As I'm sure you can tell by now, the PEAR::DB package provides us with an enormous amount of functionality, making our job as developers that much easier. All of the methods listed above are optimised, and really do make working with databases so much easier.
If you're planning to develop your site using say a MySQL database for development, and a PostreSQL server for production, then the PEAR::DB package will be invaluable to you: simply configure PHP with PostgreSQL support and change the connection properties of your DSN to work with either MySQL or PostrgreSQL.
For more information on PEAR, feel free to take a look at the books and links shown below.
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