PHP with MySQL Essential Training
Illustration by Don Barnett

Blueprinting the application


PHP with MySQL Essential Training

with Kevin Skoglund

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Video: Blueprinting the application

Now that we've learned the fundamentals of PHP and also know how to connect PHP to MySQL, we're going to put it all together. We're going to build our first PHP project. That's going to give us the opportunity to apply what we've learned to see how to approach development tasks. And to get an overall feel for the flow of development, as well as to pick up a few more tips to help you to write better code and to avoid common mistakes. The project that we're going to be building is a Content Management System or CMS for short. Now if you've never worked with a CMS before, the idea is to have private web pages that help us to manage the content of our public website.
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  1. 4m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      3m 8s
  2. 15m 6s
    1. What is PHP?
      3m 52s
    2. The history of PHP
      2m 51s
    3. Why choose PHP?
      4m 10s
    4. Installation overview
      4m 13s
  3. 1h 3m
    1. Overview
      2m 33s
    2. Working with Apache Web Server
      6m 56s
    3. Changing the document root
      7m 24s
    4. Installing to Yosemite NEW
      8m 13s
    5. Enabling PHP
      6m 16s
    6. Upgrading PHP
      3m 30s
    7. Configuring PHP
      10m 3s
    8. Installing MySQL
      5m 46s
    9. Configuring MySQL
      7m 24s
    10. Text editor
      5m 1s
  4. 31m 25s
    1. Overview
      3m 27s
    2. Installing WampServer
      5m 46s
    3. Finding the document root
      2m 24s
    4. Configuring PHP
      8m 12s
    5. Configuring MySQL
      5m 45s
    6. Text editor
      5m 51s
  5. 19m 12s
    1. Embedding PHP code on a page
      6m 43s
    2. Outputting dynamic text
      5m 55s
    3. The operational trail
      2m 27s
    4. Inserting code comments
      4m 7s
  6. 1h 18m
    1. Variables
      7m 50s
    2. Strings
      4m 38s
    3. String functions
      8m 54s
    4. Numbers part one: Integers
      6m 27s
    5. Numbers part two: Floating points
      5m 25s
    6. Arrays
      10m 0s
    7. Associative arrays
      6m 37s
    8. Array functions
      6m 33s
    9. Booleans
      3m 50s
    10. NULL and empty
      5m 15s
    11. Type juggling and casting
      8m 27s
    12. Constants
      4m 43s
  7. 27m 37s
    1. If statements
      6m 0s
    2. Else and elseif statements
      4m 16s
    3. Logical operators
      7m 30s
    4. Switch statements
      9m 51s
  8. 42m 15s
    1. While loops
      8m 41s
    2. For loops
      5m 59s
    3. Foreach loops
      8m 16s
    4. Continue
      8m 28s
    5. Break
      4m 8s
    6. Understanding array pointers
      6m 43s
  9. 37m 25s
    1. Defining functions
      8m 25s
    2. Function arguments
      5m 32s
    3. Returning values from a function
      7m 33s
    4. Multiple return values
      4m 53s
    5. Scope and global variables
      6m 2s
    6. Setting default argument values
      5m 0s
  10. 20m 18s
    1. Common problems
      3m 47s
    2. Warnings and errors
      8m 36s
    3. Debugging and troubleshooting
      7m 55s
  11. 57m 57s
    1. Links and URLs
      5m 33s
    2. Using GET values
      5m 35s
    3. Encoding GET values
      8m 41s
    4. Encoding for HTML
      9m 26s
    5. Including and requiring files
      7m 40s
    6. Modifying headers
      6m 45s
    7. Page redirection
      6m 43s
    8. Output buffering
      7m 34s
  12. 1h 3m
    1. Building forms
      7m 28s
    2. Detecting form submissions
      5m 59s
    3. Single-page form processing
      7m 57s
    4. Validating form values
      10m 40s
    5. Problems with validation logic
      9m 54s
    6. Displaying validation errors
      7m 23s
    7. Custom validation functions
      6m 28s
    8. Single-page form with validations
      7m 25s
  13. 28m 5s
    1. Working with cookies
      2m 49s
    2. Setting cookie values
      5m 55s
    3. Reading cookie values
      6m 1s
    4. Unsetting cookie values
      4m 51s
    5. Working with sessions
      8m 29s
  14. 48m 39s
    1. MySQL introduction
      6m 43s
    2. Creating a database
      7m 41s
    3. Creating a database table
      7m 42s
    4. CRUD in MySQL
      5m 48s
    5. Populating a MySQL database
      7m 32s
    6. Relational database tables
      6m 40s
    7. Populating the relational table
      6m 33s
  15. 56m 4s
    1. Database APIs in PHP
      4m 51s
    2. Connecting to MySQL with PHP
      7m 45s
    3. Retrieving data from MySQL
      8m 47s
    4. Working with retrieved data
      6m 12s
    5. Creating records with PHP
      6m 58s
    6. Updating and deleting records with PHP
      9m 6s
    7. SQL injection
      3m 5s
    8. Escaping strings for MySQL
      6m 45s
    9. Introducing prepared statements
      2m 35s
  16. 35m 58s
    1. Blueprinting the application
      7m 19s
    2. Building the CMS database
      5m 14s
    3. Establishing your work area
      4m 38s
    4. Creating and styling the first page
      4m 22s
    5. Making page assets reusable
      6m 36s
    6. Connecting the application to the database
      7m 49s
  17. 32m 49s
    1. Adding pages to the navigation subjects
      5m 58s
    2. Refactoring the navigation
      6m 7s
    3. Selecting pages from the navigation
      6m 2s
    4. Highlighting the current page
      5m 26s
    5. Moving the navigation to a function
      9m 16s
  18. 1h 45m
    1. Finding a subject in the database
      9m 48s
    2. Refactoring the page selection
      10m 52s
    3. Creating a new subject form
      6m 55s
    4. Processing form values and adding subjects
      11m 20s
    5. Passing data in the session
      9m 16s
    6. Validating form values
      9m 40s
    7. Creating an edit subject form
      8m 30s
    8. Using single-page submission
      7m 44s
    9. Deleting a subject
      9m 44s
    10. Cleaning up
      10m 37s
    11. Assignment: Pages CRUD
      4m 30s
    12. Assignment results: Pages CRUD
      6m 10s
  19. 39m 26s
    1. The public appearance
      8m 52s
    2. Using a context for conditional code
      11m 37s
    3. Adding a default subject behavior
      6m 9s
    4. The public content area
      5m 51s
    5. Protecting page visibility
      6m 57s
  20. 1h 3m
    1. User authentication overview
      4m 3s
    2. Admin CRUD
      8m 41s
    3. Encrypting passwords
      7m 26s
    4. Salting passwords
      5m 42s
    5. Adding password encryption to CMS
      11m 54s
    6. New PHP password functions
      3m 13s
    7. Creating a login system
      11m 28s
    8. Checking for authorization
      5m 48s
    9. Creating a logout page
      5m 40s
  21. 2m 4s
    1. Next steps
      2m 4s

