PHP Programming language is an HTML-embedded scripting language. The goal of PHP language is to allow web developers to write dynamically generated pages quickly. Basically, PHP allows a static webpage to become dynamic. PHP programming language is a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages. PHP programming language is the widely-used, free, and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft’s ASP.
When someone visits your PHP webpage, your web server processes the PHP code. It then sees which parts it needs to show to visitors (content and pictures) and hides the other stuff (file operations, math calculations, etc.) then translates your PHP into HTML. After the translation into HTML, it sends the webpage to your visitor’s web browser.
PHP programming language is mainly focused on server-side scripting, so you can do anything any other CGI program can do, such as collect form data, generate dynamic page content, or send and receive cookies
There are three main areas where PHP scripts are used.
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.
Benefits of PHP Language:
* Writing PHP on your computer is actually very simple. You don’t need any special software, except for a text editor (like Notepad in Windows). Run this and you are ready to write your first PHP script.
* PHP will allow you to reduce the time to create large websites.
* PHP language can create a customized user experience for visitors based on information that you have gathered from them.
* The PHP programming language allow for the creation of shopping carts for e-commerce websites.
* PHP programming language 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 probably others.
* Today PHP supports most of the web servers which includes Apache, IIS, and many others.
* PHP programming language works as either a module, or as a CGI processor.
* PHP’s abilities includes outputting images, PDF files and even Flash movies 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.
* The programming language of PHP can auto generate files, and save them in the file system, instead of printing it out, forming a server-side cache for your dynamic content.
* The strongest and most significant features in PHP is its support for a wide range of databases. Writing a database-enabled web page is incredibly simple using one of the database specific extensions or using an abstraction layer like PDO, or connect to any database supporting the Open Database Connection standard via the ODBC extension. Other databases may utilize cURL or sockets, like CouchDB.
* 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.
* You can also open raw network sockets and interact using any other protocol with PHP.
* PHP has support for the WDDX complex data exchange between virtually all Web programming languages.
* Regarding interconnection, PHP has support for instantiation of Java objects and using them transparently as PHP objects.
* PHP has useful text processing features, which includes the Perl compatible regular expressions (PCRE), and many extensions and tools to parse and access XML documents.
* PHP standardizes all of the XML extensions on the solid base of libxml2, and extends the feature set adding SimpleXML, XMLReader and XMLWriter support.