Senior Management Executive Management Or Management Team Computer Science Essay

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As the top manager, the CEO is typically responsible for the entire operations of the corporation and reports directly to the chairman and board of directors. It is the CEO's responsibility to implement board decisions and initiatives and to maintain the smooth operation of the firm, with the assistance of senior management. Often, the CEO will also be designated as the company's president and will be one of the inside directors on the board (if not the chairman).

Chief Operations Officer (COO) 

- The COO looks after issues related to marketing, sales, production and personnel. More hands-on than the CEO, the COO looks after day-to-day activities while providing feedback to the CEO. The COO is often referred to as a senior vice president.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 

- Also reporting directly to the CEO, the CFO is responsible for analyzing and reviewing financial data, reporting financial performance, preparing budgets and monitoring expenditures and costs. The CFO is required to present this information to the board of directors at regular intervals and provide this information to shareholders and regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Also usually referred to as a senior vice president, the CFO routinely checks the corporation's financial health and integrity.

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Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 

- The CTO reports directly to the CEO and is responsible for scientific and technological issues within the organization.

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PHP Arrays

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An array stores multiple values in one single variable.

What is an Array?

A variable is a storage area holding a number or text. The problem is, a variable will hold only one value.

An array is a special variable, which can store multiple values in one single variable.

If you have a list of items (a list of car names, for example), storing the cars in single variables could look like this:

$cars1="Saab";

$cars2="Volvo";

$cars3="BMW";

However, what if you want to loop through the cars and find a specific one? And what if you had not 3 cars, but 300?

The best solution here is to use an array!

An array can hold all your variable values under a single name. And you can access the values by referring to the array name.

Each element in the array has its own index so that it can be easily accessed.

In PHP, there are three kind of arrays:

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Numeric array - An array with a numeric index

Associative array - An array where each ID key is associated with a value

Multidimensional array - An array containing one or more arrays

Numeric Arrays

A numeric array stores each array element with a numeric index.

There are two methods to create a numeric array.

1. In the following example the index are automatically assigned (the index starts at 0):

$cars=array("Saab","Volvo","BMW","Toyota");

2. In the following example we assign the index manually:

$cars[0]="Saab";

$cars[1]="Volvo";

$cars[2]="BMW";

$cars[3]="Toyota";

Example

In the following example you access the variable values by referring to the array name and index:

<?php

$cars[0]="Saab";

$cars[1]="Volvo";

$cars[2]="BMW";

$cars[3]="Toyota"; 

echo $cars[0] . " and " . $cars[1] . " are Swedish cars.";

?>

The code above will output:

Saab and Volvo are Swedish cars.

Associative Arrays

An associative array, each ID key is associated with a value.

When storing data about specific named values, a numerical array is not always the best way to do it.

With associative arrays we can use the values as keys and assign values to them.

Example 1

In this example we use an array to assign ages to the different persons:

$ages = array("Peter"=>32, "Quagmire"=>30, "Joe"=>34);

Example 2

This example is the same as example 1, but shows a different way of creating the array:

$ages['Peter'] = "32";

$ages['Quagmire'] = "30";

$ages['Joe'] = "34";

The ID keys can be used in a script:

<?php

$ages['Peter'] = "32";

$ages['Quagmire'] = "30";

$ages['Joe'] = "34";

echo "Peter is " . $ages['Peter'] . " years old.";

?>

The code above will output:

Peter is 32 years old.

Multidimensional Arrays

In a multidimensional array, each element in the main array can also be an array. And each element in the sub-array can be an array, and so on.

Example

In this example we create a multidimensional array, with automatically assigned ID keys:

$families = array

  (

  "Griffin"=>array

  (

  "Peter",

  "Lois",

  "Megan"

  ),

  "Quagmire"=>array

  (

  "Glenn"

  ),

  "Brown"=>array

  (

  "Cleveland",

  "Loretta",

  "Junior"

  )

  );

The array above would look like this if written to the output:

Array

(

[Griffin] => Array

  (

  [0] => Peter

  [1] => Lois

  [2] => Megan

  )

[Quagmire] => Array

  (

  [0] => Glenn

  )

[Brown] => Array

  (

  [0] => Cleveland

  [1] => Loretta

  [2] => Junior

  )

)

Example 2

Lets try displaying a single value from the array above:

echo "Is " . $families['Griffin'][2] . 

