Well, I have reached a solution that works brilliantly - unfortunately it
doesn't involve connecting to the MS Access db file.  Instead I have beaten
the server administrator with a stick (harassing by phone works!) until he
installed MySQL for me.  Now I can work with PHP&MySQL in harmony!

Thanks to all who offered help.  Especially the last few ideas about using
PHP to parse .csv files.  That would have definitely been the only solution
given my situation.

Until the next impossible situation...

: Reply-to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] :
|-----Original Message-----
|From: Kosala Atapattu [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
|Sent: 13 May 2004 05:09
|To: Alex Gemmell; PHP List
|Subject: RE: [PHP-DB] Linux/PHP/Access Database - oh boy :(
|Hi Alex,
|Assuming that I understood your situation I'll make this suggestion. I'm
|not sure whether this option is supported in you PHP version but I think
|it'll be definitely available after (and with) 5.0.
|There are new function series called Sqlite (www.sqlite.org), an embded
|file based SQL driver which supports SQL-92. As I see, this will be the
|best substitute for Access MDB, on Linux platforms. From what I've tried
|sqlite is much faster and much stable than MS Access.
|This would've been the ideal solution if your PHP version is supported. If
|not the case still U can stick to Flat File based or CSV based data
|solutions (U'll have to mess up lot with PHP :)).
|-----Original Message-----
|From: Alex Gemmell [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
|Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 6:12 PM
|To: PHP List
|Subject: [PHP-DB] Linux/PHP/Access Database - oh boy :(
|Hello all,
|I am fairly new to Linux/PHP so please bear with me.  I have an awfully
|awkward problem to solve - a stop gap solution for the next 6 months until
|we have out in-house servers set up and running.  I also have a very short
|timeframe to sort this out.  I am using PHP on a remotely hosted Linux web
|server to build my website, however I have been given a MS Access database
|to use!  Despite my best efforts (and two days Google trawling) I haven't
|found a suitable solution so I am turning to your collective knowledge...
|First things first - I do not run the server and cannot install any new
|tools on to it (I cannot access the folders above my web root).  There are
|lots of suggestions on the net about installing MDBTools and UnixODBC RPM
|(http://bryanmills.net:8086/archives/000099.html) - but that involves the
|admin who won't do it!  I can, of course, put scripts that may help in the
|actual web folder and reference them if anyone has any ideas...
|I know I must use a DSN-less connection.  I first tried connecting directly
|to the mdb file using:
|       $conn = new COM("ADODB.Connection") or die ("Cannot create ADODB
|Connection object.");
|       //$connstr =
|"PROVIDER=MSDASQL;DBQ=/prices/mydb.mdb;"."DRIVER={Microsoft Access Driver
|       //$connstr = "Provider=Microsoft,.Jet.OLEDB.4.0; Data Source=".
|realpath("prices/mydb.mdb") ." ;";
|       // I've never got the above two connection strings to work but I
|include them for completeness and in case any realises they might help me!
|       $connstr = "DRIVER={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb)}; DBQ=".
|realpath("prices/mydb.mdb") ." ;";
|       $conn->open($connstr);
|This worked on my localhost running IIS 5 (unsurprisingly) but fell over
|immediately on the Linux box.  I am told this is because COM support in PHP
|before version 4.3.x is buggy (he PHP version installed on the server is
|4.1.2).  Is this true?  Will upgrading to version 4.3.x solve all my
|Also, I heard that converting the .mdb file to a .dbf file might help - but
|how do I connect to that with PHP?  The PHP manual says this about dbase
|"These functions allow you to access records stored in dBase-format (dbf)
|databases. There is no support for indexes or memo fields."
|That's no good because I have long text fields in the Access database that
|are of type "memo"!
|The Manual also says "we recommend that you do not use dBase files as your
|production database" - eek!  It's only a small database (one table with
|about 50 records, each with no more than 20 fields) so hopefully it will
|Am I right in thinking I have very few options?   I don't want to move over
|to ASP (would that even help?) because it means learning VBScript and I
|don't have a lot of time.  Also, I can't use another database (e.g. MySQL)
|cos the server admin is NOT helping me and won't install anything new.
|I know 99% of you will want to tell me to just back out of this horrible
|tangle and take a different route, but is there one person out there who
|can help me get through this nightmare?
|Thank you!
|Alex Gemmell
|: Reply-to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]:
|Or call me for free using Skype:

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