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4
Publishing MySQL Data on the Web
This is it—the stuff you signed up for! In this chapter, you'll learn how to take
information stored in a database and display it on a Web page for all to see. So
far you have installed and learned the basics of MySQL, a relational database
engine, and PHP, a server-side scripting language. Now you'll see how to use
these two new tools together to create a true database-driven Website!
A Look Back at First Principles
Before we leap forward, it's worth a brief look back to remind you of our ultimate
goal. We have two powerful, new tools at our disposal: the PHP scripting language,
and the MySQL database engine. It's important to understand how these two
will fit together.
The whole idea of a database-driven Website is to allow the content of the site
to reside in a database, and for that content to be dynamically pulled from the
database to create Web pages for people to view with a regular Web browser. So
on one end of the system you have a visitor to your site who uses a Web browser
to load http://www.yoursite.com/, and expects to view a standard HTML Web
page. On the other end you have the content of your site, which sits in one or
more tables in a MySQL database that understands only how to respond to SQL
queries (commands).
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