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Developing a Login System with PHP and MySQL



Used with the author's permission.
This article is written by daBoss. daBoss is the Webmaster of Designer Banners. daBoss can be contacted at sales (at) designerbanners (dot) com.

Developing a Login System with PHP and MySQL

Most interactive websites nowadays would require a user to log in into the website’s system in order to provide a customized experience for the user. Once the user has logged in, the website will be able to provide a presentation that is tailored to the user’s preferences.

A basic login system typically contains 3 components:
1. The component that allows a user to register his preferred login id and password
2. The component that allows the system to verify and authenticate the user when he subsequently logs in
3. The component that sends the user’s password to his registered email address if the user forgets his password

Such a system can be easily created using PHP and MySQL.

================================================================

Component 1 – Registration

Component 1 is typically implemented using a simple HTML form that contains 3 fields and 2 buttons:
1. A preferred login id field
2. A preferred password field
3. A valid email address field
4. A Submit button
5. A Reset button

Assume that such a form is coded into a file named register.html. The following HTML code excerpt is a typical example. When the user has filled in all the fields, the register.php page is called when the user clicks on the Submit button.

[form name="register" method="post" action="register.php"]
[input name="login id" type="text" value="loginid" size="20"/][br]
[input name="password" type="text" value="password" size="20"/][br]
[input name="email" type="text" value="email" size="50"/][br]
[input type="submit" name="submit" value="submit"/]
[input type="reset" name="reset" value="reset"/]
[/form]

The following code excerpt can be used as part of register.php to process the registration. It connects to the MySQL database and inserts a line of data into the table used to store the registration information.

@mysql_connect("localhost", "mysql_login", "mysql_pwd") or die("Cannot connect to DB!");
@mysql_select_db("tbl_login") or die("Cannot select DB!");
$sql="INSERT INTO login_tbl (loginid, password and email) VALUES (".$loginid.”,”.$password.”,”.$email.”)”;
$r = mysql_query($sql);
if(!$r) {
$err=mysql_error();
print $err;
exit();
}

The code excerpt assumes that the MySQL table that is used to store the registration data is named tbl_login and contains 3 fields – the loginid, password and email fields. The values of the $loginid, $password and $email variables are passed in from the form in register.html using the post method.

================================================================

Component 2 – Verification and Authentication

A registered user will want to log into the system to access the functionality provided by the website. The user will have to provide his login id and password for the system to verify and authenticate.

This is typically done through a simple HTML form. This HTML form typically contains 2 fields and 2 buttons:
1. A login id field
2. A password field
3. A Submit button
4. A Reset button

Assume that such a form is coded into a file named authenticate.html. The following HTML code excerpt is a typical example. When the user has filled in all the fields, the authenticate.php page is called when the user clicks on the Submit button.

[form name="authenticate" method="post" action="authenticate.php"]
[input name="login id" type="text" value="loginid" size="20"/][br]
[input name="password" type="text" value="password" size="20"/][br]
[input type="submit" name="submit" value="submit"/]
[input type="reset" name="reset" value="reset"/]
[/form]

The following code excerpt can be used as part of authenticate.php to process the login request. It connects to the MySQL database and queries the table used to store the registration information.

@mysql_connect("localhost", "mysql_login", "mysql_pwd") or die("Cannot connect to DB!");
@mysql_select_db("tbl_login") or die("Cannot select DB!");
$sql="SELECT loginid FROM login_tbl WHERE loginid=’".$loginid.”’ and password=’”.$password.”’”;
$r = mysql_query($sql);
if(!$r) {
$err=mysql_error();
print $err;
exit();
}
if(mysql_affected_rows()==0){
print "no such login in the system. please try again.";
exit();
}
else{
print "successfully logged into system.";
//proceed to perform website’s functionality – e.g. present information to the user
}

As in component 1, the code excerpt assumes that the MySQL table that is used to store the registration data is named tbl_login and contains 3 fields – the loginid, password and email fields. The values of the $loginid and $password variables are passed in from the form in authenticate.html using the post method.

================================================================

Component 3 – Forgot Password

A registered user may forget his password to log into the website’s system. In this case, the user will need to supply his loginid for the system to retrieve his password and send the password to the user’s registered email address.

This is typically done through a simple HTML form. This HTML form typically contains 1 field and 2 buttons:
1. A login id field
2. A Submit button
3. A Reset button

Assume that such a form is coded into a file named forgot.html. The following HTML code excerpt is a typical example. When the user has filled in all the fields, the forgot.php page is called when the user clicks on the Submit button.

[form name="forgot" method="post" action="forgot.php"]
[input name="login id" type="text" value="loginid" size="20"/][br]
[input type="submit" name="submit" value="submit"/]
[input type="reset" name="reset" value="reset"/]
[/form]

The following code excerpt can be used as part of forgot.php to process the login request. It connects to the MySQL database and queries the table used to store the registration information.

