Write to MySQL database using JavaScript onClick event/PHP

Posted on 2009-02-22
Last Modified: 2013-12-12
All I am looking to do is have a custom button (a modified DIV) post updates to my MySQL table using a JavaScript onClick event and PHP.  I have come up with the following code to perform such a task but I can't figure out why it's not working.  The bottom-most code is working code I've been using to send messages using a form/button.

I'm fairly confident I could create another button to post updates to a different table but I'm still new to PHP/MySQL and looking for a way to write to my database in other ways than a form/button.  For UI simplicity I want the user to be able to click within a DIV to post status updates without having to reload the page (as is the case with buttons).
<script language="Java Script" type="text/javascript">

function something(){


            mysql_query("INSERT into members (name,userStatus) values('$name', '2')") or die("Could not insert message");




<div onClick="something()">Click Me</div>

=======Working Code=========



include "connect.php";

if(isset($_POST['submit'])){ //if submit button push has been detected


   $strFirst_Name =$_SESSION['SESS_FIRST_NAME'];

   $strSpace = " ";

   $strLast_Name =$_SESSION['SESS_LAST_NAME'];

   $strName = $strFirst_Name.$strSpace.$strLast_Name;



      print "You did not input a message";

   } else {


      $IP=$_SERVER["REMOTE_ADDR"]; //grabs poster's IP

      $checkforbanned="SELECT IP from ipbans where IP='$IP'";

      $checkforbanned2=mysql_query($checkforbanned) or die("Could not check for banned IPS");

      if(mysql_num_rows($checkforbanned2)>0){ //IP is in the banned list

         print "You IP is banned from posting.";

      } else {

         $thedate = date("U"); //grab date and time of the post

         $insertmessage="INSERT into chatmessages (name,IP,postime,message) values('$name','$IP','$thedate','$message')";

         mysql_query($insertmessage) or die("Could not insert message");





<form action='submit.php' method='post' name='form'>

  <div align="center">


      <textarea name='message' id='messageo' cols='30' rows='1' wrap="soft" style="height:35px;"></textarea>

      <input type='submit' id='submito' name='submit' value='Send' style="height:35px; width:100px; vertical-align:top;">





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Question by:CauseLs
    LVL 107

    Expert Comment

    by:Ray Paseur
    Here is the "ultra-simple" explanation of AJAX, which I think might have been written my Rasmus Lerdorf a few years ago.  Everything is built off this foundation, so your task is then to add the appropriate "back-and-forth" data fields and name the DIVs correctly.

    Best, ~Ray
    LVL 107

    Expert Comment

    by:Ray Paseur

    I find a lot of this AJAX stuff a bit of a hype.  Lots of people have
    been using similar things long before it became "AJAX".  And it really
    isn't as complicated as a lot of people make it out to be.  Here is a
    simple example from one of my apps.  
    First the Javascript:
    function createRequestObject() {
        var ro;
        var browser = navigator.appName;
        if(browser == "Microsoft Internet Explorer"){
            ro = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
            ro = new XMLHttpRequest();
        return ro;
    var http = createRequestObject();
    function sndReq(action) {
   'get', 'rpc.php?action='+action);
        http.onreadystatechange = handleResponse;
    function handleResponse() {
        if(http.readyState == 4){
            var response = http.responseText;
            var update = new Array();
            if(response.indexOf('|' != -1)) {
                update = response.split('|');
                document.getElementById(update[0]).innerHTML = update[1];
    This creates a request object along with a send request and handle
    response function.  So to actually use it, you could include this js in
    your page.  Then to make one of these backend requests you would tie it
    to something.  Like an onclick event or a straight href like this:
      <a href="javascript:sndReq('foo')">[foo]</a>
    That means that when someone clicks on that link what actually happens
    is that a backend request to rpc.php?action=foo will be sent.
    In rpc.php you might have something like this:
      switch($_REQUEST['action']) {
        case 'foo':
          / do something /
          echo "foo|foo done";
    Now, look at handleResponse.  It parses the "foo|foo done" string and
    splits it on the '|' and uses whatever is before the '|' as the dom
    element id in your page and the part after as the new innerHTML of that
    element.  That means if you have a div tag like this in your page:
      <div id="foo">
    Once you click on that link, that will dynamically be changed to:
      <div id="foo">
      foo done
    That's all there is to it.  Everything else is just building on top of
    this.  Replacing my simple response "id|text" syntax with a richer XML
    format and makine the request much more complicated as well.  Before you
    blindly install large "AJAX" libraries, have a go at rolling your own
    functionality so you know exactly how it works and you only make it as
    complicated as you need.  Often you don't need much more than what I
    have shown here.
    Expanding this approach a bit to send multiple parameters in the
    request, for example, would be really simple.  Something like:
      function sndReqArg(action,arg) {
   'get', 'rpc.php?action='+action+'&arg='+arg);
        http.onreadystatechange = handleResponse;
    And your handleResponse can easily be expanded to do much more
    interesting things than just replacing the contents of a div.

    Open in new window


    Accepted Solution

    This appears to be exactly what I needed:

    Thank you very much for your answer though, Ray!  I will consider that approach when updating DIV content.
    LVL 107

    Expert Comment

    by:Ray Paseur
    Cool!  Good luck with it, ~Ray

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