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PHP Recordset Paging

In this tutorial, we first look at creating a page that displayed the results of a database query, and showing all results returned to the user.

Imagine that you have a recordset containing 100 records, for example. Usually you wouldn't want to display all 100 records at once, as it's far too much information for a web site visitor to take in at once, and it can also make your web pages slow to load. Instead, it's much more desirable to be able to show the user 10 records at a time for example, and let them move back and forth between pages. A perfect example of this is a search engine such as Google, although it can be used on any web site that uses dynamic data.

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Overview

In this tutorial, we first look at creating a page that displayed the results of a database query, and showing all results returned to the user. We then look at the MySQL LIMIT command, which returns only certain records from the results obtained by a query, meaning you only get the records you are actually going to use, creating faster and more efficient queries. We use the LIMIT command to adapt our existing code so that it showed the results in pages of 5 records to a page.

We then create a dynamic navigation bar, which allows the users to quickly move backwards and forwards between pages. Finally we alter the code so that if results of a search are being shown, the search parameters are preserved as the user moves from page to page.

 

Table of Content:

  • What is Recordset Paging?
  • Step 1 - Creating some Example Data
  • Step 2 - Creating a Database Connection File
  • Step 3 - Creating Code to Create and Display a Recordset
    • 3.1 Creating the PHP code to read records from the Database
    • 3.2 Creating the HTML and PHP to display the Results
    • 3.3 Testing the Page
  • Step 4 - Adding Recordset Paging
    • 4.1 - The MySQL LIMIT command
    • 4.2 Adapting the existing code
    • 4.3 Creating a Dynamic Navigation Bar
    • 4.4 Testing the Complete Page
    • 4.5 - Using the Recordset Pages with the Results of a Search
  • Summary

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to my first tutorial of 2004, on Recordset Paging.  

What is Recordset Paging?

Imagine that you have a recordset containing 100 records, for example. Usually you wouldn't want to display all 100 records at once, as it's far too much information for a web site visitor to take in at once, and it can also make your web pages slow to load.  Instead, it's much more desirable to be able to show the user 10 records at a time for example, and let them move back and forth between pages. A perfect example of this is a search engine such as Google, although it can be used on any web site that uses dynamic data.

Step 1 - Creating some Example Data

Before we can start the tutorial, we need some example data to work with.  For some test data we'll use a list of the last 17 articles published in the PHP section of the DMX Zone Premium Content section.

We'll create a simple table for use with this example with the following structure, called example_data.

CREATE TABLE example_data (
  id int(8) NOT NULL auto_increment,
  title varchar(250) NOT NULL default '',
  author varchar(250) NOT NULL default '',
  date datetime NOT NULL default '0000-00-00 00:00:00',
  PRIMARY KEY  (id)
) TYPE=MyISAM;

This has a unique id field that's setup as a primary key, and as an auto increment field. We have two fields set up to hold the title of the article, and the author's name, and a field to hold the article's publication date. We've used a datetime format for this field as it makes it much easier to order the records in date order (see the series on Creating Calendars in PHP for more details on this).

Below are some of the example records, so that you can see the type of data we will be working with. You can download an SQL script which can be run on an empty MySQL database and will create the data and table, from the "Code download" link in the blue properties box.

id

title

author

date

1

Working with Image Colours

Allan Kent

2003-12-15 00:00:00

2

PHP User Comments System

Gareth Downes-Powell

2003-12-11 00:00:00

3

Saving PHP Thumbnail Data

Allan Kent

2003-12-08 00:00:00

4

Thumbnail Generation with PHP

Allan Kent

2003-12-01 00:00:00

5

Creating Calendars in PHP  Part 4

Gareth Downes-Powell

3002-11-26 00:00:00

Now that we have some example data to work with, we'll move on and first of all, we'll look at displaying the data on the page. Before we do that however, we need to create a PHP include file containing the database connection details.

Gareth Downes-Powell

Gareth Downes-PowellGareth has a range of skills, covering many computer and internet related subjects. He is proficient in many different languages including ASP and PHP, and is responsible for the setup and maintenance of both Windows and Linux servers on a daily basis.


In his daily web development work he uses the complete range of Macromedia software, including Dreamweaver MX, Flash MX, Fireworks MX and Director to build a number of websites and applications. Gareth has a close relationship with Macromedia, and as a member of Team Macromedia Dreamweaver, he has worked closely in the development of Dreamweaver, and was a beta tester for Dreamweaver MX.


On a daily basis he provides support for users in the Macromedia forums, answering questions and providing help on a range of different web related subjects. He has also written a number of free and commercial extensions for Dreamweaver MX, to further extend its capabilities using its native JavaScript API’s or C++.


As a web host, Gareth has worked with a range of different servers and operating systems, with the Linux OS as his personal favourite. Most of his development work is done using a combination of Linux, Apache and MySQL and he has written extensively about setting up this type of system, and also running Apache and MySQL under Windows.

See All Postings From Gareth Downes-Powell >>

Reviews

nice tutorial

May 24, 2009 by ijaz khattak

dear sir

i am facing a prblem in my project, if u can help me in that i will mail it t you.

thanks 

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