" a part of the Griffin family?";

The code above will output:

Is Megan a part of the Griffin family?

Complete PHP Array Reference

For a complete reference of all array functions, go to our complete PHP Array Reference.

The reference contains a brief description, and examples of use, for each function!

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PHP Looping - While Loops

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Loops execute a block of code a specified number of times, or while a specified condition is true.

PHP Loops

Often when you write code, you want the same block of code to run over and over again in a row. Instead of adding several almost equal lines in a script we can use loops to perform a task like this.

In PHP, we have the following looping statements:

while - loops through a block of code while a specified condition is true

do...while - loops through a block of code once, and then repeats the loop as long as a specified condition is true

for - loops through a block of code a specified number of times

foreach - loops through a block of code for each element in an array

The while Loop

The while loop executes a block of code while a condition is true.

Syntax

while (condition)

  {

  code to be executed;

  }

Example

The example below defines a loop that starts with i=1. The loop will continue to run as long as i is less than, or equal to 5. i will increase by 1 each time the loop runs:

<html>

<body>

<?php

$i=1;

while($i<=5)

  {

  echo "The number is " . $i . "<br />";

  $i++;

  }

?>

</body>

</html>

Output:

The number is 1

The number is 2

The number is 3

The number is 4

The number is 5

The do...while Statement

The do...while statement will always execute the block of code once, it will then check the condition, and repeat the loop while the condition is true.

Syntax

do

  {

  code to be executed;

  }

while (condition);

Example

The example below defines a loop that starts with i=1. It will then increment i with 1, and write some output. Then the condition is checked, and the loop will continue to run as long as i is less than, or equal to 5:

<html>

<body>

<?php

$i=1;

do

  {

  $i++;

  echo "The number is " . $i . "<br />";

  }

while ($i<=5);

?>

</body>

</html>

Output:

The number is 2

The number is 3

The number is 4

The number is 5

The number is 6

The for loop and the foreach loop will be explained in the next chapter.

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PHP Functions

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The real power of PHP comes from its functions.

In PHP, there are more than 700 built-in functions.

PHP Built-in Functions

For a complete reference and examples of the built-in functions, please visit our PHP Reference.

PHP Functions

In this chapter we will show you how to create your own functions.

To keep the script from being executed when the page loads, you can put it into a function.

A function will be executed by a call to the function.

You may call a function from anywhere within a page.

Create a PHP Function

A function will be executed by a call to the function.

Syntax

function functionName()

{

code to be executed;

}

PHP function guidelines:

Give the function a name that reflects what the function does

The function name can start with a letter or underscore (not a number)

Example

A simple function that writes my name when it is called:

<html>

<body>

<?php

function writeName()

{

echo "Kai Jim Refsnes";

}

echo "My name is ";

writeName();

?>

</body>

</html>

Output:

My name is Kai Jim Refsnes

PHP Functions - Adding parameters

To add more functionality to a function, we can add parameters. A parameter is just like a variable.

Parameters are specified after the function name, inside the parentheses.

Example 1

The following example will write different first names, but equal last name:

<html>

<body>

<?php

function writeName($fname)

{

echo $fname . " Refsnes.<br />";

}

echo "My name is ";

writeName("Kai Jim");

echo "My sister's name is ";

writeName("Hege");

echo "My brother's name is ";

writeName("Stale");

?>

</body>

</html>

Output:

My name is Kai Jim Refsnes.

My sister's name is Hege Refsnes.

My brother's name is Stale Refsnes.

