One of PHP's strongest features as a scripting language for Web applications is its diverse database support: the "What Can PHP Do?" page lists over 20 database platforms that PHP can communicate with. The PHP-MySQL combination powers numerous high-profile Web sites worldwide. However, accessing other database platforms with PHP is occasionally frustrating, since the PHP documentation falters in less traveled areas, leaving it to the extensive user community to fill in the gaps.
In this article, we'll introduce PHP's database connectivity capabilities, access a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database from Linux using PHP and some freely available utilities as a test case, and run a basic database query.
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