You can create all of your database tables and queries using PHP code. But
before doing that, it’s a good idea to get an understanding of just what it
is you’ll be creating. If you’re new to the world of databases, then here’s
a simple primer.
What is a database and what do they look like?
A database is a way to store lots of information. You might want to store the
names and addresses of all your contacts, or save usernames and passwords for
your online forum. Or maybe customer information.
When you create a database, you’re creating a structure like this:
The columns (ID, Title, First_Name, Surname) are called Fields. The
rows are called Records. Each record is a separate entry.
In a database, you save the information in a Table. A single database
can contain many tables, and they can be linked together. When the tables are
linked together, it’s said to be a relational database. If you just have
a single table in your database, then it’s called a flat-file database.
Flat-file database are easier to create and understand, so we’ll start by creating
one of these using phpMyAdmin.
So start your server and bring up phpMyAdmin, if you havaen’t already. Log
in with your username and password (the password is blank, if you haven’t changed
Although it looks a bit muddled, the part to concentrate on is the textbox
under the words create new database, as in the next image:
If you can’t see a section “Create new database”,
click New on the left-hand side of phpMyAdmin:
Type a name for your database, where it says “Create database”.
After you have typed a name for your new database, click the
“Create” button. You will be taken to a new area. This, in older
And this, in newer versions on phpMyAdmin:
In this new area, you can create a Table to go in your database.
At the moment, as it says, there are No tables found in the database.
But the database itself has been created.
To create a new table, type a name for it in the box at the
bottom. You can also type a number for the Fields textbox. The fields
are the columns, remember, and will be things like first_name, surname, address,
etc. You can always add more later, but just type 4 in there. In fact, type
it out exactly as it is below:
When you’ve finished, click the Go button. Another, more
complex, area will appear:
Or this, in later versions:
In this new area, you set up the fields in your database.
You can specify whether a field is for text, for numbers, for yes/no values,
etc. We’ll see how to do that in the next part.
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