become necessary either to stop and read up on the subject or give up on the idea of a database. Although the explanations are thorough, this is not a book that teaches HTML or Visual Basic.

Each chapter starts with a list of 'chapter objectives' and ends with the summary of the contents. There is also an estimated time needed for going through the chapter, but take this estimate for what it is - depending on the experience of the reader, the time needed will vary. Information that is relevant to the text is printed with a grey background, while the margins contain hints printed in blue to facilitate understanding and learning. The text is broken up by 'screenshots', showing the reader what the screen should look like at various stages and this certainly goes a long way to make the text easier to digest.

This is a book for learning the process of developing databases and although it may be useful to go back to for certain pieces of information, I would not recommend it as a reference book -- it is simply not laid out to facilitate such use.

CONCLUSION:A book that delivers what it promises, step-by-step guidance to developing databases for the Internet. Although useful for the dedicated amateur and a starting point for the professional, the topic guarantees that there will be some tough going for the beginner. A good book for those in need of developing or understanding a database, but not recommended for "just-in-case-it's-needed" buyers.

Title:Step by Step Web Database Development Author:Jim Buyens Published by:Microsoft ISBN:0-7356-0966-7 Price:GBP32.99, USD49.99 Reviewer:Ann Sundqvist This book was provided for review by Computer Manuals (http://www.computer-manuals.co.uk).

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Title Annotation:Review
Comment:REVIEW:Step by Step Web Database Development.
Publication:Internet Business News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 26, 2000
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