Example 2

The following function has two parameters:

<html>

<body>

<?php

function writeName($fname,$punctuation)

{

echo $fname . " Refsnes" . $punctuation . "<br />";

}

echo "My name is ";

writeName("Kai Jim",".");

echo "My sister's name is ";

writeName("Hege","!");

echo "My brother's name is ";

writeName("Ståle","?");

?>

</body>

</html>

Output:

My name is Kai Jim Refsnes.

My sister's name is Hege Refsnes!

My brother's name is Ståle Refsnes?

 

PHP Functions - Return values

To let a function return a value, use the return statement.

Example

<html>

<body>

<?php

function add($x,$y)

{

$total=$x+$y;

return $total;

}

echo "1 + 16 = " . add(1,16);

?>

</body>

</html>

Output:

1 + 16 = 17

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PHP Forms and User Input

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The PHP $_GET and $_POST variables are used to retrieve information from forms, like user input.

PHP Form Handling

The most important thing to notice when dealing with HTML forms and PHP is that any form element in an HTML page will automatically be available to your PHP scripts.

Example

The example below contains an HTML form with two input fields and a submit button:

<html>

<body>

<form action="welcome.php" method="post">

Name: <input type="text" name="fname" />

Age: <input type="text" name="age" />

<input type="submit" />

</form>

</body>

</html>

When a user fills out the form above and clicks on the submit button, the form data is sent to a PHP file, called "welcome.php":

"welcome.php" looks like this:

<html>

<body>

Welcome <?php echo $_POST["fname"]; ?>!<br />

You are <?php echo $_POST["age"]; ?> years old.

</body>

</html>

Output could be something like this:

Welcome John!

You are 28 years old.

The PHP $_GET and $_POST variables will be explained in the next chapters.

Form Validation

User input should be validated on the browser whenever possible (by client scripts). Browser validation is faster and reduces the server load.

You should consider server validation if the user input will be inserted into a database. A good way to validate a form on the server is to post the form to itself, instead of jumping to a different page. The user will then get the error messages on the same page as the form. This makes it easier to discover the error.

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PHP $_GET Variable

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In PHP, the predefined $_GET variable is used to collect values in a form with method="get".

The $_GET Variable

The predefined $_GET variable is used to collect values in a form with method="get"

Information sent from a form with the GET method is visible to everyone (it will be displayed in the browser's address bar) and has limits on the amount of information to send.

Example

<form action="welcome.php" method="get">

Name: <input type="text" name="fname" />

Age: <input type="text" name="age" />

<input type="submit" />

</form>

When the user clicks the "Submit" button, the URL sent to the server could look something like this:

http://www.w3schools.com/welcome.php?fname=Peter&age=37

The $_POST Variable

The predefined $_POST variable is used to collect values from a form sent with method="post".

Information sent from a form with the POST method is invisible to others and has no limits on the amount of information to send.

Note: However, there is an 8 Mb max size for the POST method, by default (can be changed by setting the post_max_size in the php.ini file).

Example

<form action="welcome.php" method="post">

Name: <input type="text" name="fname" />

Age: <input type="text" name="age" />

<input type="submit" />

</form>

When the user clicks the "Submit" button, the URL will look like this:

http://www.w3schools.com/welcome.php

The "welcome.php" file can now use the $_POST variable to collect form data (the names of the form fields will automatically be the keys in the $_POST array):

Welcome <?php echo $_POST["fname"]; ?>!<br />

You are <?php echo $_POST["age"]; ?> years old.

When to use method="post"?

Information sent from a form with the POST method is invisible to others and has no limits on the amount of information to send.

However, because the variables are not displayed in the URL, it is not possible to bookmark the page.

The PHP $_REQUEST Variable

The predefined $_REQUEST variable contains the contents of both $_GET, $_POST, and $_COOKIE.

The $_REQUEST variable can be used to collect form data sent with both the GET and POST methods.

Example

Welcome <?php echo $_REQUEST["fname"]; ?>!<br />

You are <?php echo $_REQUEST["age"]; ?> years old.

