Making Data Dynamic

One of the main strengths of PHP is its support for a vast number of databases. Very often, PHP and MySQL are viewed as an entity. However, other databases have their strengths, toofor instance, it took MySQL a very long time to support features that are considered standard in other systems; however, MySQL is known to be very fast.

This chapter tackles quite a number of databases and shows the basic operations with them: connecting, sending SQL statements, and evaluating the return values. No matter what your database-driven web application must do, it always has to do these steps.

To have some test data, we created a database called hoshmand in the relational database management system (RDBMS) and put a table called quotes in there. This table consists of four fields:

  • id An integer value that is increased by 1 for each new entry entered into the database. Depending on the database system, the data type is either called IDENTITY, auto_increment, or something similar.

  • quote The quote, as a VARCHAR(255); this length works with all systems.

  • author The person who produced the quote, as a VARCHAR(50).

  • year The year the quote has been produced (sometimes, this is highly speculative), of type INT.

Every database system comes with either management tools or third-party products available. For instance, the PHP-based phpMyAdmin ( shown in Figure 7.1 offers very good access to a MySQL installation.

Figure 7.1. Managing a MySQL installation using phpMyAdmin.
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