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Lecture Notes - Week 5


  • Chapters:
    • 15 - Displaying a List of Item Details

Screencast - Week 5

Outline of Topics

  • Simple Application to List Student Details

  • Designing the Database

  • Creating the Database

  • Adding some Data

  • Create a Main Page for Displaying a List of Items

  • GET vs. POST

  • Create a Details Page

  • Super Global $_GET[]


Simple Application to List Student Details

Let's say we want to create a simple application to display a list of students and their details. We'd like the main page to look like this:

And when we select a student, we want to see a details page that looks like this:

Notice we have a link to navigate back to the main students listing page.

Designing the Database

  • Let's start with the data we need first:
    • first name
    • last name
    • email address

Let's create a single table to hold our student data and call it studentListing and store it in a database called Student.

In our studentListing table we'll need the following fields:

  • id for the primary key
  • first_name
  • last_name
  • email

Creating the Database

  • Let's use Adminer to create the Student database:

  • Now let create the studentListing table with the following fields:

    • For the id field:

      • Enter id under Column name
      • Keep the Type as int
      • Select the AI radio button for auto increment

        By naming a field id and making it auto-incrementing, Adminer will set this field to be the primary key for this table

    • For the first_name field:

      • Enter first_name under Column name
      • Keep the Type as varchar
      • Enter 25 for the length
    • For the last_name field:

      • Enter last_name under Column name
      • Keep the Type as varchar
      • Enter 25 for the length
    • For the email field:

      • Enter email under Column name
      • Keep the Type as varchar
      • Enter 50 for the length

Here is the a screenshot of the Student database in Adminer:

And here is a screenshot of the studentListing table:

Adding some Data

Let's use Adminer to add some data to our studentListing table:

  • Add the following 3 student entries:

    • Homer Simpson

      • first_name: Homer
      • last_name: Simpson
      • email:
    • Marge Simpson

      • first_name: Marge
      • last_name: Simpson
      • email:
    • Bart Simpson

      • first_name: Bart
      • last_name: Simpson
      • email:

Here is what the studentListing table should look like after adding this data:

Create a Main Page for Displaying a List of Items

First, let's create our main Student Listing script and call it index.php.


  • POST is typically used in forms and is intended to change the state on the server
<form method="POST" action="doSomethingGood.php">
  • GET can be sent from a form (set the method attribute to GET)
<form method="GET" action="doSomethingGreat.php">
  • GET can also be sent as a URL (which is how we're using it in this example)
"<a href='studentdetails.php?id=" . $row['id'] . "'>"
        . $row['first_name'] . ' ' . $row['last_name'] . "</a>"

Create a Details Page

Getting back to our Student Listing application, let's create that studentdetails.php script to display the details of the student we selected from the main page.

Super Global $_GET[]

  • Similiar to $_POST[], $_GET[] is a super global array variable that holds either form data when sent from a form, or data embedded in a URL

  • When sending a GET request from a form, the data is automatically sent and accessed using the name attributes as indexed keys into the array

  • When embedded as query parameters in a URL, the data is built as key-value pairs as part of the URL. Each value in the array is indexed using the key as mentioned earlier

  • multiple query parameters are separated by ampersands (&)

Let's go back to our studentdetails.php script to see how we apply this.

Week 5 Lab