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Querying the Database with PHP Functions - MySQL

In this first part of a three-part series. you will begin learning how to use PHP to display and modify data from a MySQL database. This article is excerpted from chapter 9 of Learning PHP and MySQL, written by Michele Davis and Jon Phillips (O'Reilly, 2006; ISBN: 0596101104). Copyright 2006 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.

  1. Getting PHP to Talk to MySQL
  2. Querying the Database with PHP Functions
  3. Including Database Login Details
  4. Connecting to the Database
By: O'Reilly Media
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May 17, 2007

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In this section, we introduce how to connect to a MySQL database with PHP. It's quite simple, and we'll begin shortly with examples, but we should talk briefly about what actually happens. When you try connecting to a MySQL database, the MySQL server authenticates you based on your username and password. PHP handles connecting to the database for you and allows you to immediately start performing queries and gathering data.

As in Chapter 8, we'll need the same pieces of information to connect to the database:

  1. The IP address of the database server
  2. The name of the database
  3. The username
  4. The password

If you're not sure what to use for these values, consult Chapter 7. And, before moving on, make sure you can log into your database using the mysql command-line client.

Figure 9-1 shows how the steps of the database interaction relate to the two types of resources. Building the SELECT statement happens before the third function call but is not shown. It's done with plain PHP code, not a MySQL-specific PHP function.

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