Quick Introduction to PHP 5

The groundbreaking release of PHP 3 in 1997 revolutionized the way in which Web sites are developed, and made it possible for everyone to create simple, yet powerful Web applications. PHP 4 took PHP much further by introducing the Zend® Engine, pushing the performance of PHP through the roof, and allowing it to be more extensible than ever before.

PHP Version 5 marks a historical milestone for PHP, featuring a variety of important new features and major improvements. The Zend Engine II, the heart of PHP 5, features a brand new and extremely powerful Object Oriented programming model, that allows for the development of large scale, object-based applications, using common development methodologies and design patterns.

The Zend Engine II also provides the infrastructure for revolutionary new extension modules that will make PHP even easier and more powerful than what you’ve learned to expect.

PHP 5 introduces new and revolutionary ways of dealing with XML that make it the ideal platform for XML processing—no other solution comes even close! The new bundled SimpleXML module, makes XML data a native data type in PHP, allowing processing of XML to be done without hassle and even quicker than before—making PHP the ideal language for developing XML driven applications.

Complementary to the new XML features is the new SOAP module, allowing interoperability with Web Services via a fast and easy-to-use API.

If databases are your game, then the bundled SQLite support means that you will no longer need to install a database, even when you need one, because PHP will have one built in! For larger applications, the new MySQLi module allows users of PHP to take advantage of new MySQL 4.1 features, and provide significantly better performance than with previous versions of MySQL.

The list of goodies in PHP 5 goes on and on…

Zend Technologies has complied a wealth of PHP 5 information within the new “PHP 5 InfoCenter” located at Zend.com. Written by PHP 5 experts, the section features numerous articles, overviews and tips, including:

  • Zend Engine II – PHP’s OO Evolution – by Zeev Suraski
  • What’s New in PHP 5 – by Andi Gutmans
  • XML in PHP 5 – What’s New? – by Christian Stocker

About the Author

Zeev Suraski is one of the co-creators of PHP and the Zend Engine on which all PHP sites and applications are run.  Zeev has been working for over five years on the PHP project. Along with Andi Gutmans, he started the PHP 3 and 4 projects and wrote most of their infrastructure and core components, thereby helping to forge PHP as we know it today and attracting many more developers to join in.  Zeev is a co-founder of Zend Technologies Ltd, the leading provider of development and performance management tools for PHP-enabled enterprises, and serves as a CTO for the company. Zend’s website is www.zend.com.

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