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PHP and MySQL Web Development

Definitions and History of PHP

by Bernard Kohan

PHP and MySQL Development

PHP is a fast and feature-rich open source scripting language used to develop Web Applications or Internet / Intranet Applications.

MySQL is a powerful open source database server built based on a relational database management system (RDBMS) and is capable of handling a large concurrent database connection.

When combined together, talented PHP and MySQL developers can build very powerful and scalable Web / Internet / Intranet Applications.

PHP and MySQL are referred to as development tools.

PHP and MySQL are Open Source, meaning that they are free development tools, and there is a large community of dedicated volunteer programmers who contribute to make improvements and are continuously adding features to it. The development tools and database servers that require licensing costs have limited programming resources compared to open source development tools, which have an enormous and fast growing dedicated and knowledgeable community that extends around the world.

There has been disagreement about which tool is better. Naturally, the developer who is more familiar with one tool over the other will stand behind the tool that he or she has experience with.

With our experience, we have found that, PHP and MySQL are the best development tools. When developed correctly, applications can be built with clean and simple usability, complex functionality, speed, power and scalability.

Good Development Practices

One item to note: No matter how great the development tools are that you are developing with, if the application is not developed correctly, the end result may not be worthwhile.

PHP and MySQL is built so that anyone with a minimum amount of programming knowledge can put together a browser based web application. This easy entry to PHP development can also create problems when an inexperienced programmer takes on a large Web Application project and does not consider security implications, scalability and the SQL execution time when there are large concurrent connections, just to start.

Examples of messy coding and sloppy SQL queries:

  • Not using coding guidelines
  • Mixing HTML with PHP functions
  • Coding inconstancies
  • Using different styles of function calls
  • Disordered logic

History and People that are behind PHP

PHP scripting language is written in C and is powered by the Zend Engine. PHP was originally developed by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995 and later was rewritten by Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans in 1997. Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans founded Zend Technology and created the engine behind PHP, the Zend Engine. Suraski and Gutmans have been actively involved in taking PHP to its pinnacle success today.

Releases and Milestones

6/8/1995 PHP 1.0 was officially released
11/1/1997 PHP 2.0 was released
6/6/1998 PHP 3.0 was released by Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans with a rebuilt parser
5/22/2000 PHP 4.0 was released and powered by Zend Engine 1.0
2/27/2002 PHP 4.3 was released - this was a major release - PHP reached over 10,000,000 domains
7/13/2004 PHP 5.0 was released - another major milestone - powered by Zend Engine 2.0 - PHP True Object was implemented
6/30/2009 PHP 5.3 was released - support of anonymous functions and closures introduced, major improvement in object handling and functions

PHP Popularity

PHP is one of the most popular scripting languages used in building dynamic sites. PHP has reached its forefront popularity in 2009 by being used on more than 27,000,000 domains.

What is Zend Engine?

Zend Engine is the PHP compiler and runtime engine. Zend Engine is responsible for compiling the PHP Script into the Zend Opcode (Virtual Machine), then executing the opcodes and generating the results into the Web Server.

Bernard Kohan

Bernard Kohan is a mobile app and web application development and technology analyst expert. He is available to discuss any issues or questions you have about web development and the best choices for your company or project.

Bernard can be reached at

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