The PHP Date() Function

The PHP date() function formats a timestamp to a more readable date and time.

 A timestamp is a sequence of characters, denoting the date and/or time at which a certain event occurred.

Syntax

date(format,timestamp)

Parameter

Description

format

Required. Specifies the format of the timestamp

timestamp

Optional. Specifies a timestamp. Default is the current date and time

PHP Date() - Format the Date

The required format parameter in the date() function specifies how to format the date/time.

Here are some characters that can be used:

d - Represents the day of the month (01 to 31)

m - Represents a month (01 to 12)

Y - Represents a year (in four digits)

A list of all the characters that can be used in the format parameter, can be found in our PHP Date reference.

Other characters, like"/", ".", or "-" can also be inserted between the letters to add additional formatting:

<?php

echo date("Y/m/d") . "<br />";

echo date("Y.m.d") . "<br />";

echo date("Y-m-d");

?>

The output of the code above could be something like this:

2009/05/11

2009.05.11

2009-05-11

PHP Date() - Adding a Timestamp

The optional timestamp parameter in the date() function specifies a timestamp. If you do not specify a timestamp, the current date and time will be used.

The mktime() function returns the Unix timestamp for a date.

The Unix timestamp contains the number of seconds between the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT) and the time specified.

Syntax for mktime()

mktime(hour,minute,second,month,day,year,is_dst)

To go one day in the future we simply add one to the day argument of mktime():

<?php

$tomorrow = mktime(0,0,0,date("m"),date("d")+1,date("Y"));

echo "Tomorrow is ".date("Y/m/d", $tomorrow);

?>

The output of the code above could be something like this:

Tomorrow is 2009/05/12

Complete PHP Date Reference

For a complete reference of all date functions, go to our complete PHP Date Reference.

The reference contains a brief description, and examples of use, for each function!

PHP Include Files

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PHP include and require Statements

In PHP, you can insert the content of one PHP file into another PHP file before the server executes it.

The include and require statements are used to insert useful codes written in other files, in the flow of execution.

Include and require are identical, except upon failure:

require will produce a fatal error (E_COMPILE_ERROR) and stop the script

include will only produce a warning (E_WARNING) and the script will continue

So, if you want the execution to go on and show users the output, even if the include file is missing, use include. Otherwise, in case of FrameWork, CMS or a complex PHP application coding, always use require to include a key file to the flow of execution. This will help avoid compromising your application's security and integrity, just in-case one key file is accidentally missing.

Including files saves a lot of work. This means that you can create a standard header, footer, or menu file for all your web pages. Then, when the header needs to be updated, you can only update the header include file.

Syntax

include 'filename';

or

require 'filename';

PHP include and require Statement

Basic Example

Assume that you have a standard header file, called "header.php". To include the header file in a page, use include/require:

<html>

<body>

<?php include 'header.php'; ?>

<h1>Welcome to my home page!</h1>

<p>Some text.</p>

</body>

</html>

Example 2

Assume we have a standard menu file that should be used on all pages.

"menu.php":

echo '<a href="/default.php">Home</a>

<a href="/tutorials.php">Tutorials</a>

<a href="/references.php">References</a>

<a href="/examples.php">Examples</a> 

<a href="/about.php">About Us</a> 

<a href="/contact.php">Contact Us</a>';

All pages in the Web site should include this menu file. Here is how it can be done:

<html>

<body>

<div class="leftmenu">

<?php include 'menu.php'; ?>

</div>

<h1>Welcome to my home page.</h1>

<p>Some text.</p>

</body>

</html>

Example 3

Assume we have an include file with some variables defined ("vars.php"):

<?php

$color='red';

$car='BMW';

?>

Then the variables can be used in the calling file:

<html>

<body>

<h1>Welcome to my home page.</h1>

<?php include 'vars.php';

echo "I have a $color $car"; // I have a red BMW

?>

</body>

</html>

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Opening a File

The fopen() function is used to open files in PHP.

