Lesson 5.5. SQL queries in PHP


We'll assume the existence of the variable $db. This variable contains the [database connexion parameters(/en/web-dev-class/lesson-5-04-mysql-connection-in-php/#connection) created according to the source code presented on the page Connexion MySQL en PHP.


The syntax for submitting a MySQL query is quite simple. It creates a string containing the SQL query and call the the method exec() from the PDO class (object $db) :

$sql = "INSERT INTO `users` (`firstname`, `lastname`) VALUES ('Lary', 'Page')";

Unfortunately, this syntax does not protect against SQL injections. If the values in the query (here Larry and Page) comes from a form, they will be inserted directly into the string.

Parametric queries

To prevent SQL injections, you should separate the values of the SQL commands. Here is the previous example with the values extracted from the query :

$query = $db->prepare( "INSERT INTO `users` (`firstname`, `lastname`) VALUES (:firstname, :lastname)");
$nom ='Lary';
$query->bindParam(':firstname', $nom);
$query->bindValue(':lastname', 'Page');

You will notice that the query no longer contains the values, but labels (or parameters) (:firstname and :lastname) which will be associated with their values when the bindParam or bindValue function is called. These parameters must start with a colon so that the MySQL engine can MySQL engine can differentiate them from commands or other values.

We strongly recommand usin parametric queries for security reasons.


Using phpMyAdmin, create a new database named myBase.

Run the following SQL command in phpMyAdmin to create a new table:

  lastname VARCHAR(100),
  firstname VARCHAR(100)

After writing the [database connection code]((/en/web-dev-class/lesson-5-04-mysql-connection-in-php/#connection), add the following lines:

$prenom = 'Lary';
$nom = 'page';

$sql = "INSERT INTO `users` (`firstname`, `lastname`) VALUES ( '".$prenom."', '".$nom."' )";

Check in phpMyAdmin that a new row has been created in the users table.

Test again with the following code:

$prenom = 'Lary';
$nom = "Page'); DROP TABLE users; -- ";

$sql = "INSERT INTO `users` (`firstname`, `lastname`) VALUES ( '$prenom', '$nom' )";

Check in phpMyAdmin that a new row has been created in the users table.

Repeat the exercise with parametric queries (prepare, bindParam and execute).

See also

Last update : 03/10/2022