Using jMaki With PHP on OpenSolaris

by Ludovic Champenois

OpenSolaris is an operating system (OS), an open source project, and a community. The project's goals are innovation, collaboration, and the extension of OpenSolaris technologies such as Solaris OS, Sun's fully supported and tested enterprise operating system, as well as participation in the development of OpenSolaris releases and distributions. Recently, the OpenSolaris open source project released the OpenSolaris 2008.05 live CD operating system. The CD includes a core operating system, kernel, system libraries, desktop environment, and a public repository-based package management system called Image Packaging System (IPS). Using IPS, you can extend the operating system with code packages such as Web Stack packages that add the latest versions of the Apache Web Server, MySQL database, PHP engine, code samples, desktop tools, and user interface features.

One of the code samples bundled in the "webstackui" Web Stack package is a simple web application that uses PHP, mySQL, and jMaki. This tip describes that application. The application highlights the fact that developing PHP applications is relatively easy using OpenSolaris technologies. Although the sample runs on the OpenSolaris OS, it also runs on the Linux, Mac OS, or Windows operating system with the Apache, MySQL, PHP (AMP) stack of software.

The tip assumes that you're familiar with the basics of PHP and mySQL. The jMaki framework is a lightweight framework for creating Web 2.0 applications using standards-based technologies such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. The framework can be used in server environments such as a JavaServer Pages (JSP) environment, a JavaServer Faces (JSF) environment, jRuby, or PHP. For an introduction to jMaki, see the January 27, 2007 Tech Tip Introduction to jMaki.

The Sample Application

Among its other features, the jMaki framework makes available widgets from popular JavaScript toolkits such as Dojo, Yahoo,, and Google in a way that's familiar to Java technology, PHP, or Phobos developers. These widgets communicate within the jMaki framework through a mechanism called jMaki Glue which is built on top of a publish/subscribe event mechanism. The April 15, 2008 Tech Tip Working with jMaki Events covered jMaki Glue and showed some examples of it in action. Let's take this one step further by also showing how jMaki widgets can communicate with back-end logic. Specifically, let's create a simple PHP web application that does the following:

  • Creates a MySQL database that contains one table -- a products table.
  • Provides an HTML form in which users can enter the necessary values for a product.
  • Uses a jMaki Yahoo table widget to display the list of products in the database.
  • Uses a jMaki button widget which users can click to add a product. This action inserts a new entry in the MySQL product table as well as in the displayed Yahoo table to reflect the new content of the database.

Figure 1 shows what the application displays to the user. Notice the table of products and the add a product button.

A Web Page That Displays a Product Table and an Add a Product Button

Figure 1. A Web Page That Displays a Product Table and an Add a Product Button

Figure 2 shows what the application displays after the user enters information for a product and clicks the add a product button.

Adding a Product to the Product Table

Figure 2. Adding a Product to the Product Table

Let's examine the major components of the application:

MySQL Database Configuration

A script named dbname.php is used by all the PHP files in the application to access the MySQL database. The script specifies the database name and the credentials for access to the database and then connects to the database. It is assumed that the MySQL server has been started on the server.

Here is the dbname.php script:

    $mysql_connection = mysql_connect($dbhost, $username, $password);
    if (!$mysql_connection)
    die('Could not connect: ' . mysql_error());

Notice that the database name is phpwebstacksample and the username is root. There is no password. The variable $mysql_connection refers to the correct database connection -- it is used in the other PHP files to connect to the database.

Setup Script

A setup script, setup.php, is used when the application is run the first time and the database does not exist. The script creates a simple database and a table named products within the database. Notice that the script includes the dbname.php script at the beginning to access the MySQL database.

Here is the setup.php script (note that some of the code lines have been broken to fit the width constraints of the page):


   // Create database
   if (mysql_query("CREATE DATABASE phpwebstacksample",$mysql_connection))
    echo "Database created";
   echo "Error creating database: " . mysql_error();

   // Create table in my_db database
   mysql_select_db($database, $mysql_connection);

   $query="CREATE TABLE products (
    id int(6) NOT NULL auto_increment,
    name varchar(15) NOT NULL,
    category varchar(20) NOT NULL,
    price varchar(20) NOT NULL,
    PRIMARY KEY (id),
    UNIQUE id (id),
    KEY id_2 (id))";

   echo "<br><br><br>Go back to the main index page to
   <a href=\"index.php\">run the application ...</a>";


Main Page

The main page of the application, index.php, is responsible for connecting to the database, displaying an HTML form to display the contents of the database in an Ajax-enabled Yahoo table widget, and presenting a button to add a new product to the database. The button is an Ajax-enabled jMaki button. The application uses jMaki Glue to enable communication between the button and the display table. When a user clicks on the add a product button, a call is made to a server-side PHP function that inserts the new entry into the MySQL table. In addition, a jMaki event is published. The event is consumed by the jMaki Yahoo table widget, which then inserts a new row in the displayed table without doing a page reload of the entire page. This demonstrates the power of Ajax to do asynchronous refreshes of parts of a page. It also demonstrates how the jMaki Glue mechanism allows different widgets on a page to communicate.

