Assignment: Profiles, Positions and jQuery

In this assignment you will extend our simple resume database to support Create, Read, Update, and Delete operations (CRUD) into a Position table that has a many-to-one relationship to our Profile table.

This assignment will use JQuery to dynamically add and delete positions in the add and edit user interface.

Sample solution

You can explore a sample solution for this problem at


There are several resources you might find useful:

Additional Table Required for the Assignment

This assignment will add one more table to the database from the previous assignment. We will create a Position table and connect it to the Profile table with a many-to-one relationship.

  profile_id INTEGER,
  rank INTEGER,
  year INTEGER,
  description TEXT,

  PRIMARY KEY(position_id),

  CONSTRAINT position_ibfk_1
        FOREIGN KEY (profile_id)
        REFERENCES Profile (profile_id)
There is no logical key for this table.

The rank column should be used to record the order in which the positions are to be displayed. Do not use the year as the sort key when viewing the data.

Including JQuery

You should include the JQuery JavaScript along with the bootstrap CSS in your code similar to the following:

<link rel="stylesheet" 

<link rel="stylesheet" 


The Screens for This Assignment

We will be extending the user interface of the previous assignment to implement this assignment. All of the requirements from the previous assignment still hold. In this section we will talk about the additional UI requirements.

  • add.php You will need to have a section where the user can press a "+" button to add up to nine empty position entries. Each position entry includes a year (integer) and a description.
  • view.php Will show all of the positions in an un-numbered list.
  • edit.php Will support the addition of new position entries, the deletion of any or all of the existing entries, and the modification of any of the existing entries. After the "Save" is done, the data in the database should match whatever positions were on the screen and in the same order as the positions on the screen.
  • index.php No change needed.
  • login.php No change needed.
  • logout.php No change needed.
  • delete.php No change needed.
  • If the user goes to an add, edit, or delete script without being logged in, die with a message of "ACCESS DENIED".

    You might notice that there are several common operations across these files. You might want to build a set of utility functions to avoid copying and pasting the same code over and over across several files.

    Data validation

    In addition to all of the validation requirements from the previous assignment, you must make sure that for all the positions both the year and description are non-blank and that the year is numeric.

    All fields are required
    Year must be numeric

    Handling the Input From Multiple Positions

    If you look at the sample implementation, it only allows a maximum of nine positions in the form. This is checked and enforced in the JavaScript for both the add.php and edit.php code.

    The logic is somewhat simple and gets confusing when there is a combination of adds and deletes. It will never add more than nine new or total positions, but if you delete some of the positions, you do not get a postion "back" to re-add unless you press "Save". So if you add eight positions and then delete five positions without pressing "Save", you can only add one more entry rather than four more entries.

    This makes the JavaScript more simple and you are welcome to take the same approach.

    The result is that if you add two positions and delete one position, you will end up with a form that looks like the following in the generated document object model:

    <div id="position1">
    <p>Year: <input type="text" name="year1" value="">
    <input type="button" value="-" onclick="$('#position1').remove();return false;"></p>
    <textarea name="desc1" rows="8" cols="80"></textarea>
    <div id="position3">
    <p>Year: <input type="text" name="year3" value="">
    <input type="button" value="-" onclick="$('#position3').remove();return false;"></p>
    <textarea name="desc3" rows="8" cols="80"></textarea>
    In a sense we are simulating an array with the naming convention of the fields with the number at the end of the field. A way to handle multiple inputs with a naming convention like this is to use code like the following:
    function validatePos() {
        for($i=1; $i<=9; $i++) {
            if ( ! isset($_POST['year'.$i]) ) continue;
            if ( ! isset($_POST['desc'.$i]) ) continue;
            $year = $_POST['year'.$i];
            $desc = $_POST['desc'.$i];
            if ( strlen($year) == 0 || strlen($desc) == 0 ) {
                return "All fields are required";
            if ( ! is_numeric($year) ) {
                return "Position year must be numeric";
        return true;
    Note that we handle gaps by simply checking the data that is present and skipping any data that is missing.

    Setting the Foreign Key for Positions

    When you are building the add.php code to add a new profile and some number of positions, you need to insert the profile_id as a foreign key for each of the position rows. But since you have not yet added the profile you do now know the profile_id which will be selected by the database.

    Fortunately there is a way to ask PDO for the most recently inserted primary key after the insert has been done using the lastInsertId() method provided by PDO. Here is some sample code:

        // Data is valid - time to insert
        $stmt = $pdo->prepare('INSERT INTO Profile
            (user_id, first_name, last_name, email, headline, summary) 
        VALUES ( :uid, :fn, :ln, :em, :he, :su)');
            ':uid' => $_SESSION['user_id'],
            ':fn' => $_POST['first_name'],
            ':ln' => $_POST['last_name'],
            ':em' => $_POST['email'],
            ':he' => $_POST['headline'],
            ':su' => $_POST['summary'])
        $profile_id = $pdo->lastInsertId();
            $stmt = $pdo->prepare('INSERT INTO Position
                (profile_id, rank, year, description) 
            VALUES ( :pid, :rank, :year, :desc)');
                ':pid' => $profile_id,
                ':rank' => $rank,
                ':year' => $year,
                ':desc' => $desc)
    The variable $profile_id contains the primary key of the newly created profile so you can include it in the INSERT into the Position table.

    Dealing with Changes to Positions When Editing

    When you implement edit.php the user can do any combination of adds, removals, or edits of the position data. So when you are processing the incoming POST data, you need to somehow get the data in the database to match the incoming POST data.

    One (difficult) approach is to retrieve the "old" positions from the database, and loop through all old positions and figure out which need to be deleted, updated, or inserted. If you want to try to do that for this assignment - feel free - but consider it an "extra challenge".

    For your first implementation of handling the POST data in edit.php just delete all the old Position entries and re-insert them:

        // Clear out the old position entries
        $stmt = $pdo->prepare('DELETE FROM Position
            WHERE profile_id=:pid');
        $stmt->execute(array( ':pid' => $_REQUEST['profile_id']));
        // Insert the position entries
        $rank = 1;
        for($i=1; $i<=9; $i++) {
            if ( ! isset($_POST['year'.$i]) ) continue;
            if ( ! isset($_POST['desc'.$i]) ) continue;
            $year = $_POST['year'.$i];
            $desc = $_POST['desc'.$i];
            $stmt = $pdo->prepare('INSERT INTO Position
                (profile_id, rank, year, description)
            VALUES ( :pid, :rank, :year, :desc)');
                ':pid' => $_REQUEST['profile_id'],
                ':rank' => $rank,
                ':year' => $year,
                ':desc' => $desc)
    This approach has the nice advantage that you are reusing code between edit.php and add.php. The only difference is that in edit.php you just remove the existing entries first.

    What To Hand In

    As a reminder, your code must meet all the specifications (including the general specifications) above. Just having good screen shots is not enough - we will look at your code to see if you made coding errors. For this assignment you will hand in:

    1. A screen shot (including the URL) of your add.php showing two positions
    2. A screen shot (including the URL) of your edit.php showing one position modified, one position deleted and one new position
    3. A screen shot (including the URL) of your view.php showing the correct new positions after the edit is complete
    4. A screen shot (including the URL) of your add.php showing the error message for a bad year
    5. A screen shot of your Postition database table showing at least three rows
    6. Source code of add.php
    7. Source code of view.php
    8. Source code of edit.php

    Optional Challenges

    General Specifications

    Here are some general specifications for this assignment:

    Database Setup Detail

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