PHP Serialize() & Unserialize() Issues
I've been working on some very large forms lately and I've come to the conclusion that creating a database scheme around them wouldn't be the best option because:
- My customers don't need to analyze all form submissions as a whole -- form information is simply used on a per-submission basis (like a job application, for example).
- Making updates to these forms would be very costly since it would take quite a bit of time to add and remove DB fields as well as update the HTML form.
- I'd like to revert the information into an array format just like it came in easily.
For that reason, I've been using the serialize() and unserialize() functions often. Serializing an array keeps the information in an array format, so to speak, but in one long string. Anyways, I ran into the following error when testing unserialize on some information that I had serialized:
Notice: unserialize(): Error at offset 2 of 52 bytes in file.php on line 130
It turns out that if there's a ", ', :, or ; in any of the array values the serialization gets corrupted. I've found the following fix for this issue on PHP.net:
//to safely serialize $safe_string_to_store = base64_encode(serialize($multidimensional_array)); //to unserialize... $array_restored_from_db = unserialize(base64_decode($encoded_serialized_string));
It's a great fix to simple problem!