Written to complement standard texts on commutative algebra, this short book gives complete and relatively easy proofs of important results, including the standard results involving localisation of formal smoothness (M. Andre) and localisation of complete intersections (L. Avramov), some important results of D. Popescu and Andre on regular homomorphisms, and some results from A. Grothendieck's EGA on smooth homomorphisms. The authors make extensive use of the Andre-Quillen homology of commutative algebras, but only up to dimension 2, which is easy to construct, and they deliberately avoid using simplicial methods. The book also serves as an accessible introduction to some advanced topics and techniques. The only prerequisites are a basic course in commutative algebra and the first definitions in homological algebra.

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