PHP (now a recursive acronym for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor, but originally Personal Home Page Tools,) is a widely used open-source programming language used primarily for server-side applications, to develop dynamic web content. It can be seen as an open source alternative to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) system and to CGI/Perl system.
Its ease of use and similarity with the most common structured programming languages, most notably C and Perl, allows most experienced programmers to start developing complex applications with a minimal learning curve. It also enables experienced developers to get involved with dynamic web content applications without having to learn a whole new set of functions and practices.
One of the more attractive parts of PHP is that it is more than just a scripting language. Thanks to its modular design, PHP can also be used to develop GUI applications, and it can be used from the command line just as Perl or Python can be.
PHP allows, among other things, easy interaction with a large number of relational database systems (Oracle, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.), while maintaining a simple and straightforward syntax. PHP runs on every major operating system, including Unix, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X and can interact with all major web servers. The official PHP website contains extensive online documentation. The Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) architecture has become very popular in the industry as a way of cheaply deploying reliable, scalable, and secure web applications.
PHP is the result of the collective efforts of many contributors. It is licensed under a BSD-style license, the PHP license. PHP 5 and 7 engines are powered by Zend Technologies.
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