Home arrow PHP arrow Page 6 - User Authentication With patUser (part 3)

Big Brother Is Watching - PHP

In this concluding article, find out about how to use patUser toidentify users and groups by different criteria, track a user's clicks, maintain user statistics, and gracefully handle errors.

  1. User Authentication With patUser (part 3)
  2. Making Exceptions
  3. The History Channel
  4. Natural Selection
  5. No Distinguishing Marks
  6. Big Brother Is Watching
  7. Endgame
By: icarus, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 6
May 07, 2003

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patUser also allows you to record statistical information about user logins via its very cool addStats() and updateStats() methods. There are five different pieces of data you can store: the user's first login, last login, total number of logins, total number of pages visited and total time on your site. The data thus collected is stored in the "users" table as a component of each user record, and can be viewed using regular SQL queries.

In order to enable this feature, you need to tell patUser which pieces of data you want to track by calling addStats()at the top of your PHP scripts, once for each item. Once that's done, you can update the database with the latest statistics at any time by calling updateStats(). The following example demonstrates:

<?php // include classes include("../include/patDbc.php"); include("../include/patUser.php"); include("../include/patTemplate.php"); // initialize database layer $db = new patMySqlDbc("localhost", "db211", "us111", "secret"); // initialize template engine $tmpl = new patTemplate(); $tmpl->setBasedir("../templates"); // initialize patUser $u = new patUser(true); // connect patUser to database/template engines $u->setAuthDbc($db); $u->setTemplate($tmpl); // decide which data to save $u->addStats("last_login"); $u->addStats("count_logins"); $u->addStats("count_pages"); $u->addStats("time_online"); // update statistics $u->updateStats(); ?>
If you're using a single init() function to initialize your patUser object, the calls to addStats() should probably go into that function, so that statistics generation is enabled every time patUser starts up. And if you're not using patUser's default tables, you can have the data saved to your own custom fields, simply by specifying each field name as the second argument in your calls to addStats().

These statistics can come in handy for database administrators to track user logins and gauge site popularity via time spent online and number of logins; it can also provide an audit trail for internal usage tracking and monitoring.

>>> More PHP Articles          >>> More By icarus, (c) Melonfire

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