As you may already know, Google has a calculator feature built in their search engine, which can be used to convert measures, currencies, get stock quotes, weather data and many other features. You can see this features explained here.

Why wouldn’t we use it for something useful and build a simple AJAX currency converter using Google currency converter feature? We need some time, jQuery, Google, great music and of course, this tutorial.


So, let’s start. Create new file, call it index.php and make some basic markup for our converter:

[code lang=”html”]



[/code]

Basically, we have two drop downs with currencies, amount field and a button. Below is a div with id results which will hold our result data.

Now let’s add some jQuery to handle AJAX call and filling result data into our markup:

[code lang=”javascript”]
$(document).ready(function() {

$(‘#submit’).click(function(){

//Get the values
var amount = $(‘#amount’).val();
var from = $(‘#from’).val();
var to = $(‘#to’).val();

var params = “amount=” + amount + “&from=” + from + “&to=” + to;

$.ajax({
type: “POST”,
url: “convert.php”,
data: params,
success: function(data){
$(‘#results’).html(data);
}
});
});
});
[/code]

We are making an ajax call to convert.php and on success filling the data into results div.

And here is convert.php :

[code lang=”php”]
// sanitizing input using built in filter_input available from PHP 5.2
$amount = filter_input(INPUT_POST, ‘amount’, FILTER_VALIDATE_INT);
$from = filter_input(INPUT_POST, ‘from’, FILTER_SANITIZE_SPECIAL_CHARS);
$to = filter_input(INPUT_POST, ‘to’, FILTER_SANITIZE_SPECIAL_CHARS);

// building a parameter string for the query
$encoded_string = urlencode($amount) . urlencode($from) . ‘%3D%3F’ . urlencode($to);

$url = ‘http://www.google.com/ig/calculator?hl=en&q=’ . $encoded_string;

$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_FAILONERROR, 1);

$results = curl_exec($ch);

// this is json_decode function if you are having PHP < 5.2.0 // taken from php.net $comment = false; $out = '$x='; for ($i=0; $i

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