Using PHP


PHP is a server-side scripting language. PHP scripts are processed by a server prior to sending data to a user. This allows websites to customize content sent to users. Like PostgreSQL it is free and very popular. PHP is similar to other scripting languages such as Microsoft's ASP and JSP. Based on the Zend engine, PHP has syntax similar to C++ or Java. PHP also supports a wide-range of functions, including easy access to database systems (such as PostgreSQL).

We have chosen to use PHP to linking webpages to a database back-end as easy as possible. It is also used by many companies, making it a nice addition to your repertoire.

Running PHP Scripts

All PHP scripts have the extension .php (actually, there are others that are sometimes used, such as .php4).

Any file in your public_html directory (or subdirectory) with the .php extension will automatically be preprocessed through the PHP engine when accessed via the web server ( You do not need to do any special setup.

Learning PHPs

The official PHP site ( contains an extensive manual along with a short tutorial. We highly suggest reading the chapters:

It seems like a lot, but it is not that bad. You may wish to read additional chapters.

Additional References

For Annotated PHP Manual:
For PHP on Instruction Server: