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PHP - Introduction


PHP is a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages. PHP is the widely-used, free, and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft's ASP. In our PHP tutorial you will learn about PHP, and how to execute scripts on your server.

What You Should Already Know

Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:
  • HTML/XHTML
  • JavaScript


What is PHP?

  • PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
  • PHP is a server-side scripting language, like ASP
  • PHP scripts are executed on the server
  • PHP supports many databases (MySQL, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, Generic ODBC, etc.)
  • PHP is an open source software
  • PHP is free to download and use


What is a PHP File?

  • PHP files can contain text, HTML tags and scripts
  • PHP files are returned to the browser as plain HTML
  • PHP files have a file extension of ".php", ".php3", or ".phtml"


What is MySQL?

  • MySQL is a database server
  • MySQL is ideal for both small and large applications
  • MySQL supports standard SQL
  • MySQL compiles on a number of platforms
  • MySQL is free to download and use


PHP + MySQL

PHP combined with MySQL are cross-platform (you can develop in Windows and serve on a Unix platform)

Why PHP?

  • PHP runs on different platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.)
  • PHP is compatible with almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS, etc.)
  • PHP is FREE to download from the official PHP resource: www.php.net
  • PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side


Where to Start?

To get access to a web server with PHP support, you can:
  • Install Apache (or IIS) on your own server, install PHP, and MySQL
  • Or find a web hosting plan with PHP and MySQL support

References

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