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Introduction To PHP


A PHP file may contain text, HTML tags and scripts. Scripts in a PHP file are executed on the server.

What you should already know

Before you continue you should have some basic understanding of the following:

  • WWW, HTML and the basics of building Web pages

  • Some scripting knowledge

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 (OSS)

  • PHP is free to download and use

What is a PHP File?

  • PHP files may 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 small database server

  • MySQL is ideal for small and medium applications

  • MySQL supports standard SQL

  • MySQL compiles on a number of platforms

  • MySQL is free to download and use


  • PHP combined with MySQL are cross-platform (means that 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:

  • PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side

Where to Start?

  • Install an Apache server on a Windows or Linux machine

  • Install PHP on a Windows or Linux machine

  • Install MySQL on a Windows or Linux machine


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