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O'Reilly Publishes Bunce' & Descarte's new Book on Perl DBI

February 21, 2000

As the Web moves from predominately brochure-ware to database-driven applications, "database-independent" programming has become increasingly important. One of the Perl programming languages' greatest strengths is its ability to manipulate huge amounts of data. The Perl Database Interface, better known as the Perl DBI, elegantly links the Perl programming language and virtually any type of database.

With the Perl DBI, developers can program database applications to interface with different drivers, they can reuse code written for one database for another, they can use the same interface with all of the most popular databases-even different databases simultaneously (for example, a programmer can transfer data from an Oracle database to an Informix database with a single DBI program that connects to both databases and simply passes the data backwards and forwards as needed.)

"The DBI is a database interface module for Perl. It defines a set of methods, variables and conventions that provide a consistent database interface independent of the actual database being used," explains Tim Bunce, the architect and inventor of DBI. "One important goal was for any library code we developed to be reusable as part of another system using a different database. Countless people have contributed over the years. The mailing list archives are vast."

Alligator Descartes, one of the most active members of the DBI community, and Bunce have collaborated on a new book, Programming the Perl DBI (O'Reilly, $34.95). "I had been one of the first serious DBI users," explains Descartes. "And also the first person-other than Tim-to develop drivers for the DBI. Much of that experience and knowledge from those activities made me think documenting the DBI would be useful. This was doubly true when I noticed the same questions appearing over and over again on the DBI-users mailing list. I realized one of the problems appeared to be that people don't like learning from specifications."

"We wanted to help people get the most out of the DBI by providing an accurate, clear, and helpful guide," adds Bunce. "Accuracy is important: In fact, it's one of my main motivations for working on the book. I'm hopeful that our book will become the standard text for the 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 explains DBI's nuances and the peculiarities of each individual DBD. Programming the Perl DBI is the definitive book for database programming in Perl.

Online Resources

Programming the Perl DBI
Database Programming with Perl

By Alligator Descartes & Tim Bunce
1st Edition February 2000 (US)
1-56592-699-4, 350 pages, $34.95 (US)

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