Using PHP and MySQL in Web Development

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In the world of web development, developers have a wide array of options when it comes to scripting languages, data retrieval, and other details. As a result, a plethora of combinations do exist. However, using PHP and MySQL in web development is one of the more popular approaches.

Both PHP and MySQL are highly capable and generally efficient. Plus, as open-source solutions, there’s the ability for customization. Here’s a closer look at using PHP and MySQL in web development.

What Are PHP and MySQL?

PHP (also referred to as PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) was released in 1995 and is a server-side open-source scripting language that’s widely used for creating webpages that interact with databases. It’s able to generate HTML that’s delivered back to the client, allowing clients to receive the results without needing to deal with information about the underlying code.

MySQL has been around for more than 25 years, and it’s currently developed, distributed, and supported by Oracle. Functionally, MySQL is a database-management system (DBMS) for relational databases, and it’s one of the most popular open-source database options on the market.

How Are They Used in Web Development?

PHP is able to engage with relational database management systems (RDBMS) like MySQL. That connection allows website developers to create webpages with features that draw information from the database and return specific results based on particular scenarios or user input.

Precisely how the pair is used can vary, but there is a wide array of use cases. Combining PHP and MySQL is popular for forum-based communication. The database can store user messages, and PHP can allow relevant content to display based on how the user engages with the site. PHP can also retrieve banner ads from a MySQL database, displaying a random one or using other information from users to retrieve ads that may be of interest, such as by factoring in information about their past searches.

However, there are far more use cases than those described above. Essentially, any scenario in which a webpage may need to interact with a relational database, PHP, and MySQL together can potentially be a viable solution.

How Do They Work Together?

In many ways, PHP and MySQL represent the two sides of a coin. PHP allows the web developer to manage requests for specific information and display the appropriate output for the user. MySQL serves as a storage space for the data that PHP accesses. As a result, PHP and MySQL can be functionally connected, each of them performing a specific role to give webpages more capabilities than they may have otherwise.

PHP and MySQL also don’t just support data retrieval; they can create opportunities for data updates or additions. For example, users could input requested information – such as their name and email address – to join an email list, and those details can get stored in a MySQL database. They could also update their contact details through the PHP-provided functionality and alter their previously input data to ensure its ongoing accuracy.

Ultimately, PHP and MySQL can work hand in hand. When done properly, they can enhance the capabilities of a webpage significantly.