Internet knowledgebase with PHP by Chetan Gadgil A knowledgebase where customers of a company can find answers to questions they have about its various products is very valuable. Here, customers can have their issues addressed by the support group and also share their experiences with other customers. The usefulness of a good knowledgebase is not just limited to external customers. Even within a company different teams can use it to interact more effectively. A web based information base is ideal due to many reasons: 1. Many users can access it simultaneously with just a browser. 2. Different users can be assigned different "roles" and different access privileges. E.g. A "customer" role can ask questions or comment on an existing answer. A "customer care engineer" can reply to questions, delete irrelevant questions. The knowledgebase can be configured to have various views, which would deliver only that content which the user is interested in. A good knowledgebase should be easily searchable for needed information. It should possibly provide information about as many products as possible. Certain users should be able to generate reports based on what products have more queries. It can thus be a good source for data-mining about customer and product related information. A knowledgebase can span multiple companies and their products. The information can be very easily processed by external tools if it is stored in a database. A relational database would provide the necessary performance and ease of use. One good relational database on Linux is MySQL. PHP has built-in support to talk to several databases including Oracle, Sybase, MySQL, Postgres. You can also talk to any other database through ODBC. A good way to implement such a knowledgebase would be through the use of server side scripting. Due to the excellent stability, scalability and extensibility characteristics, the Linux- Apache-PHP combination is a good candidate. PHP is a server side scripting module for the Apache web-server. It is meant as a HTML embedded scripting language. The language syntax is similar to that of PERL and Java. Like any server side scripting language it allows rapid development of dynamically generated web pages. PHP can be downloaded from It is opensource software. Getting started with PHP-Linux. First compile PHP and Apache together. Follow the instructions in the php-.../INSTALL file. Make sure that before you compile you have the "GD" library (for creating GIF images on the fly) installed. You should also install MySQL (download from and the development headers for MySQL before you compile PHP. Make the necessary changes to your Apcahe - http.conf and start it. Once your Apache installation is up and running, try a simple PHP example: test php

test php

Chetan Gadgil (Home-Linux)
Hello.php3 Load this page in your browser through your Apache web server. You must have observed that the "Hello, World!" message is evaluated when the page is delivered by the Web server to your browser. There are many ways of embedding PHP code into your HTML pages. OR OR ASP-style