Connect to an SQL Server database with PHP 5.3+ using the SQLSRV API and sqlsrv_connect. As of PHP 5.3.2 you have to use the SQLSRV API functions to connect to an MS SQL Server database from PHP. For example, use sqlsrv_connect() to create a connection resource and open a connection. The main difference with the older mssql functions of PHP is that SQLSRV requires an Array() with connection information, instead of strings.

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Protip: Learn how to install the SQLSRV driver and PHP extension on Windows Server.

PHP connect to SQL Server

An example you can use to connect, from PHP 5.3 and up, to an SQL Server with sqlsrv_connect() is:

<?php
/*
 * Follow me on Twitter: @HertogJanR
 */

function connectMssql($hostname, $username, $dbname, $passwd) {
  $connectionInfo = array("UID" => $username, "PWD" => $passwd, "Database" => $dbname);
  $link = sqlsrv_connect($hostname, $connectionInfo);
  if ($link) {
    return TRUE;
  } else {
    return FALSE;
  }
}
 
if(connectMssql("sql.domain.tld", "user", "deebaase", "passw0rd")) {
  echo "We're connected!";
  // do stuff here
  sqlsrv_close($link);
}
?>

Support for multiple PHP versions

Suppose you want to support both older and newer versions of PHP. You can use phpversion() to check the version you’re currently using. Then use the SQL Server connect function for that specific version, like:

<?php
/* Twitter: @HertogJanR */
function connectMssql($hostname, $username, $dbname, $passwd) {
  if(strnatcmp(phpversion(),"5.3.2") >= 0) {
    /* PHP versie 5.3.2 or higher needs sqlsrv-driver:
     * http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc296161%28SQL.90%29.aspx
     */
    		
    $connectionInfo = array("UID" => $username, "PWD" => $passwd, "Database"=> $dbname);
    $link = sqlsrv_connect($hostname, $connectionInfo);
    return TRUE;
    sqlsrv_close($link);
    exit;
  }
  else {
    $link = mssql_connect($hostname, $username, $passwd);
  }
  if ((!$link) OR (!mssql_select_db($dbname, $link))) {
    return FALSE;
  }
  else {
    return TRUE;
  }
  if ($link) { mssql_close($link); }
}
?>

SQLSRV Driver API Reference
You can find more information on the SQLSRV API on Microsofts MSDN website:
SQLSRV Driver API Reference (Microsoft Drivers for PHP for SQL Server)

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List all table names in an SQL Server database – sqlsrv_query() show tables example

You can use this PHP example, which utilizes the sqlsrv_query(), to perform a SHOW TABLES query is:

<?php
/*
 * Follow me on Twitter: @HertogJanR
 */

$connectionInfo = array("UID" => "db-user", "PWD" => "passw0rd", "Database" => "deebaase");
$link = sqlsrv_connect("sql.domain.tld", $connectionInfo);
$sql = "SELECT table_name FROM information_schema.tables";

$stmt = sqlsrv_query( $link, $sql);
while( $row = sqlsrv_fetch_array( $stmt, SQLSRV_FETCH_ASSOC) ) {
  echo $row['table_name']."<br />";
}

if( $stmt === false ) {
  die( print_r( sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}
?>

sqlsrv_query – Prepares and executes a query.