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Bug #36870 odbc_execute can't insert a string that starts and ends with a single quote
Submitted: 2006-03-27 12:08 UTC Modified: 2006-04-10 00:40 UTC
From: mjs at beebo dot org Assigned:
Status: Not a bug Package: ODBC related
PHP Version: 5.1.2 OS: Windows
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
 [2006-03-27 12:08 UTC] mjs at beebo dot org
odbc_execute has a feature whereby if the string to be inserted starts and ends with a single quote, the string is interpreted as a filename whose contents are interpreted as the value of the placeholder.

There does not appear to be a way to insert a string that begins and ends with a single quote--neither backslashing nor double-quoting works, and it appears from reading the source (php_odbc.c:1014) that nothing else will either.

Reproduce code:
$sth = odbc_prepare($dbh, "INSERT INTO people(name) VALUES(?)");
$res = odbc_execute($sth, array('\'The Count\''));

Expected result:
The string \'The Count\' inserted into the database.

Actual result:
The string is interpreded as a filename, resulting in the erro "Can't open file XXX" in the error log.


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 [2006-04-10 00:40 UTC]
Thank you for taking the time to write to us, but this is not
a bug. Please double-check the documentation available at and the instructions on how to report
a bug at

This is documented limitation. See
 [2016-01-26 14:42 UTC] lehmann at cnm dot de
Just because something is documented, it is not a desirable feature. I'm pretty sure that most of the database developers - although the documentation formally exists - are not aware of this unexpected weirdness.

If it was a feature, you could explicitly decide to use it. In this case however, you cannot even opt-out or disable it. You are forced to use the less secure odbc_exec() instead, which doesn't allow prepared statements. Or you are forced to code workarounds like adding a blank to the string on PHP side and use RTRIM(?) on database side to remove it.

So while 0,01% of the developers may find this feature useful, 99,99% won't even be aware of it and introduce a security hole into their applications unwillingly. I think it's time to clean up and make those rare users make us of file_get_contents() instead.
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