PHP - MySQL
and what they can do for you.

Click image to
update time

 
About the Clock above. What you may or may not have noticed is that the Clock analog and digital output is on a single png image file. It demonstrates a few interesting points:
   
1. Images can be generated dynamically with PHP.
   
2. PHP does complex tasks very quickly.
   
3. A picture is worth a thousand words and pictures can be generated from database information. A classic application, of course, would be a graph. But there are many business uses for dynamic images such as proper packing procedures as dictated by rules in a database or your immediate feed back to a Client/Customer of your automated visual understanding of what they want based on a questionnaire, etc. - such as with Engineering or Architectural projects.

If you would like a copy of the code that created the Clock above, please click here.
What does the use of a programming language and a database mean for your business? It means that you can build and own your own business systems. You can also extend the power of your current systems (subject, of course, to the openness of your current systems.) My policy is not to charge any license fees per user or per workstation. I only charge for my services on an hourly basis. My background as a CPA with more than 20 years of experience, allows me to offer a wide range of custom programming from highly technical accounting requirements to the most imaginative applications of how you want to reach your Clients and Customers and how you want to automate your company to allow for growth with the same number of people that you have.

PHP is a programming language that is "Open Source". The specific legal details and downloads are available at the main site for php: www.php.net. Basically, there is no charge to use PHP but if you modify the basic engine then you must make it available to the general public. The programmed scripts are yours to develop and use privately. Please consult the php web site for actual legal requirements.

MySQL is an Open Source database server. The specific legal details and downloads are available at the main site for MySQL: www.mysql.com. Basically, developers do not need to pay for MySQL but it appears that ANY definition of business use seems to require that you pay a license fee to use it. The fee, at the time this page was composed, is about $400 and, in this programmer's opinion, is well worth it and is much less than comparable database servers. Please consult the MySQL web site for actual legal requirements.

Native Function Support: The MySQL database server is very powerful and has native support built into PHP. PHP can work with MySQL either through standard ODBC or through direct functions from PHP to MySQL. There are also other native functions to other databases as well such as ORACLE. For MS SQL Server there are also some special native functions, however, you must use the Sybase extension to do this. ODBC will work just fine with MS SQL Server and MS Access. Generally, Native Function Support means greater speed and less error in communications between programming language and data store.

Perhaps the most advantageous reasons to use the PHP programming language and the MySQL database server is that they operate on a number of platforms such as Microsoft Windows, UNIX, LINUX, and a number of other operating systems. Additionally, PHP is becoming very popular with programmers which means a larger pool of talent to help with and continue projects. This means that you can move your system around much more easily than possible with comparable languages and database servers like ASP/ASP.NET and MS SQL Server. This is not intended as a slight to ASP/ASP.NET or MS SQL Server since they also have advantages that are discussed on my web site and they can all work together at the same time according to your needs and what each language and server offers.

In conclusion, for a full discussion of the uses, benefits, and other FAQ items of PHP and MySQL (such as other interesting uses like GUI with special extensions), please visit the actual web sites for PHP and MySQL, www.php.net and www.mysql.com.

 

Christopher L. Koniges, CPA, Systems Programmer  email: chris@jazzysystems.com  www.jazzysystems.com