Displaying PDF embedded in PHP page with "Header", IE issue

I have a PHP page that dynamically displays a PDF page embedded within a PHP using Headers as follows:

<?php
include "database_functions.php";
$query="select * from pdf_files where pid = '".postUrlStringValue('pid',null)."'";
$res=mysql_query($query,getdbHandle());
$row = mysql_fetch_assoc($res);
extract($row);
$filename = str_replace(" ", "_", $name);
if (isset($pdfdata)) {
header("Pragma: public");
header("Expires: 0");
header("Cache-Control: must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0");
header("Cache-Control: private",false);
header("Content-type: application/pdf");
header("Content-Disposition:inline; filename=\"$filename\"");
echo $pdfdata;
}
?>

The $pdfdata is actually coming from a database where the pdf is stored, atlhough I could put the pdf files on the server and reference them in the database.  I would prefer to keep them in a database though.

The pdf's display fine in Firefox and and Safari, but there is an error in IE where the new window will pup up for a second and then close itself, no data displayed.  Wondering if I need to change/adjust the headers, if it is a IE PDF Plug-in issue or what.  I did have a statement in there with the strlen($pdfdata) for the size of the file and that did not seem to make any difference.

Thanks.
LVL 5
sscottiAsked:
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Ray PaseurConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Here is how I force a download of a file.  The issue you are having may be related to the special header issues with IE.  Check the comments in this code. ~Ray
<?php // RAY_force_download.php
error_reporting(E_ALL);



// DEMONSTRATE HOW TO CAUSE A FILE DOWNLOAD



// REQUIRED FOR USE WITH THE PHP date() FUNCTIONS
date_default_timezone_set('America/New_York');

// A FILE TO DOWNLOAD - THIS LINK COULD COME IN THE URL VIA $_GET, OR COULD BE GENERATED INSIDE THE SCRIPT
$url = "http://www.LAPRBass.com/piechart.png";

// USE CASE
force_download($url);




// FUNCTION TO FORCE A DOWNLOAD FROM A FILE
function force_download($filename)
{
    // GET THE CONTENTS OF THE FILE
    $filedata = file_get_contents($filename);

    if ($filedata)
    {
        // GET A NAME FOR THE FILE
        $basename = basename($filename);

        // THESE HEADERS ARE USED ON ALL BROWSERS
        header("Content-Type: application-x/force-download");
        header("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=$basename");
        header("Content-length: ".(string)(strlen($filedata)));
        header("Expires: ".gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s", mktime(date("H")+2, date("i"), date("s"), date("m"), date("d"), date("Y")))." GMT");
        header("Last-Modified: ".gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s")." GMT");

        // THIS HEADER MUST BE OMITTED FOR IE 6+
        if (FALSE === strpos($_SERVER["HTTP_USER_AGENT"], 'MSIE '))
        {
            header("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate");
        }

        // THIS IS THE LAST HEADER
        header("Pragma: no-cache");

        // FLUSH THE HEADERS TO THE BROWSER
        flush();

        // CAPTURE THE FILE IN THE OUTPUT BUFFERS - WILL BE FLUSHED AT SCRIPT END
        ob_start();
        echo $filedata;
    }

    // ERROR
    else
    {
        die("ERROR: UNABLE TO OPEN $filename");
    }
}

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Kyle HamiltonData ScientistCommented:
not sure about the IE thing, but for what it's worth, my understanding is that storing files in the database itself slows things down a lot, so maybe it's better to reference the pdf, which would inadvertently solve your problem anyway...

Cheers.
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sscottiAuthor Commented:
Ray,

In this instance I am more interested in actually displaying the pdf inline with a browser plug-in.  It works as is in FireFox and Safari on both the Mac and Windows (with plug-in for firefox on Windows).  The URL is sscotti.com and just select one of the drop down options to test.
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Ray PaseurConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Why not just give the client a standard <a href="/path/to/file.pdf">link</a>?  I think the design would be simpler that way.

But that said, try detecting the user agent and omitting the cache-control header for MSIE.
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FugasConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi,

I would use an iframe and Rays code to display the pdf. Ray, sometimes you wont to have direct link to the file, maybe when you allow to download it just loged in user.
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