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PHP with MySQL Essential Training from
14h 24m Beginner Jun 04, 2013 Updated May 20, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

PHP is a popular, reliable programming language at the foundation of many smart, data-driven websites. This comprehensive course from Kevin Skoglund helps developers learn the basics of PHP (including variables, logical expressions, loops, and functions), understand how to connect PHP to a MySQL database, and gain experience developing a complete web application with site navigation, form validation, and a password-protected admin area. Kevin also covers the basic CRUD routines for updating a database, debugging techniques, and usable user interfaces. Along the way, he provides practical advice, offers examples of best practices, and demonstrates refactoring techniques to improve existing code.

Topics include:
  • What is PHP?
  • Installing and configuring PHP and MySQL
  • Exploring data types
  • Controlling code with logical expressions and loops
  • Using PHP's built-in functions
  • Writing custom functions
  • Building dynamic webpages
  • Working with forms and form data
  • Using cookies and sessions to store data
  • Connecting to MySQL with PHP
  • Creating and editing database records
  • Building a content management system
  • Adding user authentication
Kevin Skoglund

Blueprinting the application

Now that we've learned the fundamentals of PHP and also know how to connect PHP to MySQL, we're going to put it all together. We're going to build our first PHP project. That's going to give us the opportunity to apply what we've learned to see how to approach development tasks. And to get an overall feel for the flow of development, as well as to pick up a few more tips to help you to write better code and to avoid common mistakes. The project that we're going to be building is a Content Management System or CMS for short. Now if you've never worked with a CMS before, the idea is to have private web pages that help us to manage the content of our public website.

In other words, the public mostly just views our content. That is they read it from the database. But then there will be an admin area. And the admins will be able to do CRUD on the content. That is create, read, update, and delete the subject and pages of our website. An essential first step when starting any web project, is to create a project blueprint. If the site is simple, maybe you'll just type up a few notes or draw a picture on a single piece of paper. But if the site is complex, you may need page mockups and flow charts to draw it out. The fundamental idea in either case is to take what's in your head and to put it on paper, so that you can look it over and assess it before you start to work.

It really helps you to clarify the work ahead. It also forces you to think about problems that you may have otherwise put off until you were well down the road with the development. I usually do my blueprinting by getting out a pen and a piece of paper, and then drawing boxes to represent the different parts and pages of the site. I draw connections between the boxes, and I make lists inside the boxes. By the end, I have the full picture in front of me, and I don't have to hold all the moving parts in my head anymore. Instead, I can use that part of my brain for development. And then, I don't have to try to build the whole site at once. I can tackle it piece by piece, section by section. And I can tack my blueprint up on the one in front of me, and I can refer to the big picture constantly while I'm developing.

It's both efficient and liberating. So, let's try this blueprinting process together. The web site that we're going to build will need to have two areas. The public area, and the admin area. The public area is going to be fairly simple. The pages are all going to have a similar page structure. An area for navigation, like a menu of content. And an area for the content. User will pick a navigation item, and then the PHP that loads will show that page's content. PIck a new navigation item, get new content. And I want us to create sets of pages which are grouped by subject. So, we'll both be picking a subject and a page.

