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What is the meaning of an associative array in PHP?

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What is the meaning of an associative array in PHP?
posted Jan 13, 2016 by anonymous

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1 Answer

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An array is a data structure that stores one or more similar type of values in a single value. For example if you want to store 100 numbers then instead of defining 100 variables its easy to define an array of 100 length.

There are three different kind of arrays and each array value is accessed using an ID c which is called array index.

Numeric array − An array with a numeric index. Values are stored and accessed in linear fashion.

Associative array − An array with strings as index. This stores element values in association with key values rather than in a strict linear index order.

Multidimensional array − An array containing one or more arrays and values are accessed using multiple indices

Associative Arrays

The associative arrays are very similar to numeric arrays in term of functionality but they are different in terms of their index. Associative array will have their index as string so that you can establish a strong association between key and values.

To store the salaries of employees in an array, a numerically indexed array would not be the best choice. Instead, we could use the employees names as the keys in our associative array, and the value would be their respective salary.

NOTE − Don't keep associative array inside double quote while printing otherwise it would not return any value.



         /* First method to associate create array. */
         $salaries = array("mohammad" => 2000, "qadir" => 1000, "zara" => 500);

         echo "Salary of mohammad is ". $salaries['mohammad'] . "<br />";
         echo "Salary of qadir is ".  $salaries['qadir']. "<br />";
         echo "Salary of zara is ".  $salaries['zara']. "<br />";

         /* Second method to create array. */
         $salaries['mohammad'] = "high";
         $salaries['qadir'] = "medium";
         $salaries['zara'] = "low";

         echo "Salary of mohammad is ". $salaries['mohammad'] . "<br />";
         echo "Salary of qadir is ".  $salaries['qadir']. "<br />";
         echo "Salary of zara is ".  $salaries['zara']. "<br />";


This will produce the following result −

Salary of mohammad is 2000
Salary of qadir is 1000
Salary of zara is 500
Salary of mohammad is high
Salary of qadir is medium
Salary of zara is low
answer Jan 13, 2016 by Manikandan J
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