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PHP Introduction

This article introduces you with the PHP programming language. The PHP is server-side, platform independent, scripting language to develop dynamic web applications.

In this section I will introduce you with the PHP scripting language. The PHP scripting language is cross-platform and can run on Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris, Unix and other platforms where PHP interpreter is available.

It is an open source server-side scripting language, mostly used for the development of web based dynamic web applications. It is one of the most used programming language used to develop dynamic websites. It is easily to learn scripting language and takes less time to master.

PHP Introduction

The word PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It is open-source scripting language that can be embedded into HTML page. PHP allows the developers to add the dynamic processing logic to HTML file. So, you can make your html dynamic by using the PHP code in it. Generally PHP file is saved with the .php extension. Since, PHP is interpreted language it is not compiled into binary file like Java. You can modify your code and copy on the server and the PHP processor executes it once it is accessed from the web browser.

What is the use of PHP?
The PHP is one of the powerful scripting language. It can be used to develop small dynamic website to large complex e-commerce web application. PHP can be used to:

  • Develop small dynamic website
  • Develop the form emailing script for your website
  • Can be used to develop the visitor counter for your website
  • Develop the online forms to receive the client inquiry
  • Develop the CMS application for the website
  • Develop large complex e-commerce application

There are many libraries available for PHP, which can be used to add complex processing logic into an application. Here is the list of the few libraries:

  • pChart
    The pChart library can be used to add the charting functionalities into an application
  • Libchart
    Another simple charting library in PHP.
  • JpGraph
    Use this library to develop Object-oriented graphs.
  • Open Flash Chart
    Use this to develop flash based charts.
  • MagpieRSS
    Read and manipulate the RSS feeds in your PHP program.
  • SimplePie
    Use this to process RSS feeds and Atom feeds.
  • phpThumb
    Use this library to generate thumbnails in your PHP program.
  • PHP Payment Library
    The library can be used to integrate the applications with Paypal, and 2Checkout payment processing gateways.
  • Propel
    This is ORM tools for PHP5. Use this framework to develop persistence layer in PHP using Object-Relational Mapping techology.
  • Outlet
    It is another ORM mapping tool for PHP.
  • FPDF
    Use this library to generate PDF files from your PHP program.
  • php-excel
    Generate xls files from your PHP program.
  • PHP Excel Reader
    Read the xls file and retrieves the data in your php program.
  • Swift Mailer
    A mailing library in PHP
  • PHPMailer
    Very powerful emailing library in PHP.
  • SimpleTest
    Unit testing library in PHP.
  • PHPUnit
    Another UNIT testing library.

How can I Develop and test PHP applications?

PHP is simple programs are simple text file that are saved into .php extension. It is very easily write and test PHP code. Any editor like notepad can be used to write and save the code. To run the PHP program we need the PHP interpreter that can be downloaded from the PHP website. You can use the WAMP server on windows to test the application on your development environment. Read more about downloading and installing the WAMP server at:
* Downloading & Installing Wamp server
* Running & Testing on WAMP server


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