And for the admin area, I know that I'm going to need a login page where we can ask admin users to provide a username and a password to authenticate themselves, and gain access. If their login fails, we'll ask them to try again, we won't let them into the site. If they log in successfully, though, we'll take them to a Admin Menu page. That's just a simple landing page that lists the options that they have in the Admin Area. Those options are just links that take you to other pages. So, the menu choices will be Manage Content, Manage the Admins, and Logout. So, I'm going to now draw an arrow down to the manage content area. Now I don't know exactly what this area's going to look like yet. But I do know that it's going to need to allow us to perform subject CRUD and page CRUD.

That is, be able to create, read, update, delete subjects and pages. And I'll need a navigation of some sort to let me navigate between the different subjects and pages that I want to edit. Now I could create a separate page for each action in the CRUD, but because those actions are so common I think I can just call it CRUD. And I'll know what I mean, I'll know that I need a form when I want to create something, I'll need another form when I want to update something. I'll know that if I want to delete something I will need something maybe that says, are you sure you want to delete this page. It's the same idea every time. When I actually start work on it I might decide to map them out in more detail, but for now just saying CRUD will suffice.

And then I'll also need another CRUD section for the admin users, so it's going to be manage admins and this is where we'll decide what admins are allowed into site. We'll be able to create their user names and their passwords, delete them, edit them, that kind of thing. And then our final menu option is going to be log out which will form the action of logging us out and then take you back to the login page. Okay, so now that we have it blue printed out, what order should we tackle these in? Now in real life you could approach them in almost any order, but for the purpose of teaching you, I think it's going to be best if we start with building a navigation of subject and pages. And then get our navigation choices to retrieve and display page content and from there, we can start working on the CRUD for those pages. So, we can start managing our content.

Then, we'll move over to the public area, and we'll differentiate between the public side and the admin side. At that point, we'll have a CMS. But it's going to be missing the whole user authentication layer. So, we'll add our admins, our log-in and log-out pages, and learn how to perform authentication. In case you're still having trouble visualizing the CMS I've described, let me show you a quick demo of the finished project we'll be creating. So, this is what our finish Widget Corp application is going to look like. I'm looking at index.php, that's the default page that the public will see, the public side of the site. And you'll see that I have a header up here at the top that says Widget Corp. That's my fictional company I'll be using.

And then I have a navigation that runs down the left side with links in it. And over n the right side, I have page content. Which, right now, just has a simple welcome message. When I click on About Widget Corp, we can see that some pages open up beneath it. And it goes ahead and selects the first page, Our Mission. And displays that content over in the right area. And I've just some placeholder content there for what Widget Corp's mission might be. If I select the page for Our History, it changes to show our history instead over on that side. If I select a new subject, Products, you'll notice that the pages under about widget corp collapse. And now we see an expanded list of pages for products, large widgets and small widgets, and same thing for services where we just have one, which is Retrofitting.

So, that's the public side, that's what the public is going to see for the content management system. For the admins though we'll go to login.php. Widget Corp Admin, we put in our username and password, I have kskoglund and secret as mine. When I submit it, I'm now logged in. And I'm now at admin.php which is a menu page, it welcomes me by my username, kskoglund, and I have a couple of areas I can go to. The manage website content, manage admin users, or logout. Let's go to website content. I'll click on that link.

Please select a subject or a page. I have a very similar navigation to what I had on the public site, except that it's not collapsing those down. It's showing me all the things all the time. And you'll notice there's a few extra things there as well. Certification, Today's Widget Trivia for example. Those are items that were set to be visible no so that the public is not seeing them. But for us we are able to see them in the Admin Menu. We can also add a new subject or we can click on any subject and edit it. And then it shows us the pages that are in this subject and same thing, we can add a new page to it or we can edit those pages.

And that allows us to control the position. It allows us to set the visibility and edit the content itself. And then cancel, of course, will take us out of there. There's also a delete link that you might have seen there right at the bottom. It'll allow us to delete pages as well. Same thing is going to be true for subjects. Let's go back to the main menu and you'll see that for the admins, we have something very similar, where we're able to edit different admins. And change their passwords or add new admins to our system. And then, of course, last of all is logout. And once you're logged out, then of course you shouldn't be able to get to admin.php.

You shouldn't be able to get to manage_content.php. Those are protected areas and they just take you back to the log in page every time. So, that's what our finished product is going to look like. We're going to have our public area and we're going to have our admin area. And the admin area's going to be a password-protected place to manage the content that goes into our public area.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about PHP with MySQL Essential Training .

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Q: This course was revised on 6/4/2013. What changed?
A: The old version of this course was 6 years old and it was time for a complete revision, using PHP 5.4. (The tutorials will work with any version of PHP and covers any differences you might encounter). The author has also added updated installation instructions for Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8. The topics and end project are the same, but the code is slightly different. It also addresses frequently asked questions from the previous version.
Q: This course was updated on 5/20/2015. What changed?
A: We added one movie called "Changing the document root in Yosemite," which helps the Mac installation run more smoothly.
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