Accessing the MySQL Database with PHP

MySQL database schemas can be accessed from PHP scripts on the School's web servers.

This Note shows you how to write PHP to connect to your MySQL databases.

For information about the School's MySQL database server and to learn about your MySQL account and database schema, see MySQL in the School of Computer Science & Informatics

MySQL from PHP

PHP includes the mysqli extension that provides functions for accessing MySQL databases. See for full details of the functions.

An Example using mysqli

The following example prompts for an MySQL account name and password. Once it has these, it runs the SELECT command to retrieve the data from the School's sample MySQL database – MySQL Sample Database,

header ("Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT");    // Date in the past
header ("Last-Modified: " . gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s") . " GMT");
                                                      // always modified
header ("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate");  // HTTP/1.1
header ("Pragma: no-cache");                          // HTTP/1.0

$uri = $_SERVER['PHP_SELF'] . "?" . SID;

<title>MySQL in PHP test page</title>
<h1>PHP script to access a MySQL database</h1>


// have username and password been passed from a form?
if( !empty($_POST) ) {
	$dbuser = $_POST['dbuser'];
		$pass = $_POST['pass'];

if ( isset($dbuser) && isset($pass) ) {
	// try to connect to MySQL database with user and password supplied
	$mysqli = mysqli_connect("", $dbuser, $pass, "sample");
	/* check connection */
	if (mysqli_connect_errno()) {
		printf("Could not connect: %s\n", mysqli_connect_error());
		unset($dbuser); unset($pass);

// username and password will be set if they were passed or unset if not,
//  or if they were wrong
if( !isset($dbuser) || !isset($pass) ) {
    // just print form asking for account details
    echo "<form action=\"$uri\" method=post>\n";
    echo "<p>MySQL account name: ";
    echo "<input type=text name=dbuser>\n";
    echo "<br>Password: <input type=password name=pass>\n";
    echo "<br><input type=submit name=login value=Login>\n";
    echo "</form>\n";

// we have logged in to MySQL

// run the query
if( $res = $mysqli->query("SELECT AS NAME, o.osname AS OS, p.pname AS PERSON
       FROM systems s, opsystem o, people p
       WHERE s.oscode=o.oscode and s.ownercode = p.pcode") ) {

	// retrieve the results
	print "<table cols=3 border=1>\n";
	print "<tr>\n";
	print "<th>Name</th>\n";
	print "<th>Owner</th>\n";
	print "<th>Operating System</th>\n";
	print "</tr>";
	while( $row = $res->fetch_assoc() ) {
		print "<tr>\n";
		echo "<td>" . $row["NAME"] . "</td>\n";
		print "<td>" . $row["OS"] . "</td>\n";
		print "<td>" . $row["PERSON"] . "</td>\n";
		print "</tr>\n";
	print "</table>\n";

The PHP file should be in your Web site directory and have a name ending .php. PHP web scripts are interpreted by the Apache web server and are located in the same directories as .html files. PHP scripts can be interspersed with HTML code – the PHP parts are enclosed in <?php ... ?>.

Use a web browser to access the PHP page.

Enter exampleuser as the account name and enter passabc as the password.

When you click the Login button, the following is displayed.