Book Information
Title: Foundation PHP for Flash (Site)
Author: Steve Webster
Published by: Friends Of Ed
RRP: US $39.99
Format: Mass-market paperback
Page Count: 500
CD: No.
User Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Review By: Andy (20 Ton Squirrel, ActionScripts.org)

At a glance: 8/10

Foundation PHP for Flash provides a great insight into what PHP is and its practicle applications for Flash developers.

Review:

So what is this PHP stuff anyway? Why is it such a big deal? Feel left in the dark? Well, this fine book will shed light on the subject. In this edition from our buddies at Friends of Ed you will learn everything you need to know about PHP and how it can be used in Flash. It's a bit on the technical side, so you'd better have a good working knowledge of Flash and ActionScripting. If you don't know what a variable is, then you'd better start with something more basic, because this book will leave a newbie behind!

PHP in essence, is a means of processing data via server-side scripts. It allows you to communicate with databases, create dynamic content, and expend the somewhat static realm of Flash by miles. PHP is freeware and widely supported online, hence it's appeal, and Flash can easily interact with PHP files, and subsequently, with the databases and other resources PHP opens doors to.
As I did with the XML experience of my last review, I started into this little book review with no foreknowledge of PHP. I saw it used in our forums, but perhaps like you, I didn't know what it all meant.
The author was concise and to the point, with each chapter he takes you from beginner to advanced techniques of integrating PHP and Flash. Each chapter has it's own practical example and explanation that left me with a good understanding of what was detailed, unlike some of those other books out there whose examples are cryptic and too proprietary to use for anything else.
As an added bonus, the book details how to install not only PHP, but Apache (a freeware web server) and MySQL (a freeware database management system) as well! Considering that most tech books leave you in the dark about how to get this stuff working on your system, this is quite a bargain!
I'd consider this book another must-have. Don't fool yourself folks, Flash alone does NOT make your site. This stuff can REALLY provide your site the dynamic edge it needs! Broaden your horizons, get to know PHP with this book. You won't regret it.