PHP 5.5.17 is available

Database issues

This section holds common questions about relation between PHP and databases. Yes, PHP can access virtually any database available today.

I heard it's possible to access Microsoft SQL Server from PHP. How?

On Windows machines, you can simply use the included ODBC support and the correct ODBC driver.

On Unix machines, you can use the Sybase-CT driver to access Microsoft SQL Servers because they are (at least mostly) protocol-compatible. Sybase has made a » free version of the necessary libraries for Linux systems. For other Unix operating systems, you need to contact Sybase for the correct libraries. Also see the answer to the next question.

Can I access Microsoft Access databases?

Yes. You already have all the tools you need if you are running entirely under Windows 9x/Me, or NT/2000, where you can use ODBC and Microsoft's ODBC drivers for Microsoft Access databases.

If you are running PHP on a Unix box and want to talk to MS Access on a Windows box you will need Unix ODBC drivers. » OpenLink Software has Unix-based ODBC drivers that can do this.

Another alternative is to use an SQL server that has Windows ODBC drivers and use that to store the data, which you can then access from Microsoft Access (using ODBC) and PHP (using the built in drivers), or to use an intermediary file format that Access and PHP both understand, such as flat files or dBase databases. On this point Tim Hayes from OpenLink software writes:

Using another database as an intermediary is not a good idea, when you can use ODBC from PHP straight to your database - i.e. with OpenLink's drivers. If you do need to use an intermediary file format, OpenLink have now released Virtuoso (a virtual database engine) for NT, Linux and other Unix platforms. Please visit our » website for a free download.

One option that has proved successful is to use MySQL and its MyODBC drivers on Windows and synchronizing the databases. Steve Lawrence writes:

  • Install MySQL on your platform according to instructions with MySQL. Latest available from » http://www.mysql.com/ No special configuration required except when you set up a database, and configure the user account, you should put % in the host field, or the host name of the Windows computer you wish to access MySQL with. Make a note of your server name, username, and password.
  • Download the MyODBC for Windows driver from the MySQL site. Install it on your Windows machine. You can test the operation with the utilities included with this program.
  • Create a user or system dsn in your ODBC administrator, located in the control panel. Make up a dsn name, enter your hostname, user name, password, port, etc for you MySQL database configured in step 1.
  • Install Access with a full install, this makes sure you get the proper add-ins... at the least you will need ODBC support and the linked table manager.
  • Now the fun part! Create a new access database. In the table window right click and select Link Tables, or under the file menu option, select Get External Data and then Link Tables. When the file browser box comes up, select files of type: ODBC. Select System dsn and the name of your dsn created in step 3. Select the table to link, press OK, and presto! You can now open the table and add/delete/edit data on your MySQL server! You can also build queries, import/export tables to MySQL, build forms and reports, etc.

Tips and Tricks:

  • You can construct your tables in Access and export them to MySQL, then link them back in. That makes table creation quick.
  • When creating tables in Access, you must have a primary key defined in order to have write access to the table in access. Make sure you create a primary key in MySQL before linking in access
  • If you change a table in MySQL, you have to re-link it in Access. Go to tools>add-ins>linked table manager, cruise to your ODBC DSN, and select the table to re-link from there. you can also move your dsn source around there, just hit the always prompt for new location checkbox before pressing OK.

Why is the MySQL extension (ext/mysql) that I've been using for over 10 years discouraged from use? Is it deprecated? What do I use instead? How can I migrate?

There are three MySQL extensions, as described under the Choosing a MySQL API section. The old API should not be used, and one day it will be deprecated and eventually removed from PHP. It is a popular extension so this will be a slow process, but you are strongly encouraged to write all new code with either mysqli or PDO_MySQL.

Migration scripts are not available at this time, although the mysqli API contains both a procedural and OOP API, with the procedural version being similar to ext/mysql.

It is not possible to mix the extensions. So, for example, passing a mysqli connection to PDO_MySQL or ext/mysql will not work.

PHP 5 no longer bundles MySQL client libraries, what does this mean to me? Can I still use MySQL with PHP? I try to use MySQL and get "function undefined" errors, what gives?

Yes. There will always be MySQL support in PHP of one kind or another. The only change in PHP 5 is that we are no longer bundling the client library itself. Some reasons in no particular order:

  • Most systems these days already have the client library installed.

  • Given the above, having multiple versions of the library can get messy. For example, if you link mod_auth_mysql against one version and PHP against another, and then enable both in Apache, you get a nice fat crash. Also, the bundled library didn't always play well with the installed server version. The most obvious symptom of this being disagreement over where to find the mysql.socket Unix domain socket file.