The first parameter of this function contains the name of the file to be opened and the second parameter specifies in which mode the file should be opened:

<html>

<body>

<?php

$file=fopen("welcome.txt","r");

?>

</body>

</html>

The file may be opened in one of the following modes:

Modes

Description

r

Read only. Starts at the beginning of the file

r+

Read/Write. Starts at the beginning of the file

w

Write only. Opens and clears the contents of file; or creates a new file if it doesn't exist

w+

Read/Write. Opens and clears the contents of file; or creates a new file if it doesn't exist

a

Append. Opens and writes to the end of the file or creates a new file if it doesn't exist

a+

Read/Append. Preserves file content by writing to the end of the file

x

Write only. Creates a new file. Returns FALSE and an error if file already exists

x+

Read/Write. Creates a new file. Returns FALSE and an error if file already exists

Note: If the fopen() function is unable to open the specified file, it returns 0 (false).

Example

The following example generates a message if the fopen() function is unable to open the specified file:

<html>

<body>

<?php

$file=fopen("welcome.txt","r") or exit("Unable to open file!");

?>

</body>

</html>

Closing a File

The fclose() function is used to close an open file:

<?php

$file = fopen("test.txt","r");

//some code to be executed

fclose($file);

?>

Check End-of-file

The feof() function checks if the "end-of-file" (EOF) has been reached.

The feof() function is useful for looping through data of unknown length.

Note: You cannot read from files opened in w, a, and x mode!

if (feof($file)) echo "End of file";

Reading a File Line by Line

The fgets() function is used to read a single line from a file.

Note: After a call to this function the file pointer has moved to the next line.

Example

The example below reads a file line by line, until the end of file is reached:

<?php

$file = fopen("welcome.txt", "r") or exit("Unable to open file!");

//Output a line of the file until the end is reached

while(!feof($file))

  {

  echo fgets($file). "<br />";

  }

fclose($file);

?>

Reading a File Character by Character

The fgetc() function is used to read a single character from a file.

Note: After a call to this function the file pointer moves to the next character.

Example

The example below reads a file character by character, until the end of file is reached:

<?php

$file=fopen("welcome.txt","r") or exit("Unable to open file!");

while (!feof($file))

  {

  echo fgetc($file);

  }

fclose($file);

?>

PHP Filesystem Reference

For a full reference of the PHP filesystem functions, visit our PHP Filesystem Reference.

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Create an Upload-File Form

To allow users to upload files from a form can be very useful.

Look at the following HTML form for uploading files:

<html>

<body>

<form action="upload_file.php" method="post"

enctype="multipart/form-data">

<label for="file">Filename:</label>

<input type="file" name="file" id="file" /> 

<br />

<input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit" />

</form>

</body>

</html>

Notice the following about the HTML form above:

The enctype attribute of the <form> tag specifies which content-type to use when submitting the form. "multipart/form-data" is used when a form requires binary data, like the contents of a file, to be uploaded

The type="file" attribute of the <input> tag specifies that the input should be processed as a file. For example, when viewed in a browser, there will be a browse-button next to the input field

Note: Allowing users to upload files is a big security risk. Only permit trusted users to perform file uploads.

Create The Upload Script

The "upload_file.php" file contains the code for uploading a file:

<?php

if ($_FILES["file"]["error"] > 0)

  {

  echo "Error: " . $_FILES["file"]["error"] . "<br />";

  }

else

  {

  echo "Upload: " . $_FILES["file"]["name"] . "<br />";

  echo "Type: " . $_FILES["file"]["type"] . "<br />";

  echo "Size: " . ($_FILES["file"]["size"] / 1024) . " Kb<br />";

  echo "Stored in: " . $_FILES["file"]["tmp_name"];

  }

?>

By using the global PHP $_FILES array you can upload files from a client computer to the remote server.

