Join David Powers for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before watching this course, part of Exporting Data to Files with PHP.
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To use this course effectively, you should already know how to write a PHP script. In addition to the basic syntax, you should be familiar with arrays, loops, and PHP built-in functions. Although I'll explain what various functions do, you should be prepared to look up unfamiliar functions in the PHP online documentation. You should also know how to use PHP 5 classes and objects. You don't need to write any classes yourself, but this course makes extensive use of open source libraries and classes written specifically for this course.
We will also be using some XML and manipulating XML data with XSLT. You don't need previous experience of XSLT. But you should at least understand how data is stored in XML. If you're in doubt about your skill set, there are several courses in the lynda.com online training library to get you up to speed. My Introducing PHP course covers all the basic syntax. As does my PHP for Web Designers. If you need a refresher on PHP 5 classes, take a look at my Uploading Files Securely with PHP.
Working with Data on the Web with Joseph Lowery offers a good, concise introduction to XML and XSLT. Check out chapter three, Exploring XML. If you're ready to get going, in addition to a suitable text editor, you'll need a web server running PHP 5.3 or later. This course is database neutral. If you've got MySQL, that's fine. But the exercise files also contain all the necessary data in SQL Lite 3.
Chapter three shows how to create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. If you want to check the result in Excel, you'll need Excel 2007 or later for Windows, or Excel 2008 or later for Mac. However, don't worry if you don't have Excel, the output file is compatible with Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Both of which are open source suites that can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet. You'll also need one of these office suites to create the template for an open document text file in chapter six.
And if you want to export to Microsoft Word format, you'll need Microsoft Word 2007 or later for Windows or Microsoft Word 2008 or later for Mac. I'm recording this course on Windows, but I've also tested the files and techniques on Mac OS X.
- Connecting to the database with PDO or MySQL Improved
- Outputting data into a simple text or CSV file
- Generating a spreadsheet
- Creating columns and headers
- Using a class to generate XML
- Creating a page template