What features does PHP/MySQL provide to deal with concurrent systems?
E.g, If I have a table, and I only want to allow one user to update at any one time. I want to put a lock on the database until the update is complete, then once that request is processed, unlock the database and allow another user to update?

To my understanding, this is exactly how MyISAM and InnoDB both work with slight differences. MyISAM locks the entire table while InnoDB locks a row during an insert/update.

It appears you can manually lock and unlock a table for a query though if necessary.

Some info on table locking in mysql
Some info on InnoDB locking

You can add a timestamp and user columns to the table.
Use these to detect if the table is in use;
For example, if the initial test query returns null time and user, the update query is allowed.

Great! Thanks for your responses. I will have play around with what was suggested and get back to you. Thanks.

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