PHP is a server-side scripting language, used for building browser-based applications. This includes websites as well as programs that don't really need any form of interaction with the user.
PHP initially stood for Personal Home Page but as it evolved into a full-fledged server-side language, it was renamed with a recursive title "PHP Hypertext Pre-processor".
The languages uses a syntax simliar to conventional C, but it has its own set of functions.
Being a server-side language, PHP cannot receive user inputs. However, inputs sent from a program such as a web browser can be received by PHP on the server.
After PHP version 5, the language became truly object-oriented. Other languages that fall into the same category include
- ASP (Active Server Pages) - a more Windows-oriented language.
- JSP (Java Server Pages)
From the inception, PHP has been used with MySQL for building database applications. Both being open-source tools, have made the duo like bread and butter. However, in recent years, more DB platforms have got popular with PHP and these include MS-SQL Server, PostgreSQL and more.