by Kevin Yank of SitePoint.com
Part 4: Publishing MySQL Data on the Web
This is it -- the stuff you signed up for! This is the week we take information stored in a database and display it on a Web page for all to see. So far we've installed and learned the basics of MySQL, a relational database engine, and PHP, a server-side scripting language. In this week's installment, we see how to use these two new tools together to create a true database-driven Web site!
A Look Back at First Principles
Before we leap forward, it's worth a brief look back to remind ourselves of the goal we are working toward. We have two powerful, new tools at our disposal: the PHP scripting language, and the MySQL database engine. It's important to understand how these two are going to fit together.
The whole idea of a database-driven Web site is to allow the content of the site to reside in a database, and for that content to be dynamically pulled from the database to create Web pages featuring it for people using a regular Web browser to view. So on one end of the system you have a visitor to your site using a Web browser, loading http://www.yoursite.com/, and expecting to view a standard HTML Web page. On the other end you have the content of your site sitting in one or more tables in a MySQL database that only understands how to respond to SQL queries (commands).
The PHP scripting language is the go-between that speaks both languages. Using PHP, you can write the presentation aspects of your site (the fancy graphics and page layouts) as "templates" in regular HTML. Where the content belongs in those templates, you use some PHP code to connect to the MySQL database and -- using SQL queries just like those you used to create a table of jokes in Part Two -- retrieve and display some content in its place.
Just so it's clear and fresh in your mind, this is what will happen when someone visits a page on our database-driven Web site:
echofunction to output it as part of the Web page.
|Connecting to MySQL with PHP|
|SitePoint.com is a fast growing Web Developer Community. Kevin Yank is the Editor of the SitePoint TechTimes, a fresh, technically oriented newsletter for the serious Webmaster.|