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IBM developerWorks:
Going dynamic with PHP
February 09, 2006 @ 06:53:35

The IBM developerWorks section has posted a new tutorial on their site dealing with the creation and use of dynamic objects, member variables, and methods on the fly with PHP.

Objects are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, objects are a great way to encapsulate data and logic and create a more maintainable system. On the other hand, they can become verbose and require that you write a lot of redundant code where the best you can hope for is not to make any mistakes.

Three solutions are available to you. The first solution is simply to sit down at the keyboard and type for a while. That's fine for small projects, but I'm lazy. The second solution is to use a code generator that reads the database schema and writes the code for you. That's a great idea and a topic for another article. The third solution, which I cover in this article, is to write a single class that dynamically molds itself at runtime to the fields of a given table.

The tutorial walks you through the creation of this "bendy class" in the context of accessing a database through PHP. It uses the PEAR DB package to actually make the connection, but that's easily adapted to any database layer. All of the code is laid out for you, progressively getting more complex, with explainations for every step of the way. They even include methods for logging information about the connections made via a simple wrapper.

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