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1.1 What this tutorial will show you

This tutorial is intended to quickly bring you up to speed on connecting to the MySQL database using as PHP as the Web front end. It will have multiple examples of selects in their myirad forms. I'll also go over Inserts, Updates and Deletes.

1.2 What you should already know

This tutorial is NOT intended to teach you SQL or the internals of PHP. You should already know how to create tables and write the SQL queries manually. PHP is very easy to learn. If you have any scripting experience, picking up yet another scripting language will not be a problem.

1.3 Other useful tutorials

A good tutorial on the basics of SQL can be found at: http://www.intermedia.net/support/sql/sqltut.shtm

At some point, I need to poke around and find if there are any decent tutorials for PHP. A good place to start looking is the PHP home pages of course.

1.4 Why PHP instead of Perl & DBI

PHP is a wonderful scripting language for creating HTML pages on the fly. Dynamic information can be pulled from many sources (such as databases) and passed along to the user. It is easy to learn and handles the vast majority of the tasks you'll ever need to do with HTML.

Perl on the other hand is a scripting masterpiece. It can do darn near anything and when you include the database independance modules (DBI), it becomes a powerful development tool for enterprise systems. However that power comes at a cost, namely complexity. If you write a system which can handle anything, then that system has to allow anything. This often results in cryptic additional arguments to routines which you don't know why they exist. Even if you do know, odds are you're not in the small percentage of folks who actually care.

So for the vast majority of my work, I use PHP. It's simpler and faster to develop in. When I run across situations that it can't handle, I then turn to Perl and it's greater complexity.


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