I've been requested to write a PHP-driven database report by my boss. The reports will be located on our servers, where PHP is installed. However, the DBs that I'm supposed to read from are going to be located on the client machines.

The servers are running SuSE 9.3 with Apache (not sure what version). The clients may be running Win98 or they may be running WinXP.

I've been informed that there will be a program calling up my report on the client side; I presume this will be done with the ShellExecute command, which means it will automatically haul up the browser. I have also been informed that I can expect the client's IP to be sent over, presumably as part of a $_GET or $_POST block.

The problem is that I have no real clue how I'm supposed to make the connection between my report and the client machines. From what I've seen, I know I'll either need the odbc functions, or else some unified connection package like ADODB. I'm leaning toward ADODB, as I'm not sure I can guarantee the presence of a dsn for the odbc to work with. However, every tutorial I've seen online covering either of these methods appears to start from the assumption that the php installation is on the same box as the database. I don't really know where to start with setting up the connection across the Client/Server gap.

Does anyone know of a good tutorial that covers this kind of situation? Or have any insight for me as to how I should begin setting up my connection strings?

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