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PHP MySQL INSERT Query

Inserting Data into a MySQL Database Table

Now that you've understood how to create database and tables in MySQL. In this tutorial you will learn how to execute SQL query to insert records into a table.

The INSERT INTO statement is used to insert new rows in a database table.

Let's make a SQL query using the INSERT INTO statement with appropriate values, after that we will execute this insert query through passing it to the PHP mysqli_query() function to insert data in table. Here's an example, which insert a new row to the persons table by specifying values for the first_namelast_name and email fields.

<?php
/* Attempt MySQL server connection. Assuming you are running MySQL
server with default setting (user 'root' with no password) */
$link = mysqli_connect("localhost", "root", "", "demo");
 
// Check connection
if($link === false){
    die("ERROR: Could not connect. " . mysqli_connect_error());
}
 
// Attempt insert query execution
$sql = "INSERT INTO persons (first_name, last_name, email) VALUES ('Peter', 'Parker', 'peterparker@mail.com')";
if(mysqli_query($link, $sql)){
    echo "Records inserted successfully.";
} else{
    echo "ERROR: Could not able to execute $sql. " . mysqli_error($link);
}
 
// Close connection
mysqli_close($link);
?>

If you remember from the preceding chapter, the id field was marked with the AUTO_INCREMENT flag. This modifier tells the MySQL to automatically assign a value to this field if it is left unspecified, by incrementing the previous value by 1.

Inserting Multiple Rows into a Table

You can also insert multiple rows into a table with a single insert query at once. To do this, include multiple lists of column values within the INSERT INTO statement, where column values for each row must be enclosed within parentheses and separated by a comma.

Let's insert few more rows into the persons table, like this:

<?php
/* Attempt MySQL server connection. Assuming you are running MySQL
server with default setting (user 'root' with no password) */
$link = mysqli_connect("localhost", "root", "", "demo");
 
// Check connection
if($link === false){
    die("ERROR: Could not connect. " . mysqli_connect_error());
}
 
// Attempt insert query execution
$sql = "INSERT INTO persons (first_name, last_name, email) VALUES
            ('John', 'Rambo', 'johnrambo@mail.com'),
            ('Clark', 'Kent', 'clarkkent@mail.com'),
            ('John', 'Carter', 'johncarter@mail.com'),
            ('Harry', 'Potter', 'harrypotter@mail.com')";
if(mysqli_query($link, $sql)){
    echo "Records added successfully.";
} else{
    echo "ERROR: Could not able to execute $sql. " . mysqli_error($link);
}
 
// Close connection
mysqli_close($link);
?>

Now, go to phpMyAdmin (http://localhost/phpmyadmin/) and check out the persons table data inside demo database. You will find the value for the id column is assigned automatically by incrementing the value of previous id by 1.

Insert Data into a Database from an HTML Form

In the previous section, we have learned how to insert data into database from a PHP script. Now, we'll see how we can insert data into database obtained from an HTML form. Let's create an HTML form that can be used to insert new records to persons table.

Step 1: Creating the HTML Form

Here's a simple HTML form that has three text <input> fields and a submit button.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<title>Add Record Form</title>
</head>
<body>
<form action="insert.php" method="post">
    <p>
        <label for="firstName">First Name:</label>
        <input type="text" name="first_name" id="firstName">
    </p>
    <p>
        <label for="lastName">Last Name:</label>
        <input type="text" name="last_name" id="lastName">
    </p>
    <p>
        <label for="emailAddress">Email Address:</label>
        <input type="text" name="email" id="emailAddress">
    </p>
    <input type="submit" value="Submit">
</form>
</body>
</html>

Step 2: Retrieving and Inserting the Form Data

When a user clicks the submit button of the add record HTML form, in the example above, the form data is sent to 'insert.php' file. The 'insert.php' file connects to the MySQL database server, retrieves forms fields using the PHP $_REQUEST variables and finally execute the insert query to add the records. Here is the complete code of our 'insert.php' file:

<?php
/* Attempt MySQL server connection. Assuming you are running MySQL
server with default setting (user 'root' with no password) */
$link = mysqli_connect("localhost", "root", "", "demo");
 
// Check connection
if($link === false){
    die("ERROR: Could not connect. " . mysqli_connect_error());
}
 
// Escape user inputs for security
$first_name = mysqli_real_escape_string($link, $_REQUEST['first_name']);
$last_name = mysqli_real_escape_string($link, $_REQUEST['last_name']);
$email = mysqli_real_escape_string($link, $_REQUEST['email']);
 
// Attempt insert query execution
$sql = "INSERT INTO persons (first_name, last_name, email) VALUES ('$first_name', '$last_name', '$email')";
if(mysqli_query($link, $sql)){
    echo "Records added successfully.";
} else{
    echo "ERROR: Could not able to execute $sql. " . mysqli_error($link);
}
 
// Close connection
mysqli_close($link);
?>

In the next chapter we will extend this insert query example and take it one step further by implementing the prepared statement for better security and performance.

This is very basic example of inserting the form data in a MySQL database table. You can extend this example and make it more interactive by adding validations to the user inputs before inserting it to the database tables. Please check out the tutorial on PHP form validation to learn more about sanitizing and validating user inputs using PHP.

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