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Handling form submissions with PHP

From: Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL

Video: Handling form submissions with PHP

Once you've created a working data entry form, you can then handle your form submissions with a little bit of PHP code. For this demonstration, I'll use the file simpleform2.php. It has a copy of the form that I created in a previous video. The first step is to remember what the names of your form controls are. When I created this form, I created two text controls. The first one had a name and ID of firstname. You'll need to remember those values in order to handle your PHP form submission.

Handling form submissions with PHP

Once you've created a working data entry form, you can then handle your form submissions with a little bit of PHP code. For this demonstration, I'll use the file simpleform2.php. It has a copy of the form that I created in a previous video. The first step is to remember what the names of your form controls are. When I created this form, I created two text controls. The first one had a name and ID of firstname. You'll need to remember those values in order to handle your PHP form submission.

To make this easy to code, I'll use the Bindings panel. The Bindings panel lets you set up form and other types of variables that you can then easily insert into your PHP code. I'll go to the Plus button, and I'll choose Form Variable. I'll set a Form Variable name of firstname, matching the name and ID of the first form control, and I'll click OK. Then I'll repeat the process to create a Form Variable for lastname.

By placing these items in the Bindings panel, you're not actually changing the page yet; you're just creating a bit of reusable code that you can add to your page as you need to. Next, I'll look at the page in Code View, and I'll go to the top of the page. The first time the page is viewed, I'm only going to see the data entry form, but the second time the page is viewed after the form has been submitted, I want to get the values that the user typed into the form and display them on the screen. I need a little bit of PHP conditional code to do that.

I'll place the cursor after the body tag, and before the form, and make a little bit of space. Then I'll add a PHP code block. I'll go to the Insert panel to the PHP category, and I'll click on Code Block. Then I'll make a little bit of extra space inside the code block. Next, I'm going to ask the question, has the form been submitted? You can do this by checking for a particular variable, and asking whether it's set yet. The particular variable I'm interested in is the firstname variable.

Even if the user doesn't type anything into it, it will still create a form variable when the form is submitted. I'll use a PHP conditional statement, if, and then I'll put in a pair of parentheses, and then a pair of braces. Within the pair of parentheses, I'll use the isset function, and once again a pair of parentheses. I'm going to add the reference to the firstname form variable between the parentheses. Before I do this, I'm going down to the Properties panel, and I'll click Refresh, or press F5.

This causes Dreamweaver to read the page that I've just hand-coded, and it will give it the context to correctly add the PHP code I want. Next, I'll go to the Bindings panel, I'll locate my firstname variable, and I'll drag it and place it between the parentheses of the isset function. So, now I'm asking the question, does this variable exist? And if it does exist, I want to output this and the other variable to the screen. So, now I'll place the cursor between the curly braces, and I'll use the echo command a number of times to output some information.

I'll say echo, and then the word "Welcome," comma, space, I'll make sure to end that statement with a semicolon. I'll type the word "echo" again. Once again, I'll refresh before I use the Bindings panel. I'll go to the Bindings panel and drag in the firstname. Then I'll put in a dot. In PHP, that means I'm going to append, or add a value after that. Then I'll put in a space wrapped in quotes, and another dot. I'll once again refresh, go to the Bindings panel and drag in the lastname, and I'll close that statement with a semicolon.

Finally, I'll add one more echo command, and explicitly add a break tag, or br tag, to cause a line feed at the end of this line. So now, I'm handling and outputting the values that are submitted from the form, but I'm only doing this if the form was submitted already and this is the second time I'm viewing the page. I'll save my changes, and I'll test the page in an external browser. When the form opens, I'll click into the first control, and I'll type Davey Jones.

I'll click Submit, and when the form is submitted, I see the response, Welcome, Davey Jones. This response is created by the echo commands within the conditional code that's placed above the form. So, that's a look at the basics of how data entry forms work, and how you process them with PHP code. If your form was set up with a method of post, your variables will appear like this: dollar underscore POST, bracket, then the name of the form control, wrapped in quotes, close bracket.

And you can check to see whether the variable exists at any point by wrapping it in the PHP isset function.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL
Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL

61 video lessons · 36522 viewers

David Gassner
Author

 
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  1. 8m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      2m 17s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 40s
    4. Understanding the differences between Dreamweaver CS5.5 and CS6
      3m 26s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding static vs. dynamic web pages
      4m 32s
    2. Selecting application and database servers
      6m 10s
    3. Introducing Apache, MySQL, and PHP
      6m 36s
    4. Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP
      2m 13s
  3. 39m 34s
    1. Defining a Dreamweaver site
      3m 22s
    2. Configuring a PHP testing server
      7m 48s
    3. Creating and testing a PHP-based web page
      8m 25s
    4. Adding PHP commands with the Insert panel
      3m 14s
    5. Setting and outputting simple variables
      3m 56s
    6. Testing pages with Live view and Live Code view
      2m 9s
    7. Using server-side includes
      7m 50s
    8. Navigating included pages with the Code Navigator
      2m 50s
  4. 36m 37s
    1. Using code hinting with PHP variables
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding PHP custom classes
      6m 38s
    3. Adding Zend Framework to PHP on Windows
      5m 18s
    4. Adding Zend Framework to PHP on Mac
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Site-Specific Code Hints feature
      3m 43s
    6. Using Zend Framework classes with code hints
      7m 26s
    7. Managing reusable code with the Snippets panel
      3m 59s
  5. 18m 27s
    1. Understanding relational databases
      5m 26s
    2. Creating a MySQL database in phpMyAdmin
      4m 41s
    3. Adding data in phpMyAdmin
      2m 46s
    4. Importing a completed database from a script
      5m 34s
  6. 39m 35s
    1. Defining a Dreamweaver database connection
      5m 27s
    2. Building a simple recordset
      4m 31s
    3. Building an advanced recordset
      5m 1s
    4. Displaying data with repeating regions
      6m 4s
    5. Displaying data in a dynamic table
      4m 15s
    6. Formatting dynamic data
      4m 54s
    7. Displaying the total number of records
      2m 4s
    8. Limiting records with paging controls
      4m 5s
    9. Creating conditional regions
      3m 14s
  7. 43m 12s
    1. Building a simple data entry form
      5m 27s
    2. Handling form submissions with PHP
      5m 12s
    3. Creating a customer email form
      3m 9s
    4. Validating form controls with Spry
      7m 54s
    5. Populating a list control with dynamic data
      4m 50s
    6. Working with multiple checkbox controls
      8m 5s
    7. Sending email with Zend_Mail
      8m 35s
  8. 50m 51s
    1. Using data wizards
      6m 20s
    2. Formatting dates for SQL
      5m 27s
    3. Creating a custom data entry form
      4m 50s
    4. Preparing a database table for server behaviors
      3m 3s
    5. Using the Insert Record server behavior
      5m 42s
    6. Preparing an update form
      7m 6s
    7. Using the Update Form behavior
      5m 46s
    8. Creating list page links to edit and update data
      7m 3s
    9. Using the Delete Record server behavior
      5m 34s
  9. 14m 45s
    1. Creating a login form with a PHP server behavior
      6m 29s
    2. Protecting page access with PHP server behaviors
      4m 17s
    3. Logging out with a PHP server behavior
      3m 59s
  10. 22m 50s
    1. Configuring a remote server with FTP credentials
      4m 42s
    2. Synchronizing site assets with the remote server
      5m 27s
    3. Exporting the MySQL database to a script
      3m 8s
    4. Importing the MySQL database on a remote server
      2m 24s
    5. Configuring the site for the remote database
      7m 9s
  11. 52s
    1. Final thoughts
      52s

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