PHP Unique Features
If you’re familiar with other server-side language like ASP.NET or JSP, you might be wondering what make PHP so special or so different from these competing alternatives.
Well, here are some reasons:
Performance: Scripts written in PHP execute faster than those written in other scripting language, with numerous independent benchmark putting the language ahead of competing alternatives like JSP, ASP.NET and PERL. The PHP 5.0 engine was completely redesigned with an optimized memory manger to improve performance, and is noticeably faster than previous versions. In addition, third-party accelerators are available to further improve performance and response time.
Portability: PHP is available for UNIX, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and OS/2 and PHP program are portable between platforms. As a result, a PHP application developed on say, Windows will typically run on UNIX without any significant issues. This ability to easily undertake cross-platform development is a valuable one, especially when operating in a multiplatform corporate environment or when trying to address multiple marker segments.
Ease of Use: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo da Vinci, and by that measure, PHP is an extremely sophisticated programming language. Its syntax is clear and consistent , and it comes with exhaustive documentation for the 5000+ functions included with the core distributions. This significantly reduces the learning curve for the novice and experienced programmers, and it’s one of the reasons that PHP is favored as a rapid prototyping tool for Web-based applications.
Open Source: PHP is an open-source project-the language is developed by a worldwide team of volunteers who make its source code freely available on the web, and it may be used without payment of licensing fees or investments in expensive hardware or software. This reduces software development costs without affecting either flexibility or reliability. The open source nature of the code further means that any developer, anywhere, can inspect the code tree, spot error and suggest possible fixes; this produces a stable, robust product wherein bugs, once discovered, are rapidly resolved-sometimes within a few hours of discovery!
Community Support: One of the nice things about a community-supported language like PHP is the access it offers to the creativity and imagination of hundreds of developers across the world. Within the PHP community, the fruits of this creativity may be found in PEAR, the PHP Extension and Application Repository(http//pear.php.net/), and PECL, the PHP Extension Community Library(http://pecl.php.net/), which contains hundreds of ready-made widgets and extensions that developers can use to painlessly add new functionality to PHP. Using these widgets is often a more time- and cost-efficient alternative to rolling your own code.
Third-Part Application Support: One of PHP’s strengths has historically been its support for a wide range of different database, including Mysql, PostgreSQL, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. PHP5.3 supports more than fifteen different database engines, and it includes a common API for database access. XML support makes it easy to read(and write) XML documents as though they were native PHP data structures, access XML node collections using XPath, and transform XML into other formats with XSLT style sheets.