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PHP - AJAX and MySQL


AJAX can be used for interactive communication with a database.


AJAX Database Example

The following example will demonstrate how a web page can fetch information from a database with AJAX:

Example


Person info will be listed here...



Example Explained - The MySQL Database

The database table we use in the example above looks like this:

id FirstName LastName Age Hometown Job
1 Peter Griffin 41 Quahog Brewery
2 Lois Griffin 40 Newport Piano Teacher
3 Joseph Swanson 39 Quahog Police Officer
4 Glenn Quagmire 41 Quahog Pilot


Example Explained - The HTML Page

When a user selects a user in the dropdown list above, a function called "showUser()" is executed. The function is triggered by the "onchange" event:

<html>
<head>
<script>
function showUser(str) {
  if (str=="") {
    document.getElementById("txtHint").innerHTML="";
    return;
  }
  if (window.XMLHttpRequest) {
    // code for IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
    xmlhttp=new XMLHttpRequest();
  } else { // code for IE6, IE5
    xmlhttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
  }
  xmlhttp.onreadystatechange=function() {
    if (xmlhttp.readyState==4 && xmlhttp.status==200) {
      document.getElementById("txtHint").innerHTML=xmlhttp.responseText;
    }
  }
  xmlhttp.open("GET","getuser.php?q="+str,true);
  xmlhttp.send();
}
</script>
</head>
<body>

<form>
<select name="users" onchange="showUser(this.value)">
<option value="">Select a person:</option>
<option value="1">Peter Griffin</option>
<option value="2">Lois Griffin</option>
<option value="3">Joseph Swanson</option>
<option value="4">Glenn Quagmire</option>
</select>
</form>
<br>
<div id="txtHint"><b>Person info will be listed here.</b></div>

</body>
</html>

The showUser() function does the following:

  • Check if a person is selected
  • Create an XMLHttpRequest object
  • Create the function to be executed when the server response is ready
  • Send the request off to a file on the server
  • Notice that a parameter (q) is added to the URL (with the content of the dropdown list)

The PHP File

The page on the server called by the JavaScript above is a PHP file called "getuser.php".

The source code in "getuser.php" runs a query against a MySQL database, and returns the result in an HTML table:

<?php
$q = intval($_GET['q']);

$con = mysqli_connect('localhost','peter','abc123','my_db');
if (!$con) {
  die('Could not connect: ' . mysqli_error($con));
}

mysqli_select_db($con,"ajax_demo");
$sql="SELECT * FROM user WHERE id = '".$q."'";
$result = mysqli_query($con,$sql);

echo "<table border='1'>
<tr>
<th>Firstname</th>
<th>Lastname</th>
<th>Age</th>
<th>Hometown</th>
<th>Job</th>
</tr>";

while($row = mysqli_fetch_array($result)) {
  echo "<tr>";
  echo "<td>" . $row['FirstName'] . "</td>";
  echo "<td>" . $row['LastName'] . "</td>";
  echo "<td>" . $row['Age'] . "</td>";
  echo "<td>" . $row['Hometown'] . "</td>";
  echo "<td>" . $row['Job'] . "</td>";
  echo "</tr>";
}
echo "</table>";

mysqli_close($con);
?>

Explanation: When the query is sent from the JavaScript to the PHP file, the following happens:

  1. PHP opens a connection to a MySQL server
  2. The correct person is found
  3. An HTML table is created, filled with data, and sent back to the "txtHint" placeholder


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