PHP5: how do I pull serialized data from db?

Hello Experts,

Steps:
1. Insert serialized data into db
ex: $serializedSessionData = serialize($sessiondata);
it looks something like this:
a:3:{s:4:"time";a:1:{s:5:"start";s:5:"23:30";}s:2:"UA";a:1:{i:0;s:72:"Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/31.0";}s:2:"IP";a:1:{i:0;s:9:"127.0.0.1";}}

how do I pull serialized data from db? In other words, if I want to assign the "UA" value to a variable, how do I do that?

If I am too vague, please let me know I can try to clarify....

Regards,
epifanio67Asked:
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Ray PaseurCommented:
You pull the serialized data, then use PHP unserialize().

But don't do that.  Instead use JSON.  It's a more universal notation than PHP serialized data, and it accomplishes the same thing.

If you want the value of "UA" you can get it from $sessiondata before you encode it into a string.
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epifanio67Author Commented:
Thank you Ray,

I was afraid I had to unserialize the data first... too much code...
I was hoping to treat it as an obj array somehow...

I will try JSON...

Regards,
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epifanio67Author Commented:
Thank you Ray
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Ray PaseurCommented:
Thanks for the points.  When I've had to store large amounts of "serialized" data in the past (stuff from APIs and the like) I usually pulled out a few key search elements and put them into separate columns of the table.  Then you can store the long JSON string as a "text" data type.  If most of the search queries are satisfied by the separate columns you will get pretty good performance.  If your query misses on the separate columns you can fall back to make a fulltext search on the long JSON string.
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Ray PaseurCommented:
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epifanio67Author Commented:
Thank you Ray,

Really appreciate the tips...

Regards,
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Ray PaseurCommented:
Glad to help.  If you need examples or have any questions about it, we will be here!
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