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Applying Object Oriented Programming to PHP

Benefits of using Object Oriented Programming and design in PHP applications

Published Aug 2, 2005 by lobo235

When you spend a lot of time designing PHP applications for the web you look for more efficient ways to do things whenever you can. You look for reusable code snippets or classes and functions that other people have written and shared on the web. One of the biggest time savers in my opinion is to write your PHP applications using the ideas and concepts of Object Oriented Programming (sometimes referred to as OOP).

When using Object Oriented Programming and Design, you must train yourself to look for pieces of your application that could be made in to objects. For example, you could create a user object that handles everything from login to new user creation. You could also create a database object that helps all the other objects in your PHP application communicate with MySQL or another database. Each object will have data and methods (functions) which allow other objects to interact with them.

Starting with version 4, PHP has everything you need to create object oriented applications. Some may argue that PHP 4 doesn't provide a true object oriented architecture (and they are probably right) but even so, you have the tools you need to make your applications somewhat Object Oriented. PHP 5 has better tools to accomplish this so you may want to look into that.

There are many benefits to designing your PHP applications in an Object Oriented manner. One of this biggest benefits is that it makes it easier for you to update and maintain you applications. It also helps you to reuse your code more frequently. For example, a user class that you created for one applications might work in another application. Even if it won't work, however, you probably only need to modify a few functions to make it work which will save you a lot of time in the long run. For businesses that hire PHP programmers frequently, it makes the transition between developers easier because the code will be easier to understand and get familiar with.

There are many reasons that you should write your PHP applications with an Object Oriented approach. Try it when you create your next PHP application and you will see! As always, please let me know if you have any feedback regarding this article.

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