MySQL, an integral part of LAMP stack, is the preferable database solution for PHP web applications. Database is the most important and a fundamental component of web applications and hence, building a strong and dependable database is necessary for efficient performance of PHP applications. While PHP is quite easy and can be coded for applications within few hours even by the newcomers, it takes a lot of expertise and time of the developers for developing a reliable database. It is seen with most of the PHP developers making the following mistakes during the PHP MySQL development process. This article gives its readers a good idea of what can be the relevant solutions for the problems arising out of the common mistakes in PHP MySQL development.
1. Using MyISAM Database Engine:
MySQL has number of database engines for use, but however, MyISAM is the default one used. With MyISAM there are certain disadvantages. For example, it doesn’t support foreign key constraints or transactions that are required to maintain data integrity and the whole table gets locked whenever a record in inserted or updated. This can be very daunting task and can have a harmful effect on the performance of PHP application as usage grows. A better solution to this is to use InnoDB instead of MyISAM which is comparatively a better database.
2. Using PHP MySQL Functions:
Many PHP applications rely on MySQL library functions like mysql_connect, mysql_query etc. But in case if you are using MySQL 4.1.3 or an advanced version, using mysqli extension is a better option as mysqli is the improved version of MySQL and offers advantages like prepared statements that prevent SQL-injection attacks and increase performance, multiple statements and transaction support, object-oriented interface and much more.
3. Avoiding UTF-8:
Usually this is the problem with developers in countries like US, UK etc. They often make a mistake to focus on only English and ultimately find their application cannot be used elsewhere. They forget or in cases avoid using international standards like UTF-8. UTF-8 is usually supported by advanced PHP versions like PHP 6 or later but however, there are almost negligible obstructing factors that can limit a developer to set MySQL character sets to UTF-8. UTF-8 can resolve the international issues related to your applications.
4. Using the Wrong Data Types:
It’s always preferable to use only the relevant data types to define the data in database. MySQL supports data types like numeric, string, time etc. However, many of them go for using their own data types, for example, storing PHP objects in String data type. As a result of such practices, there are possibilities for your database to become a dumb store and lead to severe problems in the future.
5. Using PHP over SQL:
This is a problem often with newbies who are tempted to solve problems in the language they know rather than going with MySQL. This can sometimes lead to unnecessary and slow code transactions. For example, instead of using simple AVG() function supported by MySQL some of them may go for using PHP loop to calculate average of values. This would take time and slow up the process. Avoid such methods of coding and utilize the strengths of the database for efficient performance.
6. Under or Over-Indexing:
Usually indexes are applied to the columns in the WHERE clause of SELECT query. With index searching process to locate a particular record to answer a query can be done faster with a faster search algorithm while this would take more time with no indexes. However, it is also recommended to use indexes only where necessary as they are generated for every insert or update in table. Over-indexing may harm the performance of the database.
Only MySQL experts would be aware of these best practices. So, always consider hiring the PHP MySQL development services of experts and experienced professionals for better results with PHP web application development needs of your enterprise.