PHP Tutorial: Order Form

By Vince Barnes

We continue now by creating a simple order form.  The processing of forms like this is one of the more common things to be done with server side languages including PHP.  For our example we have chosen the component order form from the Acme Widget Company (of course!)  Here's the code for the entire form:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<title>Acme Widget Company</title>
<body style="font-family: Arial">
Acme Widget Company</h1>
<p>Component Order Form</p>

<FORM ACTION="processorder.php" method=post>
<table border=0>
<td width=150>Item<br>
<td width=15>Quantity<br>
<td align="center"><input type="text" name="qtybases" size="3" maxlength="3"></td>
<td align="center"><input type="text" name="qtystems" size="3" maxlength="3"></td>
<td align="center"><input type="text" name="qtytops" size="3"
<td colspan="2" align="center"><br>
<input type="submit" value="Enter Order"></td>


You can click here to see what this form looks like in your browser.

Now let's break it down.  As with our last example, most of the code you see is ordinary HTML.  Notice, however, that the ACTION= on the FORM statement points to a PHP file called processorder.php (the capitals we've used here are only to highlight to code we're talking about - it doesn't make any difference whether you use capitals or lowercase letters, except that the filename may be case sensitive if your site is hosted on a Unix/Linux system.).

When the user hits the "enter order" button, the file whose name (URL) appears in the ACTION statement will be loaded and the data the user typed into the form elements will be passed to it.  The data will be identified to that file by the field names used on the form, here "qtybases", "qtystems"  and "qtytops".  For this reason it's a good idea to use easily recognized and meaningful names, such as ours are.

There's really no PHP code in this form (which is why it's in a file named with a .html extension) so we'll move right along to the file that will process our order.

Continue to the next part of this Tutorial

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