Open-source is becoming an increasingly popular software development method,
producing successful software such as the Linux operating system and the
Apache web server.
PHP is a popular open-source general-purpose programming language widely
used for development of server-side applications and dynamic web content,
and more recently, other software.
With PHP, you have the freedom of choosing an operating system and a web
server, since PHP supports all major operating systems such as Linux, many
Unix variants (including HP-UX, Solaris and OpenBSD), Microsoft Windows, Mac
OS X, RISC OS, and probably others. PHP has also support for most of the web
servers nowadays. This includes Apache, Microsoft Internet Information
Server, Personal Web Server, Netscape and iPlanet servers, O'reilly Website
Pro server, Caudium, Xitami, OmniHTTPd, and many others. For the majority of
the servers PHP has a module, for the others supporting the CGI standard,
PHP can work as a CGI processor. The Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP)
architecture has become popular in the Web industry as a way of deploying
reliable, scalable, secure web applications. Alternatively, the Windows, IIS,
MySQL, PHP (WIMP) and Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP (WAMP) architectures exist
as alternatives for those wishing to use Windows as their server operating
One of the strongest and most significant features in PHP is that it allows
interaction with a large number of relational database management systems
such as MySQL, Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, PostGreSQL, Sybase,
Informix, SQLite, dBase, InterBase, ODBC (win), and others.
There is also a DBX database abstraction extension allowing to transparently
use any database supported by that extension. Additionally PHP supports the
Open Database Connection standard (ODBC), so you can connect to any other
database supporting this world standard.
PHP also has support for talking to other services using protocols such as
LDAP, IMAP, SNMP, NNTP, POP3, HTTP, COM (on Windows) and countless others.
Raw network sockets can also be opened enabling interaction using any other
protocol. PHP has support for the WDDX complex data exchange between
virtually all Web programming languages. Talking about interconnection, PHP
has support for instantiation of Java objects and using them transparently
as PHP objects. CORBA extension can also be used to access remote objects.