Working on version 1.1 of the SQL Server Driver for PHP

The SQL Server Driver for PHP team is hard at work on the version 1.1 of the extension.  We've received a lot of feedback for feature requests from PHP developers through the blog, forums, the Seattle PHP meetup group, and various conferences.  The most frequent feature requests have been in the following areas: 

  1. Support for PHP 5.3

  2. Support for handling UTF-8 strings in parameters and resultset values, without requiring calls to iconv or other extensions

  3. Support for scrollable results and row count

We are working on addressing these feature requests for the next version of the extension.


We are doing some preliminary work to test our existing version 1.0 extension with PHP 5.3 and providing guidance to help developers working with current builds of PHP 5.3 use the version 1.0 extension.  Keep an eye on this blog for more information regarding using the version 1.0 driver with PHP 5.3.  We expect to fully support PHP 5.3 with version 1.1 of our extension.


For UTF-8 strings, we are working on adding support for this and other character sets to the extension.  Having the SQL Server Driver for PHP handle UTF-8 strings means that the extension will handle the translations between UTF-8 and UCS-2 (little endian) since the SQL Server database engine does not currently support the UTF-8 character set.  We're working on handling parameters and resultset values using UTF-8, as well as handling the query strings in UTF-8 format.


We are also working on adding scrollable resultset support to the extension.  The initial version of the SQL Server Driver for PHP retrieves query results in an unbuffered forward-only mode, an approach that yields the best possible performance for retrieving query results from SQL Server but one where there is no way to know how many rows the resultset contains ahead of time.  We are planning on adding support for scrollable resultsets to the extension in version 1.1, giving PHP developers the ability to access any row as well as the ability to determine how many rows are available within the resultset.


David Sceppa

Program Manager - Microsoft SQL Server Driver for PHP

Comments (10)

  1. kirchner says:

    Any chance we’ll see an unix version anytime soon?

    The biggest barrier to SQL Server adoption in PHP projects is, IMHO, the lack of a production quality driver for unix.

    I mean, your driver IS cool. But the builtin Windows version of PHP driver for SQL Server works reasonably well. And if I were to run on Windows probably would go to ASP.NET.

  2. vbouret says:

    Wow! Wonderful! Thanks for listening!

    The UTF-8 support is very well thought. In PHP, the Unicode support is so poor I end up processing all strings as binary (UTF-8) and storing them in IMAGE fields in SQL Server so the server won’t mess with what is inside.

    I really look forward this new version. When can we expect it?

  3. hpet says:

    Any news on the progress? Specially UTF-8 support? Any  release dates known? Thank you.

  4. Thanks for the feedback so far.

    I can’t comment on the release timeframe at the moment.  We’re still discussing and prioritizing features at the moment, which affects the schedule.

    I also appreciate the feedback regarding Unix support.  Connectivity from non-Windows machines is on our radar.

    – David

  5. JMarkMurphy says:

    Not only Unix support, but PDO support as well.  Database specific extensions are the old way to access databases in PHP.  The new way is to go through the database abstraction layer using PDO.  I am finding that access to MSSQL is currently limited and not always easy to do.  In some cases I can use a windows server, but that is not the norm.  Most of the time I have PHP running on a Linux box, with an additional requirement to access MSSQL, and that is far too often very hard to do.  This driver makes it even harder because I cannot develop on a windows box with your driver, and then just run the code on the linux server.  This all needs to be totally transparent.  At this point I still have to recommend Oracle, DB2, or MySQL.

  6. Thanks, JMarkMurphy.

    We are looking more closely at PDO support.  Adding UTF-8, scrollable resultset and rowcount to the existing extension is a higher priority so we’re working on that first.

    – David

  7. jochem.blok says:

    Hello David.

    Is there a road map of the Sql Server Driver? I wonder if an Unix edition of the driver is available in months or years.



  8. hpet says:


    Any news available on 1.1?

    It would be nice to know aprox., so that we can coordinate some work.

    – Peter

  9. hpet says:

    We would greatly appreciate any response on version 1.1 as we need to decide which way to go.

  10. regwai says:

    It’s a good news if the driver supports on linux platform.

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