How to Access a Database with PDO/mysqli

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This article explains how to access a database in PHP using MySQLi or PDO.


PDO provide support to manage multiple database systems (up to 12 different databasese driver). The basic structure to connect to a database and handle errors is as follows:

try {
$bdd = new PDO( ... );
} catch(PDOException $e) {
echo $e->getMessage();

Only the lines required for the creation of the PDO object will be given in the following examples.


$host = 'localhost';
$user = 'username';
$password = 'password';
$dbname = 'ccm'; // name of database
$db = new PDO("mysql:host=$host;dbname=$dbname", $user, $password);


$file = "/path/to/base.sqlite";
$bdd = new PDO("sqlite:$file");

SQLite has another advantage: we can create temporary blank database in the memory, which can be very useful for development, test queries or use a database with the generated data:

$bdd = new PDO("sqlite::memory");


Object oriented

$host = 'localhost';
$user = 'username';
$password = 'password';
$dbname = 'ccm'; // Name of database
$db = new mysqli($host, $user, $password, $dbname);
if ($bdd->connect_error) {
echo 'Connection error (' . $bdd->connect_errno . ') ' . $bdd->connect_error;


$host = 'localhost';
$user = 'username';
$password = 'password';
$dbname = 'ccm'; // Name of database
$bdd = mysqli_connect($host, $user, $password, $dbname);
if (!$bdd) {
echo 'Connection error (' . mysqli_connect_errno() . ') ' . mysqli_connect_error();

Error Handling

The error handling described above is very basic. It will only display the error message and won't prevent the above functions from being executed when connection to the database fails
Jean-François Pillou

Jean-François Pillou - Founder of CCM
Better known as Jeff, Jean-François Pillou is the founder of He is also CEO of CCM Benchmark and digital director at the Figaro Group.

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