The first parameter is the form's input name and the second index can be either "name", "type", "size", "tmp_name" or "error". Like this:

$_FILES["file"]["name"] - the name of the uploaded file

$_FILES["file"]["type"] - the type of the uploaded file

$_FILES["file"]["size"] - the size in bytes of the uploaded file

$_FILES["file"]["tmp_name"] - the name of the temporary copy of the file stored on the server

$_FILES["file"]["error"] - the error code resulting from the file upload

This is a very simple way of uploading files. For security reasons, you should add restrictions on what the user is allowed to upload.

Restrictions on Upload

In this script we add some restrictions to the file upload. The user may only upload .gif or .jpeg files and the file size must be under 20 kb:

<?php

$allowedExts = array("jpg", "jpeg", "gif", "png");

$extension = end(explode(".", $_FILES["file"]["name"]));

if ((($_FILES["file"]["type"] == "image/gif")

|| ($_FILES["file"]["type"] == "image/jpeg")

|| ($_FILES["file"]["type"] == "image/pjpeg"))

&& ($_FILES["file"]["size"] < 20000)

&& in_array($extension, $allowedExts))

  {

  if ($_FILES["file"]["error"] > 0)

    {

    echo "Error: " . $_FILES["file"]["error"] . "<br />";

    }

  else

    {

    echo "Upload: " . $_FILES["file"]["name"] . "<br />";

    echo "Type: " . $_FILES["file"]["type"] . "<br />";

    echo "Size: " . ($_FILES["file"]["size"] / 1024) . " Kb<br />";

    echo "Stored in: " . $_FILES["file"]["tmp_name"];

    }

  }

else

  {

  echo "Invalid file";

  }

?>

Note: For IE to recognize jpg files the type must be pjpeg, for FireFox it must be jpeg.

Saving the Uploaded File

The examples above create a temporary copy of the uploaded files in the PHP temp folder on the server.

The temporary copied files disappears when the script ends. To store the uploaded file we need to copy it to a different location:

<?php

$allowedExts = array("jpg", "jpeg", "gif", "png");

$extension = end(explode(".", $_FILES["file"]["name"]));

if ((($_FILES["file"]["type"] == "image/gif")

|| ($_FILES["file"]["type"] == "image/jpeg")

|| ($_FILES["file"]["type"] == "image/pjpeg"))

&& ($_FILES["file"]["size"] < 20000)

&& in_array($extension, $allowedExts))

  {

  if ($_FILES["file"]["error"] > 0)

    {

    echo "Return Code: " . $_FILES["file"]["error"] . "<br />";

    }

  else

    {

    echo "Upload: " . $_FILES["file"]["name"] . "<br />";

    echo "Type: " . $_FILES["file"]["type"] . "<br />";

    echo "Size: " . ($_FILES["file"]["size"] / 1024) . " Kb<br />";

    echo "Temp file: " . $_FILES["file"]["tmp_name"] . "<br />";

    if (file_exists("upload/" . $_FILES["file"]["name"]))

      {

      echo $_FILES["file"]["name"] . " already exists. ";

      }

    else

      {

      move_uploaded_file($_FILES["file"]["tmp_name"],

      "upload/" . $_FILES["file"]["name"]);

      echo "Stored in: " . "upload/" . $_FILES["file"]["name"];

      }

    }

  }

else

  {

  echo "Invalid file";

  }

?>

The script above checks if the file already exists, if it does not, it copies the file to the specified folder.

Note: This example saves the file to a new folder called "upload"

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What is a Cookie?

A cookie is often used to identify a user. A cookie is a small file that the server embeds on the user's computer. Each time the same computer requests a page with a browser, it will send the cookie too. With PHP, you can both create and retrieve cookie values.

How to Create a Cookie?

The setcookie() function is used to set a cookie.

Note: The setcookie() function must appear BEFORE the <html> tag.

Syntax

setcookie(name, value, expire, path, domain);

Example 1

In the example below, we will create a cookie named "user" and assign the value "Alex Porter" to it. We also specify that the cookie should expire after one hour:

<?php

setcookie("user", "Alex Porter", time()+3600);

?>

<html>

.....

