What is PHP?
PHP is an abbreviation for Hypertext Preprocessor and is the most commonly used scripting language in the creation of dynamic web pages. The PHP codes are embedded into a HTML or XHTML document that is interpreted by a server that has a PHP processor. This is why it is referred to as a server side scripting language as the operations are performed by the server in a network that has client and server computers. Similar to other scripting languages, PHP is a programming language that facilitates the control of multiple applications. PHP is an open source application which means that the source code is available to users who can manipulate it to suit their unique needs.
PHP was created in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf, a programmer who called it Personal Home Page Tools which was mainly written in C programming language. Over the years there have been many advances in the design of PHP with current versions having greater capabilities and being more user friendly as compared to the earlier versions. It currently one of the most popular server side scripting languages mainly because it is easy to learn and flexible. It also works very well with databases such as Oracle, Sybase, Informix and MySQL. PHP MySQL is commonly used largely due to the fact that both applications are open source products. PHP runs on almost all operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Those looking to learn scripting with PHP have very many online resources that they can use to learn the language. There are also many colleges around the world that offer training in PHP. However there are many programmers who continue to work with PHP without any formal training or certification. The main reason for this is that most programmers are evaluated using their portfolios or through practical interviews and employers will rarely ask about training and certification. This trend is gradually changing as programmers without prior experience in significant projects are now getting PHP training and certification to help them get project contracts and employment. PHP has successfully been applied in online business due to the interactions it allows users. There are many websites that have shopping cart applications, forums to collect feedback from clients, mailing lists, content management systems and much more which are all developed using PHP. This has made business processes more efficient and profitable as they reduce time spent doing any of these things. Online shopping has made it possible for even those who do not have enough capital to get a brick and mortar store to set up shop, collect customer feedback, keep their customers informed as well as update their online store with ease.
There have been some security concerns with PHP. These are mostly due to mistakes made by newer programmers who forget to take the necessary precautions when scripting. These concerns can however be dealt with by ensuring applications are developed with tight and secure codes. All in all, PHP is an excellent scripting language that has had a great impact on the internet and especially online businesses.