Before you can use jMaki PHP widgets in a PHP script, you need to insert the following PHP statement at the beginning of the page:

   <?php require_once 'Jmaki.php'; ?>

Then you can add widgets by calling the addWidget(...) function. The index page has two widgets and so includes two calls to the addWidget(...) function.

Here's the code in index.php (note that some of the code lines have been broken to fit the width constraints of the page):

   <?php require_once "Jmaki.php"; ?>
   <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
   <title>Web Stack Sample Application</title>
   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
   <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css">
    if ( !mysql_select_db($database, $mysql_connection) ) {
    echo "<br><br><br>The database for this sample does not exist.
    <a href=\"setup.php\"> Click on the initialization link...</a>;

   // Create the HTML Form with the 3 fields: name, category, and price of a Product Item:

   <br>Using the following form, you can add products that will be inserted in
   a MySql database, and displayed using jMaki Ajax framework in the table below.<br>
    <form action="#" >
   Product Name : <input id="name" name="name" type="text"><br>
   Product Category :<input id="category" name="category" type="text"><br>
   Product Price : <input id="price" name="price" type="text"><br>
   <?php addWidget( array("name" => "yahoo.button",
     "value" => "{ label : 'add a product' }"

   // Create the Ajax jMaki table that displays the content of the MySQL database table:
   // Notice the service parameter that calls a PHP script called ListProducts.php.
   // This service will emit the content of the MySQL table into a JSON format that can
   // be consumed with jMaki table:

   echo "<b><center>List of Products:</center></b><br><br>";

    addWidget( array( "name" => "yahoo.dataTable",
    "args"=> "{columns : [
    { 'label' : 'name', 'id' : 'name'},
    { 'label':'category', 'id' : 'category'},
    { 'label': 'price ', 'id' : 'price'}

To better understand how the button action works, see the jMaki Glue File section. The code snippet in the Glue file that pertains to the button click action is as follows:

   jmaki.subscribe("/yahoo/button/onClick", function(args) ...

When a user clicks the jMaki button, a jMaki event named /yahoo/button/onClick is sent to the jMaki event handling mechanism and a callback specified in the jMaki Glue file is then executed.

Product List Script

The Product List script, lisProducts.php is responsible for retrieving the contents of the products table. The script returns the contents as a collection of row entries in JavaScript Object notation (JSON) format as follows:

       name:  'value1', category:  'value2', price:  'value3'},
       name:  'value1', category:  'value2', price:  'value3'},
       name:  'value1', category:  'value2', price:  'value3'},
       name:  'value1', category:  'value2', price:  'value3'},

In essence, the listProduct.php is a service available on the Web that returns data in JSON format to the browser. Data returned in this format can then be rendered by the jMaki Yahoo table widget that was defined in the index.php page.

Here is the lisProducts.php script:

    if ( !mysql_select_db($database, $mysql_connection) ) {
   <p>The database for this sample does not exist.</p>
   <p>Please, run the <a href="setup.php>setup page.</a></p>
    $query="SELECT * FROM products";
    echo "{'rows' : [";
    while ($i < $num) {

    "{ name: '".$name ."' , category :'".$category."', price :'".$price ."'}";
    if ($i != $num -1)
    echo ",";

    echo "]}";

Add Product Script

The script named add.php is called when the user clicks the add a product button on the main page. The script connects to the database and posts the new data to be added. The script is in the button callback function that is defined in the glue.js script file.

Here is the add.php script:

    @mysql_select_db($database) or die( "Unable to select database");
    $query = "INSERT INTO products VALUES ('','$name','$category','$price')";


    echo "value added";

jMaki Glue File

Finally, let's examine the jMaki Glue file, glue.js, that "glues" the parts of the application together. The jMaki Glue file is the visible part of the jMaki publish/subscribe mechanism. You can learn more about the jMaki publish/subscribe mechanism in the April 15, 2008 Tech Tip Working with jMaki Events and in the document jMaki Glue.

When a user clicks on the add a product button, the jMaki button widget publishes an event to a topic named /yahoo/button/onClick. A listener in the glue.js file that is subscribed to the /yahoo/button/onClick topic calls the add.php server-side script to insert the new data into the MySQL database. To do that, the listener calls the jmaki.doAjax function, which is executed asynchronously. The function specifies the service URL (add.php) and the content to be added: name, category, and price (all are entry fields in the form on the main page).

The jmaki.doAjax function also specifies a callback function. After the add.php script successfully inserts the data into the database, it calls the callback function. The callback function publishes a new event to a topic named /yahoo/dataTable/addRow to add a new row in the jMaki Yahoo table. This action updates the table with the new data inserted into the database.

Here is the glue.js file:

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