When we introduced PHP, we mentioned that PHP scripts can interact with MySQL databases through Apache, to perform various tasks. In this section of the course we will explore a very important part of web development. We will be communicating instructions and storing user input into a database using PHP. Database driven web applications can do much more than static web pages, because they allow for dynamic functionality.
To illustrate this, think of some of your favorite websites that you use each day. For example, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, among many others.
Each one of these websites is powered by a database. Regardless of the type of database these web applications use, all of their customer information, user preferences and browsing habits are stored in a database. The web applications then use a server-side scripting language, such as PHP/JAVA/C++, to access this information and create user-customized web pages on the fly and in real-time.
If you've never worked with a database, don't worry. You've probably worked with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. You know that each spreadsheet is composed of rows and columns and that we can have multiple sheets in a single workbook.
Though much more complex, a database in it's simplest form, works almost the same way. The database, is the equivalent of the workbook. Database tables are equivalent to worksheets. Each table contains rows and columns just like a worksheet.
There are some basic properties that each database has: