PHP for Web-Based Applications
To build PHP web applications, you need a server to run PHP. You can install a PHP server by using free software packages provided by PHP <http:// www.php.org> and Apache <http://www.apache.org>. With a PHP server, you can upload PHP programs to the server and run them though the Internet. However, for novice students, installation of a real server probably is not a pleasant job. Alternatively, it is suggested to download a free software package, called EasyPHP from <http://www.easyphp.org>, to install a personal server on your PC that emulates a real server to test your PHP programs. EasyPHP is easy to install, following the instructions provided by the Web site. After installing EasyPHP on your Windows PC, you can start emulating server on your PC by clicking [Start]-[Programs]-[EasyPHP]. Once EasyPHP
is launched, you can see the EasyPHP Window Pane. Click on the logo icon, and a menu allows you to start and stop the server and to pull up the local Web which is supposed to be <http://localhost/>. Three things you need to know to use EasyPHP for programming PHP on your PC. First, your PHP programs must be placed in a folder C:\ProgramFiles\EasyPHP\www. Second, your PHP program must have extension name [.php]. Third, to open the PHP program, you must use the EasyPHP menu to load the local Web and then type the URL in the Web browser window (such as http://localhost/ HelloWorld.php). The screenshots of the examples in this chapter are all created by EasyPHP.