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PHP and mySQL development methodologies PHP and MySQL development methodologies

-Shaurya Babu

Web development in PHP and MySQL, it's free, it's fast, and it's fun.

Free for the customer to use. MySQl gives you a free and fast replacement to conventional relational database managers like MS SQL server or Oracle. PHP replaces the conventional tools for server side development like ASP or Java servlets. No licenses to buy. Linux hosting servers on which you can host websites developed in these two also cost much lesser than NT servers which are a must for some of the other competing technologies.

Fast to install and fast during runtime. Working on MySQL in the command prompt, viewing and changing your database, turns out to be a pleasure provided you know SQL. Things happen fast, real fast, while developing. During actual runtime, a speed enhancing feature would be superior memory management which coupled with the intrinsic superior runtime interpretation by the PHP web servers leaves the competition biting the dust.

Fun to work with. Purely from a coder's point of view. The old classic C-style syntax, multiline comments, no requests, putting variables directly in SQL statements are some of the features that will make you want to do more and more projects in PHP and MySQL. Uploading files become as simple as giving an ordinary output statement with single line file copying. Gives you time to ponder over more interesting problems like simpler algorithms or new ways to make the surfers life easier or more complex, whatever you feel is the need of the hour. Total fun.

Let me elaborate on the three points I have mentioned above.

Both PHP and MySQL are free for the customer to use. They are both open source and there are no licenses to buy.

PHP replaces the conventional tools for server side development like ASP or Java servlets. Being open source, you are free to develop and add in your own components in PHP and distribute them. That makes PHP extensible. There is also a huge market of freely available components developed by others, which you are free to use if you feel the need.

MySQl gives you a free and fast replacement to conventional relational database managers like MS SQL server or Oracle. Linux hosting servers on which you can host websites developed in these two also cost much lesser than NT servers, which are a must for some of the other competing technologies.

They are both fast to install and also fast during runtime. I should specify here that by install, I mean the entire administration for the two. Even though configuring a MySQL database and an Apache server on the Linux web hosting server will be a cinch for the average Linux guru, it can be a real challenge for someone who is not familiar with Linux based tools.

But the actual administration starts after the installation. Working on MySQL in the command prompt, viewing and changing your database, turns out to be a pleasure provided you know SQL. Things happen fast, real fast, while developing. During actual runtime, a speed enhancing feature would be superior memory management which coupled with the intrinsic superior runtime interpretation by the PHP web servers leaves the competition biting the dust.

Fun to work with. Purely from a coder's point of view. This is the part I'm really trying to emphasize on.

The old classic C-style syntax,

1) Multiline comments - shown below is a sample of a 4 line comment

/*Author : Robins
* Date : DEC 19
* Purpose : To display and delete events
*/

2) No requests - shown below is the session variable $ses_admin which is directly used without having to request it from the previous page. Also, the '@' variable given before the variable name that is a single character in conjunction with the variable name ensures that a null value in a variable doesn't result in an error.

if(@$ses_admin=="" )
rel_redirect1("admin/index.php?status=sesExp");

3) putting variables directly in SQL statements - Check out the select statement for the MySQL database below, no problem with apostophes, no replacing characters to do. Here $slt is a variable which is directly inserted into the SQL statement. As long as the value in $slt is not null, it will not give an error, whether it has apostophes or not. No string concatenation to do either.

$DBConn->execute("select * from tblmember where regStatus = $slt");

These are some of the features that will make you want to do more and more projects in PHP and MySQL.

4) Uploading files becomes as simple as giving an ordinary output statement with single line file copying.
if (!copy($imgfile,$newfile))
This is a condition which copies the existing file, $imgfile, in the
submitted form to the new location with the name $newfile and returns true if the copy was successful. No classes to inherit. No files to include in your code. Pretty simple..

That's as far as development goes. There are a lot more features that make PHP easier to code in, but from personal experience I have found that there are some issues in PHP, which turn up only after the development is over. For example, one is that it works on both Windows and Linux servers which is quite obviously helpful, but at the same time, given the fact that a lot of commands that work on Windows don't work on Linux servers and vice versa can be quite frustrating when the time for final deployment arrives.

Mailer errors, include file problems, session handling are just some of the issues that turn up at such times in PHP and are still under the evolutionary stage. But considering the work that's happening and the number of online forums available for help and actual development, the PHP-MySQL combination does seem to be a technology that's getting there.


 


 
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