PHP is a server-side, HTML-embedded, cross-platform scripting language. In simpler terms, PHP provides a way for us to put instructions into your HTML documents to create dynamic content.
These instructions are read and parsed by the Web server; they never actually make it to the Web browser that is displaying the page. The Web server replaces our PHP code with the content that the code was written to produce.
PHP Web Applications
PHP programming focuses principally on server-side applications, and by writing code that is to be executed on a Web server, you may achieve many more objectives than would otherwise be possible.
Increasingly, the Internet and intranets are being used for applications, most of which incorporate databases and email. These sites and applications are dynamic because their content varies according to the data involved and the actions of the user.
- Database connectivity is a powerful, popular use for PHP, and PHP supports a large number of databases natively:
Adabas D Ingres Oracle (OCI7 and OCI8) dBase InterBase Ovrimos Empress FrontBase PostgreSQL FilePro (read-only) mSQL Solid Hyperwave Direct MS-SQL Oracle (OCI7 and OCI8) IBM DB2 MySQL Velocis Informix ODBC Unix dbm
Many others are accessible through PHP's ODBC functions to enable us to connect to any other database supporting this world standard.
Through such database connectivity, it is possible, for example, to create a PHP-based Web interface for your company's database of products. This makes it much easier to edit the content of your Web pages by updating the contents of your database rather than the HTML code itself.
We can create PHP applications to display and update database information contained in a Web page, and enable you to manipulate the data therein by being able to sort the entries into any order or view a subset of them.
In eCommerce applications, the Cybercash payment, CyberMUT, VeriSign Payflow Pro and CCVS PHP functions are useful for your online payment programs.
PHP's abilities may be exploited to output images, PDF files and even Flash movies on the fly. We can also easily output text, such as XHTML or other XML files. PHP can automatically generate and save these files on a server to form a server-side cache for your dynamic Web content.
- We can write applications to process form data and return information and/or send email to the user based upon their input, rotate through a series of graphics, send and receive cookies, and much more.
This list only scratches the surface of the applications we can create for you. Our PHP programs allow you to accomplish these objectives and many others.
PHP can be configured to run either as a server module or as a stand alone CGI script, and you have the freedom to choose an operating system and a Web server to host your PHP applications.
PHP can be used on all major operating systems including Linux, many Unix variants (including HP-UX, Solaris and OpenBSD), Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, RISC OS, and others. PHP is supported on most Web servers today including Apache, Microsoft Internet Information Server, Personal Web Server, Netscape and iPlanet servers, Oreilly Website Pro Server, Caudium, Xitami, OmniHTTPd, and many others.
The PHP language itself borrows concepts from other common languages, such as C and Perl. In addition to the core language, PHP provides a wide variety of functions that support everything from array manipulation to regular-expression support.