Brian Swan has a new post to his blog today looking at one of the connection options for the SQL Server driver in PHP - the "ReturnDatesAsStrings" setting that can make handling date and time information simpler for PHP.
This is short post to address a frustration I’ve seen mentioned on Twitter and in forums a lot: By default, the SQL Server Driver for PHP returns datetime columns as PHP DateTime objects, not strings. This can be especially frustrating if you are not aware of the ReturnDatesAsStrings connection option. By simply setting this option to 1 (or true) when you connect to the server, datetime columns will be returned as strings.
He includes some sample code showing how to use the setting (as a part of the settings array passed in to sqlsrv_connect) and the resulting array key from the fetched results on his sample table. This just gives you one more option for handling dates in your SQL Server-based application, especially if you don't need the full DateTIme object's functionality.