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Last updated: Thu, 21 Aug 2003

CVII. W32api functions


This extension is a generic extension API to DLLs. This was originally written to allow access to the Win32 API from PHP, although you can also access other functions exported via other DLLs.

Currently supported types are generic PHP types (strings, booleans, floats, integers and nulls) and types you define with w32api_deftype().


This extension is EXPERIMENTAL. The behaviour of this extension -- including the names of its functions and anything else documented about this extension -- may change without notice in a future release of PHP. Use this extension at your own risk.


This extension will only work on Windows systems.


There is no installation needed to use these functions; they are part of the PHP core.

Runtime Configuration

This extension has no configuration directives defined in php.ini.

Resource Types

This extension defines one resource type, used for user defined types. The name of this resource is "dynaparm".

Predefined Constants

The constants below are defined by this extension, and will only be available when the extension has either been compiled into PHP or dynamically loaded at runtime.

DC_MICROSOFT (integer)

DC_BORLAND (integer)

DC_CALL_CDECL (integer)

DC_CALL_STD (integer)

DC_RETVAL_MATH4 (integer)

DC_RETVAL_MATH8 (integer)

DC_CALL_STD_BO (integer)

DC_CALL_STD_MS (integer)

DC_CALL_STD_M8 (integer)

DC_FLAG_ARGPTR (integer)


This example gets the amount of time the system has been running and displays it in a message box.

Example 1. Get the uptime and display it in a message box

// Define constants needed, taken from
// Visual Studio/Tools/Winapi/WIN32API.txt
define("MB_OK", 0);

// Load the extension in

// Register the GetTickCount function from kernel32.dll
// Register the MessageBoxA function from User32.dll

// Get uptime information
$ticks = GetTickCount();

// Convert it to a nicely displayable text
$secs  = floor($ticks / 1000);
$mins  = floor($secs / 60);
$hours = floor($mins / 60);

$str = sprintf("You have been using your computer for:".
                "\r\n %d Milliseconds, or \r\n %d Seconds".
                "or \r\n %d mins or\r\n %d hours %d mins.",
                $mins - ($hours*60));

// Display a message box with only an OK button and the uptime text
            "Uptime Information", 
Table of Contents
w32api_deftype -- Defines a type for use with other w32api_functions
w32api_init_dtype --  Creates an instance of the data type typename and fills it with the values passed
w32api_invoke_function -- Invokes function funcname with the arguments passed after the function name
w32api_register_function -- Registers function function_name from library with PHP
w32api_set_call_method -- Sets the calling method used

add a note add a note User Contributed Notes
W32api functions
24-Aug-2003 03:42
The small, unofficial documentation is now available here .
The old link from the post above is dead.

Note that the W32API doesn't seem to be under development anymore. E-Mails to the author stayed unanswered.
If you really have to use it, just some hints here: There are often problems concerning Apache webservers. This extension doesn't seem to work with mod_php.
I used the API on IIS5 with PHP as CGI. Additionally the IUSR_<hostname> (that's the user IIS runs php.exe by default) might need additional rights to be able to call certain API-functions.
silver_dragoon77 at hotmail dot com
28-Jun-2003 02:03

for phpgtk users, who might want to add some sound to their apps, here is the code, assuming ding.wav is in the script's directory

$api = new win32;
$api->registerfunction("long sndPlaySound (string a, int b) From winmm.dll");
$api->sndPlaySound("ding.wav", 0);

you can use the big win32.hlp file containing the win32 api reference to get some other multimedia functions

wobble at gmx dot de
01-Apr-2003 04:09
I played a bit around with the W32API. Here is some code that actually works with the current release of W32API.
The interface changed completely, so all documentation about this extension is out-dated. While the old release
just implemented "plain" functions, the current version offers a class to handle all the API-related operations.
Additionally, functions are now registered using a SQL-like language with a single string.


= new win32;

     BOOL GetUserName(
        LPTSTR lpBuffer,    // address of name buffer
        LPDWORD nSize       // address of size of name buffer
    Returns the current thread's username
    "&" passes argument as "refrence" not as "copy"
$api->registerfunction("long GetUserName (string &a, int &b) From advapi32.dll");

    DWORD GetTickCount(VOID)
    Returns the ms the OS is running
$api->registerfunction("long GetTickCount () From Kernel32.dll");

$len 255;                   // set the length your variable should have
$name str_repeat("\0"$len); // prepare an empty string
if ($api->GetUserName($name$len) == 0)

if (!(
$time $api->GetTickCount()))

"Username: $name<br>\nSystemtime: $time<br>\n";



Jan Kleinsorge
arunasphp at anm dot org
06-Aug-2002 03:32
In order to use most (perhaps all?) of the win32 API while running with a web server you have to give the server service permission to interact with the desktop.  This is especially noticeable with the given example, where the script will try to display message boxes on the server's display.

Keep in mind, however, that you should think hard about the consequences of letting a web server interact with your desktop, especially if you're not the only one using the web server.

 Last updated: Thu, 21 Aug 2003
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