How to post the values of set checkboxes back to the database – Stage 5 complete!

Much play has stopped work for a number of days, but tonight I picked up my laptop and went back to the problem that I had in passing the values of the checkboxes that the user had checked back to the database.

Why on earths name I thought I might need to use javascript I have no idea…too much internet reading of the wrong thing I think.

Anyway, here’s how I managed to solve the problem of presenting the list of items from the database with checkboxes and then updating the database with values of the checked checkboxes. The first part gets the items from the database and displays them on the page:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<title>Diplay data as checkboxes</title>


// Include connection to my local server
//Connect to the database - 
mysql_connect ($server, $username, $password, $dbName) or die ('Error: ' .mysql_error());
//Create the query
$query="SELECT * FROM TableName WHERE columnName = 1";
//Define the variable that will hold the result set
//Find out how many records there are in the resultset

<!-- Create the form - this will tell the page which php script to get when the form is submitted --->
<form action="process_changes.php" method="post">

<!-- go into php scripting to obtain each value individually from the resultset --->
//Set up the loop to loop thru the result set
while ($i < $num) {
//set the value from the current row of the resultset to the $field1 variable

<!-- Display the checkbox on the page containing the value from the current row of the resultset --->
  <input type="checkbox" name="items[]" value="<?php echo $field1;?>" /> <?php echo $field1;?><br />

<!-- break back into php to increment the variable - and therefore go to the next row of the resultset -->
	//increment the counter


<!-- Place a submit button on the webpage, so that the checkbox values selected are passed when the button is clicked -->
  <input type="submit" value="Submit" />


The second part is the script process_changes.php (which is called from the previous script). This script gets the items array (which holds the list of checkbox values) from previous page and builds an SQL INSERT statement for each item. This may not be the way that you want to send your inserts to the database, but it gives you an idea anyway.


$checkBox = $_POST['items'];
for($i=0; $i<sizeof($checkBox); $i++){
    $query = "INSERT INTO table(TableToInsertInto) values('".$checkBox[$i]."')";
//	echo $query;
   mysql_query($query) or die(mysql_error());


So Stage 5 is now complete – I now just need to collect some more data from my user and write some more update and insert queries and then I get to work on Stage 7, which is finding out how to send a verification e-mail to a user and then process it’s return. I expect that this will be pretty easy since it’s the corner stone of a lot of web actions. I’m more than 25% of the way through now.  It’s great to be doing something and not just thinking about it.


Please leave a comment - any questions or feedback welcome.

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