Mike Griffin

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Accessing MSSQL With PHP on Debian Linux

We use MSSQL in work. And we use IIS as an internal web server. I want to develop some small applications in a throwaway scratch space before I upload them to the IIS server, so I use a virtual machine running Debian Linux and Apache.

I ran into some problems using PDO to connect to the SQL server. I was using the ODBC driver and had it all set up properly. I could connect with isql and osql, I was able to run queries and get back information. Happy days, I thought. I tried it through a PHP script and running a simple query was no problem. I was able to SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE id=1.

Then I tried a stored procedure.

$connection = new \PDO('odbc:Database', 'username', 'password');
$sql = "SELECT * FROM tableName WHERE id = ?";
$statement = $connection->prepare($sql);
$row = $statement->fetch(PDO::FETCH_ASSOC);

This wasn’t so successful. I ended up getting a Segmentation Fault. I did some basic troubleshhoting using die('okay'); after each line and narrowed it down to the fetchstatement. So off to the Googles I went.

It seems there is a longstanding bug with using ODBC to connect to MSSQL using PHP on Linux. The solution was pretty simple, use dblib instead.

The new connection string then became

$connection = new \PDO('dblib:dbname=database;host=sqlServer', 'username', 'password');

Make sure to have the php5-sybase package installed as that is the one that provides the dblib connection. Once that was installed, I was able to connect and query the database to my heart’s content.