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processing database records

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Whats the standard technique for walking through a database and processing each record? 

It seems that I need a php script that generates a php script.  But then how do I get it to call the script created and then return to the originating script and continue processing.  This kind of scenario was not a problem in Foxpro, the language I am most familiar with.  I tried setting up an odbc connection and doing the processing from foxpro.  That method has serious performance problems!

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im afraid im only familiar with mySQL connections  - but something like this may be helpful

$host = "localhost";
$user = "??";
$pass = "??";


$SQL = "SELECT * FROM mytable;";

$result = mysql_query($SQL);
while ($row = mysql_fetch_row($result))
  echo $row[0] . $row[1];

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