This new post on the Sitening.com blog (written up by Tyler Hall) today takes a look at PHP and databases (MySQL specifically in this case) and "getting real" with them.
many of the ideas behind Ruby on Rails are spot on. I particularly like how well it abstracts database queries into separate objects for each table. That's very cool and can save having to write a lot of repetitive code. But having to run a Rails script to generate new files is a little too cumbersome for me. Like I said, I prefer to keep things simple. Can we do the same thing with PHP? Using just one file?
He proceeds to show a class that can perform operations similar to those styled in RoR - creating the object, applying proterties to it and performing the action (inserts/delete/etc). It's all made possible through the use of the __get and __set functions offered in PHP5. From there, it's just a simple matter of defining the functions for the actions.
To bring the point home, he also includes some examples of how to use this kind of functionality with a bit more than the previous example - selecting, updating, deleting, and inserting a new record (including the action function for each). Lastly, he gives an example of extending this base class, as mentioned in his first example (creating an object like "Animal" or "User" to abstract out the connections even more.