What is PHP?
PHP (stand for Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. It is considered as an amazing and popular language!
It is powerful enough to be at the core of the biggest blogging system on the web (Word Press)!
It is deep enough to run the largest social network (Facebook)!
It is also easy enough to be a beginner’s first server side language!
What Can PHP Do?
PHP is mainly focused on server-side scripting.There are three main areas where PHP scripts are used.
Server-side scripting. This is the most traditional and main target field for PHP. You need three things to make this work. The PHP parser (CGI or server module), a web server and a web browser. You need to run the web server, with a connected PHP installation. You can access the PHP program output with a web browser, viewing the PHP page through the server. All these can run on your home machine if you are just experimenting with PHP programming.
Command line scripting. You can make a PHP script to run it without any server or browser. You only need the PHP parser to use it this way. This type of usage is ideal for scripts regularly executed using cron (on *nix or Linux) or Task Scheduler (on Windows). These scripts can also be used for simple text processing tasks.
Writing desktop applications. PHP is probably not the very best language to create a desktop application with a graphical user interface, but if you know PHP very well, and would like to use some advanced PHP features in your client-side applications you can also use PHP-GTK to write such programs. You also have the ability to write cross-platform applications this way. PHP-GTK is an extension to PHP, not available in the main distribution.
What PHP can do like: collect form data, generate dynamic page content, or send and receive cookies.
- PHP can generate dynamic page content
- PHP can create, open, read, write, delete, and close files on the server
- PHP can collect form data
- PHP can send and receive cookies
- PHP can add, delete, modify data in your database
- PHP can be used to control user-access
- PHP can encrypt data
There are many benefits of using this scripting language and some of the most significant advantages include the following
- PHP runs on various platforms (Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac OS X, etc.)
- PHP has support for almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS, etc.). You also have the choice of using procedural programming or object oriented programming (OOP), or a mixture of them both.With PHP you are not limited to output HTML.
- PHP’s abilities includes outputting images, PDF files and even Flash movies. You can also output easily any text, such as XHTML and any other XML file. PHP can autogenerate these files, and save them in the file system, instead of printing it out, forming a server-side cache for your dynamic content.
- PHP supports a wide range of databases. (Ex: Database specific extensions – for mysql, abstraction layer like PDO, ODBC extension, cURL or sockets…)
- PHP also has support for talking to other services using protocols such as LDAP, IMAP, SNMP, NNTP, POP3, HTTP, COM (on Windows) and countless others.
- PHP is free.
- PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side
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- Source: Mobile Application Development Using PHP