In this article I'll show you how to install the Microsoft SQL Server Driver for PHP 7+. This makes the use of an SQL Server database back-end for your PHP website easy. If you want to communicatie with SQL Server using PHP you need to rely on some additional software and PHP extensions. This post walks you through the steps necessary to install the SQL Server driver and SQLSRV extension for PHP 7+, on Windows Server IIS of course.

How to install Microsoft's SQL Server Driver for PHP 7+

To let PHP (PHP 7.0, PHP 7.1, PHP 7.2) communicate with an SQL Server database you need additional software: ODBC drivers, and the PHP SQLSRV extension. You have to use the SQLSRV API functions to connect to an MS SQL Server database from PHP. Or PDO of course...

First you need to download all of this. Please note some version numbers might be outdated.

Required software to install PHP 7 and SQL Server SQLSRV PHP extension

You need the following software, go ahead and download:

On Windows, download the DLL files from SQLSRV or PDO_SQLSRV PECL repository (source). To download and install the most up-to-date ODBC driver version, read Microsoft Docs Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server on Windows and Download ODBC Driver for SQL Server.

SQL Server Native Client (SNAC) 2012

Since the release of ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server you no longer have to install SQL Server Native Client - or SNAC - 2012.

The Microsoft SQLNCli team blog states:

Microsoft is adopting ODBC as the de-facto standard for native access to SQL Server and Windows Azure SQL Database. We have provided longstanding support for ODBC on Windows and, in the SQL Server 2012 timeframe, released support for ODBC on Linux (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6, and SUSE Enterprise Linux). Microsoft is aligning and renaming the previous ODBC drivers as follows:

This change will result in our ODBC drivers for Windows and Linux being better aligned going forward. We hope that this change makes it easier for you to find the right driver for your needs and makes it easier to stay informed of new releases. Today’s availability marks the first combined release for your use.

And the Database Engine Developer Documentation states:

There are no more updates to the ODBC driver in SQL Server Native Client. The successor to the ODBC driver in SQL Server Native Client, called the Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server on Windows, is installed with SQL Server 2014. For more information about the Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server on Windows, see Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server - Windows

Visual Studio C++ 2015 for PHP 7 on Windows Server IIS

To install PHP 7, you need to have Visual Studio C++ 2015, or VC14, installed too. Download and install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 if you haven't done so.

After you've downloaded and extracted the software, you need to install it all.

Install ODBC Driver 11, 13, 13.1, 17 for SQL Server
To install the ODBC Driver, in your cmd command or PowerShell prompt, simply type:

msiexec /i c:\path\to\msodbcsql.msi /quiet

Install Microsoft Drivers for PHP 7 for SQL Server
This isn't really an installation, just download the msphpsql-PHP-7.0 zipfile from Github and unzip it. Within the archive you'll find the folder msphpsql-PHP-7.0/binaries/<x64|x86>/ and two .dll files: php_sqlsrv_7_nts.dll and php_sqlsrv_7_ts.dll.

Pick the one you need for your IIS hosting environment, and copy the file to your PHP ext directory:

unzip -d msphpsql-temp
copy msphpsql-temp/msphpsql-PHP-7.0/binaries/x86/php_sqlsrv_7_nts.dll c:\php7\ext

To enable the SQLSRV extension in PHP, add to your php.ini file:


Install Visual Studio C++ 2015

If you haven't installed Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 yet, install both .msi files. PowerShell example:

Start-Process -NoNewWindow c:\path\to\vs2015\vc_redist.x86.exe -argument "/install /quiet" -Wait
Start-Process -NoNewWindow c:\path\to\vs2015\vc_redist.x64.exe -argument "/install /quiet" -Wait

Once everything is installed, the SQLSRV extension for PHP to SQL Server communication is available to your PHP scripts. We need to verify everything is in working condition.

Various software requires various Visual Studio Runtime versions (Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable). I normally install them all:

  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 (Service Pack 1) Redistributable
  • Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4
  • Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable Update 3
  • Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017

This article is out-dated. Above mentioned Visual Studio Runtimes are no longer necessary, as Microsoft offers an single Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2022 download. Older versions are still available. See Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable latest supported downloads for more information.

Test SQLSRV extension and ODBC Driver 11/13/13.1/17 for SQL Server with PHP

The best way (in my opinion) for you to test whether everything in PHP works correctly is on the command line. Really, executing PHP on the prompt is faster and easier than browsing to your phpinfo() script, but of course, you're free to do so. Verify the extension is loaded.

Just run php-cgi.exe with some parameters, like -v to print out the version:

C:\php7>php-cgi.exe -v
PHP 7.0.5 (cgi-fcgi) (built: Mar 30 2016 10:15:31)
Copyright (c) 1997-2016 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.0.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v7.0.6-dev, Copyright (c) 1999-2016, by Zend Technologies

If something is wrong in your PHP configuration, an application crash notification pops up.

Got WinCache installed and available through a second php.ini file and FastCgi handler (you followed my how to install PHP and Wincache on IIS article ;-) ), test that one too:

C:\php7>php-cgi.exe -c php.wincache.ini -v
PHP 7.0.5 (cgi-fcgi) (built: Mar 30 2016 10:15:31)
Copyright (c) 1997-2016 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.0.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v7.0.6-dev, Copyright (c) 1999-2016, by Zend Technologies

SQLSRV for PHP 7 test script: Connect to an SQL Server with PHP

Verify everything is working correctly with a PHP test script to connect to SQL Server. I always use a script like the one below to verify the PHP connection with my SQL Server database, and that it's all working:

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$connectionInfo = array( "UID" => "user", "PWD" => "password", "Database" => "database" );
$link = sqlsrv_connect( "host name", $connectionInfo );
if( $link ) {
     echo "Connection established.<br />";
} else{
     echo "Connection could not be established.<br />";
     die( print_r( sqlsrv_errors(), true ) );
$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));

If everything went OK, all available SQL Server tables in your SQL database are printed. See PHP connect to SQL Server for more information.

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