PHP 7 Tutorial

PHP 7 Introduction

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. Rasmus Lerdorf a Apache team member, invented PHP in 1995. Rasmus Lerdorf named PHP as Personal Home Page. Later Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans worked on it and the acronym was changed to PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

Hypertext Preprocessor means we do not need to compile the code. On every page request, the request is first sent to the server. The server interprets the code and returns the output in HTML format to the client browser.

PHP is a procedural and object oriented language. It is server side scripting or programming language which is very easy to learn and understand. The object oriented features are implemented by Zeev and Andi in PHP version 5.0 in 2004.

It has many of the most useful specific functions like generate dynamic page content, send email, add, delete, modify data in database, collect form data, handle cookies and session. As this is absolutely free to download and use, so today this is most widely used in web development.

PHP Characteristics and Features

  • Simple
  • Interpreted
  • Open Source
  • Faster
  • Plateform Independent
  • Secure
  • Flexible

PHP Advantages

  • PHP is very simple and easy to learn. Its basic features are very simple and easy to understand, It also contains more advanced features for professional development.
  • It is capable to handle websites with lots of traffic, like Facebook and trusted by thousands of developers for fast development of eCommerce sites, blogs, CMSs, etc. Wordpress is the most popular CMS developed in PHP.
  • It is platform neutral language, so it can be run on all major operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS and also supports all major web servers like Apache, IIS, Netscape etc.
  • We can connect this with all major databases like MySql, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server and also with MongoDB.
  • As it is server side scripting language, the code executes on the server and the generated result in HTML format sent back to the client machine or display on the client browser.
  • It is an Interpreted language, so its performance hit by being interpreted rather than compiled.
  • PHP makes it easy to communicate with other programs and protocols. It supports for Java and distributed object architectures and making n-tier development.
  • It has a large amount of libraries, this is one of the reason of becoming PHP so popular.

New Features of PHP 7

PHP7 is the major release in PHP history. It is conveyed for mobile applications and the cloud. This is a big release after the arrival of PHP 5. It uses Zend Engine 3.0 for better memory consumption and enhance the performance. The important features of PHP 7 are -

  • Improved Performance - PHP 7 is up to twice faster as compared with PHP 5.6.
  • Memory Consumption - It consumes less memory space.
  • Abstract Syntax Tree - It represents the structure of program, it offers us to create some interesting representation of program to analyse and then we can transfer it back into the text based program.
  • Consistent 64-bit support - Now it's easily support on 64 bits architecture based machines.
  • Many fatal errors converted to Exceptions - By converting many fatal errors, which previously would crash a program to exceptions, that can help us to easily handle those exceptions.
  • Secure random number generator - It increases the security where we need to generate the random numbers.
  • The null coalescing operator (??) - It returns the first operand if it is set and not NULL otherwise it returns the second operand.
  • Return and Scalar Type Declarations - It comes in two flavours: Coercive and Strict.
  • Anonymous Classes - It allows us to create objects without need to give them a name.
  • Zero cost asserts - It allows for zero-cost assertions in production code and provides ability to throw custom exceptions when assertion fails.

PHP 7 Migration

The PHP official site provides brief explanation of how to migrate the site from previous version of PHP to PHP7. If you want to migrate, please visit the following link -