Hello, I have seen on wordpress and joomla that data is sometimes stored in the database by using a certain method that allows a lot of info (normally related to the cms' settings) to be stored in one record.

What is its purpouse? How does it work? How is the info retrieved using PHP? Do you know of any links to tutorials on this issue?

Thanks for any feedback provided !!

This is a wordpress example:

a:2:{i:2;a:4{s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:5:"count";i:0;s:12:"hierarchical";i:0;s:8:"dropdown";i:0;}s:12:"_multiwidget";i:1;}

This is a joomla example:

__default|a:9:{s:22:"session.client.browser";s:88:"Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; es-MX; rv:1.9.2.3) Gecko/20100401 Firefox/3.6.3";s:15:"session.counter";i:16;s:8:"registry";O:9:"JRegistry":3:{s:17:"_defaultNameSpace";s:7:"session";s:9:"_registry";a:2:{s:7:"session";a:1:{s:4:"data";O:8:"stdClass":0:{}}s:11:"application";a:1:{s:4:"data";O:8:"stdClass":1:{s:4:"lang";s:0:"";}}}s:7:"_errors";a:0:{}}s:4:"user";O:5:"JUser":19:{s:2:"id";s:2:"62";s:4:"name";s:13:"Administrator";s:8:"username";s:5:"admin";s:5:"email";s:20:"raguilarml@gmail.com";s:8:"password";s:65:"b6271c3e20561b78a04ce424d9ac2782:IabmRo9LVgQC9bzR2rvzZqEa7DXnFOy9";s:14:"password_clear";s:0:"";s:8:"usertype";s:19:"Super Administrator";s:5:"block";s:1:"0";s:9:"sendEmail";s:1:"1";s:3:"gid";s:2:"25";s:12:"registerDate";s:19:"2010-10-28 17:34:53";s:13:"lastvisitDate";s:19:"2010-10-28 22:35:35";s:10:"activation";s:0:"";s:6:"params";s:0:"";s:3:"aid";i:2;s:5:"guest";i:0;s:7:"_params";O:10:"JParameter":7:{s:4:"_raw";s:0:"";s:4:"_xml";N;s:9:"_elements";a:0:{}s:12:"_elementPath";a:1:{i:0;s:127:"C:\xampp\htdocs\contraste\sitioweb\rt_syndicate_oct2010\rt_syndicate_j15-rocketlauncher\libraries\joomla\html\parameter\element";}s:17:"_defaultNameSpace";s:8:"_default";s:9:"_registry";a:1:{s:8:"_default";a:1:{s:4:"data";O:8:"stdClass":0:{}}}s:7:"_errors";a:0:{}}s:9:"_errorMsg";N;s:7:"_errors";a:0:{}}s:13:"session.token";s:32:"38839502897b892d7691c3c4bdcaf2e4";s:19:"session.timer.start";i:1288366788;s:18:"session.timer.last";i:1288367303;s:17:"session.timer.now";i:1288367303;s:23:"gantry-current-template";s:16:"rt_syndicate_j15";}