Course Code: nph
In today's fast-paced world, it's almost crucial for every type of business to have an Internet presence. In this lesson, you'll peek at behind-the-scenes components of a commercial-quality web store application. You'll see how to use the PHP programming language to create the web store storefront page, complete with product catalog and customer ordering system. You'll discover how web stores use the popular MySQL database server to maintain the store inventory and track customer orders.
Because of the complexity of creating a web store, this lesson will discuss some advanced topics in PHP programming. You'll create functions in your PHP programming code that you can use every time you need to perform a specific feature in your applications. You'll examine the PHP code required to manage and manipulate images within your website.
Complex web applications often require complex database structures. In this lesson, you'll explore some of the advanced features that the MySQL database server offers. You'll discover how to use the MySQL console to enter SQL commands, and build commands to create the application database objects. You'll manually create a database, user account, and all of the tables required for the application. You'll find out about some advanced features that you'll be using, such as creating foreign table key constraints and table views.
Every web store has an administrative interface, which allows the store manager to create and manage the product catalog, as well as process customer orders. In this lesson, you'll dive into the web store backend application, which allows the store manager to control the web store environment. You'll examine how to force the store manager to log into the backend system, and how to restrict the system so only the logged-in manager can perform specific functions. You can use this basic backend template to create your own web store management interfaces for other web applications.
The most important feature in the web store backend application is the ability to create the product catalog. In this lesson, you'll learn how to incorporate images into your web store application. You'll then discover how to use the MySQL Binary Large Object (BLOB) data type to store images within the MySQL database. Finally, you'll find out how to organize your product catalog by creating sections in the product catalog and assigning each product to a specific section.
After having a store full of products, your store manager will need to know how to manipulate existing product information. In this lesson, you'll build the backend web pages required to allow the store manager to modify information in existing product database records.
In this lesson, you'll turn your attention to the storefront application. The storefront lays out the basic format for the entire web store, and gently guides customers to the correct location. You'll see how to best organize and present your products in the store without overwhelming your customers with information while providing them with an easy path to obtaining the information they're looking for.
Once you have your customer in your web store, you'll want them to purchase something. In this lesson, you'll discover how to create a shopping cart for your customers. You'll learn how to allow customers to select products to place in their shopping carts, and how to display shopping cart information for them to view and modify.
After allowing customers to place products in their shopping carts, the next most important feature is to allow them to check out. You'll create registration pages, to allow your customers to register as returning customers to make future checkout sessions easier. You'll also find out how to take steps to ensure that the data your customers enter in the registration process is valid, and how to protect it from prying eyes.
When a customer checks out and places an order, you must be able to process the data in your application. In this lesson, you'll walk through the PHP programming and MySQL database techniques required to perform this function. You'll also look at how to use database transactions to keep the information in your database tables synchronized so your data is accurate at all times.
With the bulk of the web store application finished, you'll turn your attention to a few of the finer details that'll make your web store more professional. First, you'll learn advanced MySQL searching techniques to help your customers find just what they're looking for. Next, you'll find out how to generate reports directly from your web store database for your store manager. You'll discover how to extract the data in your database and produce fancy spreadsheet reports that would make any manager envious.
The PHP programming language allows you to incorporate object-oriented programming principles easily in your web page code. In this lesson, you'll walk through the basic principles of object-oriented programming and how to use it in a web environment. You'll learn how to incorporate the object-oriented database features in PHP in your web applications. Finally, you'll create your own object-oriented programming classes to interact with your database table that you can use in any application.
Richard Blum has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, working mainly as a network and systems administrator. During this time, he has worked with Microsoft, Novell, Unix, and Linux servers, and has created websites using a variety of different programming languages. Blum is the author of several programming and systems administration books, including Professional Assembly Language, C# Network Programming, PostgreSQL 8 for Windows, Sendmail for Linux, Postfix, and Network Performance Open Source Toolkit.
There are no prerequisites to take this course. Prior HTML coding experience is helpful, but not required.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Wow... that about sums it up. I learned so much from Mr. Blum and the rest of the class... I don't know how he does it, but he has the best participation of any instruction I have had. Excellent course, excellent instructor... I'll be looking for more classes to take with him."
I didn't expect much, this being my first online course, but it was a great learning experience. I also felt that I was challenged the right way, in the sense that I was motivated to study hard through my incremental accomplishments. The pace of this class was good. I was very glad to have a skilled instructor in this field who answered our questions thoroughly and always lead us in the right direction. I was glad to be a part of his class."
As I mentioned in the discussion area, although I have been using PHP and MySQL for years, I learned tons of new stuff in this course, which will be very helpful. I hope that a future course will be added to provide further information."