Today, the SQL Server Driver for PHP team released the production-ready 2.0 versions of the SQLSRV and PDO_SQLSRV drivers for SQL Server. You can…
- Read the official announcement on the SQL Server Driver for PHP team blog here: Microsoft Drivers for PHP for SQL Server 2.0 Released!
- Download the drivers from the Microsoft Download Center here: Download Center
- Find the documentation for the drivers in the MSDN library here: Documentation
The main focus of this release has been to provide PDO support via the PDO_SQLSRV driver with the aim of giving PHP developers the ability to leverage the benefits of writing database-agnostic code and having the option of using SQL Server. In addition to that, while the team was building the PDO_SQLSRV driver, they also took the opportunity to re-architect the code for the SQLSRV driver, folding functionality common to the two drivers into a single, easily-updatable core layer. Not only does this “under the covers” work show (IMHO) the team’s commitment to excellence and long term support for the drivers, but it allowed the team to build in some great features, such as…
- Windows authentication
- Connection pooling
- Metadata access
- Parameter binding
- “Scrollable” cursors
- UTF-8 encoding
- SQL Azure support
If you’ve been following this release since the first beta announcement, then none of this is news to you. Today’s release simply marks the completion work of feature design, implementation, and testing. However, what might not be so obvious is the type of work that went into designing, implementing, and testing these features in order to reach today’s milestone. I’ll quote Ashay Choudhary (@ashay_c, the Program Manager for the drivers) from his blog announcement:
“We’d like to think our engagement with the PHP community has been among our best and has helped achieve this high level of interoperability with Microsoft’s SQL Server. We listened to comments from the PHP community including core contributors to PHP, many core contributors from several popular PHP applications (such as Drupal, Doctrine, xPDO), several software vendors, and individual developers. We worked hard to meet the intent of PDO (simplifying data access) in our design for PDO_SQLSRV.”
Personally, I think that statement is true. From my perspective, the team’s participation in conferences (like DrupalCon and JumpIn Camp), participation in the forums, and activity on their team blog have all been taken up a notch or two in the last year. This doesn’t include the behind-the-scenes work of meetings and conference calls with members of the PHP community. I’d like to think that that work has not only led to the adoption of SQL Server support in some major PHP applications (e.g. Drupal, PHPBB, Gallery, SilverStripe, CollabPad, Moodle, Propel), but has generally led to the release of drivers that meet the needs of PHP developers. But, that’s my perspective…I’d be interested in yours. (Oh, and did I mention that the source code for both drivers has been released on CodePlex under the Apache 2.0 license?)
With the team’s commitment to community participation in mind, I have re-written a whitepaper about the SQL Server Drivers for PHP and released it on the TechNet Wiki (instead of the MSDN library, where Microsoft whitepapers are usually published): Accessing SQL Server Databases from PHP. My hope is that this paper will (with the help of others) provide one-stop-shopping for all the information you need to get started with either driver. The updated paper uses the example applications that are part of the driver documentation (Example Application (SQLSRV) and Example Application (PDO_SQLSRV)) to walk you through using many of the driver features. I can’t read minds, so I’m sure I’ve missed some things…please feel free to correct/add/edit content that does make it one-stop-shopping for getting started with the drivers.
Aside: The TechNet Wiki is relatively new and is growing fast. The number of contributors is growing rapidly, and the content related to using SQL Server with PHP is filling out nicely (although there is a long way to go). It would be great to see more content related to using PHP with other Microsoft technologies. I’m hoping to turn some of the blog posts I’ve written into wiki articles so that some of the questions and feedback I’ve received in comments can be easily incorporated by myself and anyone else who wants to add/edit content. If you have the time and inclination, don’t be shy about adding new content or adding your 2 cents to existing content. I (and lots of the people I work with) think (and hope) that the TechNet Wiki will become the definitive source of technical documentation for Microsoft technologies, but that will only happen with your contributions.
So, download the drivers and tell us what you think. Add information on the TechNet Wiki as you see fit. Here are a couple more resources that you might find useful:
- The API for the PDO_SQLSRV driver has not changed since the CTP2 release. If you are migrating from the CTP1 release to the production-ready release, you might find this blog post helpful: CTP2 of the PHP Drivers for SQL Server Released!
- Ask questions and/or provide feedback on the forum: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sqldriverforphp/threads