This new tutorial from the Zend Developer Zone (by Vikram Vaswani) looks at getting data objects set up between PHP and the DB_OO2 package.
Data objects, which provide an API for accessing and manipulating database tables, are one such tool. There are a number of implementations for data objects in PHP, most notably the popular PEAR DB_DataObject package. This tutorial focuses on one such implementation, the DB_OO2 package, showing you how it can significantly reduce your coding time when working with database tables.
The DB_OO2 package (PEAR) lets you set up references to your database tables as objects and interface with them by setting properties and calling standardized functions. Many of the PHP frameworks out there let you do this same sort of thing, but those are built in - this method lets you use the package wherever.