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This blog explains:
A PHP server — which is also called a PHP application server — provides a platform for running PHP applications. Some PHP application servers are as basic as that. Others provide additional functionality such as clustering services, debuggers, and automated tools for application monitoring and web-server configuration, which can save a lot of time and reduce the need for numerous third-party or open source technologies.
If you're wondering what PHP is, get a quick overview in this blog.
To understand what a PHP application server is, it’s helpful to first understand PHP application basics. Let’s say I’m a developer who needs to create and manage a website. One of the first things I need to do is decide which programming language to use. I’ll share why I choose PHP as my go-to web app development language.
PHP Frameworks — such as Laminas, Symfony, Laravel, and CakePHP — can dramatically accelerate development and improve code quality by providing pre-built modules, so you can:
Once I write my website application in PHP, I need a PHP (application) server to deploy it on. Unlike “client-side” applications that run on client devices such as desktops and mobile phones, PHP applications run on servers. So, PHP is server side.
PHP servers are not web servers, although many people use the terms interchangeably. As noted earlier, PHP (application) servers, such as Zend Server, run applications written in the PHP scripting language.
Web servers, such as Apache and Nginx, manage requests from browsers to do things like:
To complete any of these requests from a browser, the web server will connect with the PHP (application) server, call the PHP script that contains the instructions it needs to complete the request, and then use the PHP runtime to fulfill the request.
To complete any request to a PHP application, the web server that's connected to your PHP server uses the PHP runtime to interpret, analyze, translate, and execute the code needed to complete the request. Because the technology has evolved over time, there are many versions. However, you need to use the PHP runtime release that corresponds with the release of PHP your application is running. The current version is PHP 7.4.
Although PHP runtime is the name that people use to refer to the technology, the official, “under the hood” name is Zend Engine. That’s because the founders of PHP also created the Zend Engine and the company that managed it, which was initially called Zend Technologies.
Because most websites, web services, and business applications need to be available around the clock, it’s critical to choose a PHP application server that is highly reliable and easy to scale. Flexibility is also critical because PHP servers need to closely interact with web servers and databases.
PHP application servers that provide built-in tools for developers are important to consider because they can:
Zend Server provides a proven PHP application server platform that includes:
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Senior Solutions Consultant, Zend, Perforce Software
Mr. Earley offers more than 20 years of experience developing solutions on the IBM i platform. His expertise includes using PHP, MariaDB, Docker, and Chef for creating modern enterprise solutions that run on IBM i, as well as PowerVC for cloud deployments and virtualization management. Mr. Earley is a frequent speaker at global technology conferences, and he has authored numerous articles on Linux, PHP, virtualization, and systems management.