>Is it possible to select data from a database and have it be available for
>download without actually creating a file on the server?

Yes, of course :-)

Here is a tab-delimited file of upcoming events from 'whatever' table:

  require 'connect.inc';
  $query = "select * from whatever where whatdate >= now()";
  $upcoming = mysql_query($query, $connection) or error_log(mysql_error());
  while ($row = mysql_fetch_row($upcoming)){
    echo implode("\t", $row), "\n";

You may or may not want to add something like:

header("Content-type: application/octet-stream");

to force a download, as well as review the posts of the past few days (and
seemingly every week or so for the past 5 years) about how to force the
browsers to pick a "nice" filename for the "Save As..." box.

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