@mysql_connect("localhost", "mysql_login", "mysql_pwd") or die("Cannot connect to DB!");
@mysql_select_db("tbl_login") or die("Cannot select DB!");
$sql="SELECT password, email FROM login_tbl WHERE loginid=’".$loginid.”’”;
$r = mysql_query($sql);
if(!$r) {
$err=mysql_error();
print $err;
exit();
}
if(mysql_affected_rows()==0){
print "no such login in the system. please try again.";
exit();
}
else {
$row=mysql_fetch_array($r);
$password=$row["password"];
$email=$row["email"];

$subject="your password";
$header="from:you@yourdomain.com";
$content="your password is ".$password;
mail($email, $subject, $row, $header);

print "An email containing the password has been sent to you";
}

As in component 1, the code excerpt assumes that the MySQL table that is used to store the registration data is named tbl_login and contains 3 fields – the loginid, password and email fields. The value of the $loginid variable is passed from the form in forgot.html using the post method.

================================================================

Conclusion

The above example is to illustrate how a very basic login system can be implemented. The example can be enhanced to include password encryption and additional functionality – e.g. to allow users to edit their login information.

About the Author

Used with the author's permission.
This article is written by daBoss. daBoss is the Webmaster of Designer Banners (http://www.designerbanners.com). daBoss can be contacted at sales (at) designerbanners (dot) com.

Written by: John L

 



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So, you have a submission form on your website and need to prevent spam by auto-submitters. The most common way to do this is to implement CAPTCHA - an image with randomly generated string (quote from Wikipedia, free online enciclopedia: “A CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether the user is human. "CAPTCHA" is an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart", trademarked by Carnegie Mellon University.”)

Simple, quick and efficient PHP solution for implement CAPTCHA:

the advantage of this solution: it is easy to read symbols by human and automated captcha processor software, but hard to process the image by computer because common CAPTCHA processors can't understand which one of the outputted symbols it must ignore!

obviously you need PHP engine enabled for your webserver, for execute PHP scripts, and GD (PHP graphics library) for generate the image. Webserver, PHP and GD versions are no matter, the solution below is tested for Apache(Windows and Unix), IIS(Windows), PHP-4, PHP-5, GD, GD2

1) Make a PHP script (separate file captcha.php) which will generate the CAPTCHA image:
[?php
session_start();
header("Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT");
header("Last-Modified: " . gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s") . " GMT");
header("Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate");
header("Cache-Control: post-check=0, pre-check=0", false);
header("Pragma: no-cache");
function _generateRandom($length=6){
$_rand_src = array(
array(48,57) //digits
, array(97,122) //lowercase chars
// , array(65,90) //uppercase chars
);
srand ((double) microtime() * 1000000);
$random_string = "";
for($i=0;$i<$length;$i++){
$i1=rand(0,sizeof($_rand_src)-1);
$random_string .= chr(rand($_rand_src[$i1][0],$_rand_src[$i1][1]));
}
return $random_string;
}
$im = @imagecreatefromjpeg("captcha.jpg");
$rand = _generateRandom(3);
$_SESSION['captcha'] = $rand;
ImageString($im, 5, 2, 2, $rand[0]." ".$rand[1]." ".$rand[2]." ", ImageColorAllocate ($im, 0, 0, 0));
$rand = _generateRandom(3);
ImageString($im, 5, 2, 2, " ".$rand[0]." ".$rand[1]." ".$rand[2], ImageColorAllocate ($im, 255, 0, 0));
Header ('Content-type: image/jpeg');
imagejpeg($im,NULL,100);
ImageDestroy($im);
?]

2) Add the following line at the top of the page where you need to implement the CAPTCHA (there should not be any output before this line, except you use php functions ob_start() and ob_end_flush() to turn on output buffering):
[?php session_start(); ?]

3) Add the following line for check is CAPTCHA entered by visitor valid, before the line where you will proceed submitted message:
[?php if($_SESSION["captcha"]==$_POST["captcha"])
{
//CAPTHCA is valid; proceed the message: save to database, send by e-mail ...
echo 'CAPTHCA is valid; proceed the message';
}
else {

echo 'CAPTHCA is not valid; ignore submission'; }?]

4) Finaly add the CAPTCHA to the form:
[img src="captcha.php" alt="captcha image"][input type="text" name="captcha" size="3" maxlength="3"]

P.S.
notice:
- the tags "[?" and "?]" in code samples above should be replaced to the "", you may download original article and code sample here: free download php captcha demo

- requirements: a webserver (windows or linux no matter) with PHP engine, with GD (graphic library) support, you may check your php settings with phpinfo() function

- you need some blank jpg image for use it as background for CAPTCHA string

By Andrew Ivanov
PHP Image Gallery
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