Associative Array in PHP

 

Your arrays keys don't have to be numbers, as in the previous section. They can be text. This can help you remember what's in a key, or what it's supposed to do. When you use text for the keys, you're using an Associative array; when you use numbers for the keys, you're using a Scalar array. Here's an array that sets up first name and surname combinations:

$full_name = array( );

$full_name["David"] = "Gilmour";
$full_name["Nick"] = "Mason";
$full_name["Roger"] = "Waters";
$full_name["Richard"] = "Wright";

Fans of a certain band will know exactly who these people are! But look at the keys and values now:

David => "Gilmour",
Nick => "Mason",
Roger => "Waters",
Richard => "Wright"

This is easier to remember than this:

0 => "Gilmour",
1 => "Mason",
2 => "Waters",
3 => "Wright"

To access the values in an Associative array, just refer to the Key name:

print $full_name["David"];

However, because Associative arrays don't have numbers for the keys, another technique is used to loop round them – the For Each loop. We'll see how they work in the next part.