24 Jan 2013

The Forthcoming Death of MySQL*

Before you start panicking – no, MySQL databases aren't dead, just that pHp's way of manipulating these databases has changed. At the time of writing, we're at php version 5.4.11 and the php manual states:
This extension is deprecated as of PHP 5.5.0, and will be removed in the future.

So, what do we do?

Well, there seems to be two main alternatives, both of which have been banging about for some time: mysqli and PDO.

Why the Change?

I suppose you ask 10 people and you get 10 diffrent answers, but for me it's the mysql_query() function, which is a potential hole-digger from the point of view of SQL Injection. We usually protect ourselves with the old mysql_real_escape_string() function on our inputs and think that we're safe. This is covered in greater detail elsewhere, so without plagiarizing the sources, I recommend a read of the following: Both PDO and Mysqli allow parameterized queries and follow an object orientated approach, which makes handling queries a lot safer and easier.

Which one Should you Use?

Each has its fanboys and detractors, but both will get the job done. Personally, I prefer the PDO syntax and I can easily create wrapper classes for it. For a quick syntax check of these, you can check out the php manual: For some examples of use, pritaeas has some nice ones over on Daniweb:

Wrappers?

For those of you interested in wrapping up PDO so that it has a nice user-friendly client interface, there are many examples out there. One of my favourites when I started was from php-pdo-wrapper-class located on Google Code. Since then, I tend to roll my own, usually as singletons. This is a contentious thing to do and there are many good arguments against using singletons in general. However, in my experience, programming is often a compromise between many factors, which often include convenience.

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