  • Maintenance was somewhat lax and it was falling further and further behind the released version.

  • Future versions of the library are under the GPL and thus we don't have an upgrade path since we cannot bundle a GPL'ed library in a BSD/Apache-style licensed project. A clean break in PHP 5 seemed like the best option.

This won't actually affect that many people. Unix users, at least the ones who know what they are doing, tend to always build PHP against their system's libmysqlclient library simply by adding the --with-mysql=/usr option when building PHP. Windows users may enable the extension php_mysql.dll inside php.ini. For more details, see the MySQL Reference for installation instructions. Also, be sure libmysql.dll is available to the system's PATH. For more details on how, read the FAQ on setting up the Windows systems PATH. Because libmysql.dll (and many other PHP related files) exist in the PHP folder, you'll want to add the PHP folder to your system's PATH.

After installing shared MySQL support, Apache dumps core as soon as libphp4.so is loaded. Can this be fixed?

If your MySQL libs are linked against pthreads this will happen. Check using ldd. If they are, grab the MySQL tarball and compile from source, or recompile from the source rpm and remove the switch in the spec file that turns on the threaded client code. Either of these suggestions will fix this. Then recompile PHP with the new MySQL libs.

Why do I get an error that looks something like this: "Warning: 0 is not a MySQL result index in <file> on line <x>" or "Warning: Supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in <file> on line <x>"?

You are trying to use a result identifier that is 0. The 0 indicates that your query failed for some reason. You need to check for errors after submitting a query and before you attempt to use the returned result identifier. The proper way to do this is with code similar to the following:

<?php

$result 
mysql_query("SELECT * FROM tables_priv");
if (!
$result) {
    echo 
mysql_error();
    exit;
}
?>
or
<?php

$result 
mysql_query("SELECT * FROM tables_priv")
    or die(
"Bad query: " mysql_error());
?>

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User Contributed Notes 5 notes

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3
knb at gfz-potsdam dot de
9 years ago
This is a crucial piece of information for SYBASE users:

If you are using the free, but old, 11.x client libs from sybase,
then compile with option  "--with-sybase-ct=$SYBASE"
substitute $SYBASE with the appropriate directory name.

option --with-sybase (without ct) can somehow be used to talk to old MS-SQL servers, but only with the 11.x client libs.

If you are using free, or have legally obtained, 12.x client libs from sybase, then compile with option  "--with-sybase-ct=$SYBASE/$SYBASE_OCS"
substitute $SYBASE/$SYBASE_OCS with the appropriate directory name.
up
0
plandis98 at yahoo dot com
8 years ago
If one is using PHP on Windows to connection to MS SQL Server and does not want to pass credentials via the mssql_connect but instead use MS Connectionless NT Authentication, what is the proper syntax/usage? 

I believe you want to turn on secure_connection in php.ini file:
; Use NT authentication when connecting to the server
mssql.secure_connection = On
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0
djlopez at gmx dot de
9 years ago
How to compile PHP5 when you have installed mysql, but
- you can't find the "mysql header files" or
- get this error: Cannot find MySQL header files under /usr/

If you want to use mysql 4.0 (*not* 4.1 or even higher!) just download & extract the latest mysql4.0 binary distribution to e.g.
/root/mysql40/

but don't start it (it even should not work, if you have a mysql server already running)

Then use --with-mysql=/root/mysql4 within your php5 configuration.

After compiling/installing (make, make install), you may delete the /root/mysql40/ directory, or keep it for later versions of php5.
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-1
Anonymous
9 years ago
Just a quick note which may help Windows users setting up PHP/Apache/MySQL.  I was receiving these two error messages on Apache startup: 1) "The procedure entry point mysql_thread_end could not be located in the dynamic link library LIBMYSQL.dll" and 2) "PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library '<my php installation dir>/ext/php_mysql.dll' - The specified procedure could not be found".  After checking that libmysql.dll did exist in my root PHP install dir, and that this dir was in my path, I determined that the problem was an older version of libmysql.dll.  My solution was to search all harddrives for this file (I found 6 copies of 5 different versions), and rename all of them except my PHP install dir copy.  PHP, Apache and MySQL all function as expected after making this change.
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-4
ashay dot chaudhary at microsoft dot com
4 years ago
Q: I heard it's possible to access Microsoft SQL Server from PHP. How?

"On Windows machines, you can simply use the included ODBC support and the correct ODBC driver."
There is a better solution now, download the SQL Server Driver for PHP from Microsoft's Download Center, it is officially supported by Microsoft.

Source code: sqlsrvphp.codeplex.com
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