Dictionaries and Associative Arrays

Arrays are wonderful constructs in programming. Languages universally have arrays which use an integer based index. (0-N, where N is the number of elements – 1) This creates an “order” to the array which can be iterated without needing to know about the content of the array. Associative arrays are alittle different. An associative array uses strings as identifiers so that elements can be accessed by an understood key or hash. This is relevant when considering how database information is…

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PHP and Active Directory

PHP is a versatile language capable of many useful things. One of the more useful elements I’ve used in the past is Active Directory integration. It’s very useful to authenticate against an Active Directory Domain Controller (DC). This not only allows for easier user management, but it also enforces the security policies set in place by the account administrators. This includes policies such as number of password attempts before locking the account, or password complexity requirements. Authenticating with Active Directory…

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PHP RESTful OAuth 2.0 Web API

PHP is an extremely versatile language. One of the recent avenues I’ve explored is creating RESTful Web API’s with PHP. For security reasons I wanted to use a tried and trusted process, and this led me to OAuth 2.0. If you aren’t familiar with OAuth 2.0 it is the process used when you those links on sites which say “Login with Facebook” or “Login with Google”. Those links start the OAuth 2.0 process where Facebook or Google is the identity…

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The easiest way to protect database input

PHP is a versatile language, and it is full of many functions that can do just what is needed quick, fast and in a hurry. Two of the best functions I’ve come across are: addslashes(); and stripslashes(); You can find these within the PHP manual at: http://php.net/manual/en/function.addslashes.php http://php.net/manual/en/function.stripslashes.php These functions are a LIFE SAVER if you are getting form data from your visitors and storing it in your database. Their usage is so simple that I’ve yet to find something…

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PHP/MySQL and CSS

Everyone is familiar with the benefits of dynamic database driven content on a website. Users can enter data and this data can involve other users and the chain goes on and on. What I have yet to see done well is dynamic database driven styling. I can envision visitors creating their own look and feel for a site (drastically, not just changing a few colors) and creating that ultimate personal visitor experience. With the general rule being a 3 second…

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