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Programming the Perl DBI - By Descartes & Bunce ISBN: 1-56592-699-4 Copyright 2000, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

Capsule Review A great solid book on the subject. 5 stars out of 5. Who should be interested in this book? Anyone who needs to access databases from Perl. Anyone who needs to store complex structured data from Perl.

Full Review If your like me and find that a lot of the scripts you write need to access data stored in a database of some kind then DBI is the way to get at it and this book is the one to tell you how. After a short introduction the book starts with database basics and the storage of data in flat files. It explains what flat files are good at and what they aren't. It also explains how to get more complex data structures into flat files. The book then moves on to the various hash based Database Managers that are available. Again it gives plenty of examples and shows the pros and cons of these tools. The book then plunges into an introduction to SQL and Relational databases. If your already used to these technologies you can skip this chapter as it is really just a short primer. We then get into DBI for real and start to use the objects provided by the module. Connection, disconnection, queries and updates are all covered in detail with lots of example code and details of where specific methods should be used. The DBI Shell (an interactive SQL tool which uses DBI) is covered as well as writing Database proxies. A good class reference is included as well as specific information on most of the main relational databases and their particular quirks when it comes to DBI. The book is quite new and therefore is quite up to date. I found it invaluable when learning DBI and still refer to it regularly whilst cutting code. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to harness the power of databases inside their Perl code. barndoor

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