Note: The value of the cookie is automatically URLencoded when sending the cookie, and automatically decoded when received (to prevent URLencoding, use setrawcookie() instead).

Example 2

You can also set the expiration time of the cookie in another way. It may be easier than using seconds.

<?php

$expire=time()+60*60*24*30;

setcookie("user", "Alex Porter", $expire);

?>

<html>

.....

In the example above the expiration time is set to a month (60 sec * 60 min * 24 hours * 30 days).

How to Retrieve a Cookie Value?

The PHP $_COOKIE variable is used to retrieve a cookie value. 

In the example below, we retrieve the value of the cookie named "user" and display it on a page:

<?php

// Print a cookie

echo $_COOKIE["user"];

// A way to view all cookies

print_r($_COOKIE);

?>

In the following example we use the isset() function to find out if a cookie has been set:

<html>

<body>

<?php

if (isset($_COOKIE["user"]))

  echo "Welcome " . $_COOKIE["user"] . "!<br />";

else

  echo "Welcome guest!<br />";

?>

</body>

</html>

How to Delete a Cookie?

When deleting a cookie you should assure that the expiration date is in the past.

Delete example:

<?php

// set the expiration date to one hour ago

setcookie("user", "", time()-3600);

?>

What if a Browser Does NOT Support Cookies?

If your application deals with browsers that do not support cookies, you will have to use other methods to pass information from one page to another in your application. One method is to pass the data through forms (forms and user input are described earlier in this tutorial).

The form below passes the user input to "welcome.php" when the user clicks on the "Submit" button:

<html>

<body>

<form action="welcome.php" method="post">

Name: <input type="text" name="name" />

Age: <input type="text" name="age" />

<input type="submit" />

</form>

</body>

</html>

Retrieve the values in the "welcome.php" file like this:

<html>

<body>

Welcome <?php echo $_POST["name"]; ?>.<br />

You are <?php echo $_POST["age"]; ?> years old.

</body>

</html>

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PHP Session Variables

When you are working with an application, you open it, do some changes and then you close it. This is much like a Session. The computer knows who you are. It knows when you start the application and when you end. But on the internet there is one problem: the web server does not know who you are and what you do because the HTTP address doesn't maintain state.

A PHP session solves this problem by allowing you to store user information on the server for later use (i.e. username, shopping items, etc). However, session information is temporary and will be deleted after the user has left the website. If you need a permanent storage you may want to store the data in a database.

Sessions work by creating a unique id (UID) for each visitor and store variables based on this UID. The UID is either stored in a cookie or is propagated in the URL.

Starting a PHP Session

Before you can store user information in your PHP session, you must first start up the session.

Note: The session_start() function must appear BEFORE the <html> tag:

<?php session_start(); ?>

<html>

<body>

</body>

</html>

The code above will register the user's session with the server, allow you to start saving user information, and assign a UID for that user's session.

Storing a Session Variable

The correct way to store and retrieve session variables is to use the PHP $_SESSION variable:

<?php

session_start();

// store session data

$_SESSION['views']=1;

?>

<html>

<body>

<?php

//retrieve session data

echo "Pageviews=". $_SESSION['views'];

?>

</body>

</html>

Output:

Pageviews=1

In the example below, we create a simple page-views counter. The isset() function checks if the "views" variable has already been set. If "views" has been set, we can increment our counter. If "views" doesn't exist, we create a "views" variable, and set it to 1:

<?php

session_start();

if(isset($_SESSION['views']))

$_SESSION['views']=$_SESSION['views']+1;

else

$_SESSION['views']=1;

echo "Views=". $_SESSION['views'];

?>

Destroying a Session

If you wish to delete some session data, you can use the unset() or the session_destroy() function.

The unset() function is used to free the specified session variable:

<?php

session_start();

if(isset($_SESSION['views']))

  unset($_SESSION['views']);

?>

You can also completely destroy the session by calling the session_destroy() function:

<?php

session_destroy();

?>

Note: session_destroy() will reset your session and you will lose all your stored session data.