With InterBase, although you mostly either don't see it or do not have to care about it, everything you do happens inside a transaction. If you don't start one yourself, this module starts a new one automatically under the hood. We'll call this later on the default transaction, and every separate database connection you open will have its own. If it's still open when you either close the database connection or your script ends, it is committed automatically, unlike transactions started by yourself, which will be rolled back unless you have handled them. So, if your needs are simple and you don't use transactions, from your point of view this module behaves essentially the same way as any other database module in PHP. Note that with this module, transaction handles know to which connection they belong, and most functions taking a connection handle as their parameter alternatively accept a transaction handle too. A few of the functions dealing with BLOBs either return or take as their parameter a slightly cryptic "BLOB's internal ID in database". InterBase doesn't keep the contents of BLOB fields in a database row. It assigns every BLOB a 64-bit unsigned identification number instead, and you store this into a database and use it to access the BLOB's contents. But, because PHP doesn't have a 64-bit unsigned number type, the BLOB's internal ID is converted into an (almost...) human readable string for you to use.
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PHP Functions Essential Reference. Copyright © 2002 by New Riders Publishing (Authors: Zak Greant, Graeme Merrall, Torben Wilson, Brett Michlitsch). This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/). The authors of this book have elected not to choose any options under the OPL. This online book was obtained from http://www.fooassociates.com/phpfer/ and is designed to provide information about the PHP programming language, focusing on PHP version 4.0.4 for the most part. The information is provided on an as-is basis, and no warranty or fitness is implied. All persons and entities shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book.