Monday, November 19, 2007

E-mail With PHP


One of the major uses of a server side scripting language is to provide a way of sending e-mail from the server and, in particular, to take form input and output it to an e-mail address. In this part I will show you how to send e-mail messages using PHP.

The Mail Command

Mail is extremely easy to send from PHP, unlike using scripting languages which require special setup (like CGI). There is actually just one command, mail() for sending mail. It is used as follows:


In this example I have used variables as they have descriptive names but you could also just place text in the mail command. Firstly, $to. This variable (or section of the command) contains the e-mail address to which the mail will be sent. $subject is the section for the subject of the e-mail and $body is the actual text of the e-mail.

The section $headers is used for any additional e-mail headers you may want to add. The most common use of this is for the From field of an e-mai but you can also include other headers like cc and bcc.

Sending An E-mail

Before sending your mail, if you are using variables, you must, of course, set up the variable content beforehand. Here is some simple code for sending a message:

$to = "";
$subject = "PHP Is Great";
$body = "PHP is one of the best scripting languages around";
$headers = "From:\n";
echo "Mail sent to $to";

This code will acutally do two things. Firstly it will send a message to with the subject 'PHP Is Great' and the text:

PHP is one of the best scripting languages around

and the e-mail will be from It will also output the text:

Mail sent to

to the browser.

Formatting E-mail

Something you may have noticed from the example is that the From line ended with \n. This is acutally a very important character when sending e-mail. It is the new line character and tells PHP to take a new line in an e-mail. It is very important that this is put in after each header you add so that your e-mail will follow the international standards and will be delivered.

The \n code can also be used in the body section of the e-mail to put line breaks in but should not be used in the subject or the To field.

Mail Without Variables

The e-mail above could have been sent using different variable names (it is the position of the variables in relation to the commas, not the name of them which decides on their use). It could also have been done on one line using text like this:

mail("","PHP Is Great","PHP is one of the best scripting languages around","From:\n");

But that would make your code slightly harder to read.

Error Control

As anyone who has been scripting for a while will know, it is extremely easy to make mistakes in your code and it is also very easy to input an invalid e-mail address (especially if you are using your script for form to mail). Because of this, you can add in a small piece of code which will check if the e-mail is sent:

if(mail($to,$subject,$body,$headers)) {
echo "An e-mail was sent to $to with the subject: $subject";
} else {
echo "There was a problem sending the mail. Check your code and make sure that the e-mail address $to is valid";

Testing For PHP and MySQL install successfully or not......

There is a simple test for both PHP and MySQL. Open a text editor and type in the following:


and save it as phpinfo.php

and run in the browser...display the all information about php version, mysql version and other apache setting.

mainly the display file is information about php.ini file....

The Include Function in PHP5

The include function takes a file name and simply inserts that file's contents into the script that calls used the include function.

Well, first of all, this means that you can type up a common header or menu file that you want all your web pages to include. When you add a new page to your site, instead of having to update the links on several web pages, you can simply change the Menu file.


The include command simply takes all the text that exists in the specified file and copies
it into the file that uses the include function. Include is quite useful when you want
to include the same PHP, HTML, or text segment on multiple pages of a website. The include
function is used widely by PHP web developers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Connecting to ODBC and PHP

# connect to a DSN "mydb" with a user and password "marin"
$connect = odbc_connect("mydb", "marin", "marin");

# query the users table for name and surname
$query = "SELECT name, surname FROM users";

# perform the query
$result = odbc_exec($connect, $query);

# fetch the data from the database
$name = odbc_result($result, 1);
$surname = odbc_result($result, 2);
print("$name $surname\n");

# close the connection

What is ODBC?

Open DataBase Connectivity is an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows a programmer to abstract a program from a database. When writing code to interact with a database, you have to add code that talks to a particular database using a proprietary API. If you want your program to talk to an Access, FoxPro and Oracle databases you have to code your program with three different database API's. This can be quite the daunting task causing much grief. Now, enter ODBC...

When programming to interact with ODBC you only need to use the ODBC API (a combination of ODBC extension function calls and the SQL language) to talk to different database products. The ODBC Manager will figure out how to contend with the type of database you are targeting. Regardless of the database type you are using, all of your calls will be to the ODBC API. All that you need to do is have installed an ODBC driver that is specific to the type of database you will be using.

PHP Database ODBC Connection

ODBC is an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows you to connect to a data source (e.g. an MS Access database).

Create an ODBC Connection

With an ODBC connection, you can connect to any database, on any computer in your network, as long as an ODBC connection is available.

Here is how to create an ODBC connection to a MS Access Database:

  1. Open the Administrative Tools icon in your Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on the Data Sources (ODBC) icon inside.
  3. Choose the System DSN tab.
  4. Click on Add in the System DSN tab.
  5. Select the Microsoft Access Driver. Click Finish.
  6. In the next screen, click Select to locate the database.
  7. Give the database a Data Source Name (DSN).
  8. Click OK.