Top Database Technologies for PHP Web Applications

Undoubtedly PHP is the most prominent platform for web development at the moment. Apart from websites, enterprise applications such as ERP, web based open source CRMs for SMEs and e-Commerce solutions are hugely prominent at the moment. There are a lot of people who believe that mySQL is the only database connecting with PHP while others are known to the fact that PHP is supporting other databases as well but they are unaware of the ones. What happens most of the times is that customers are picky as it comes to the database they are keen to have for the implementation. So here we are to help out the PHP developers, web development companies and others making them understand the databases that PHP supports.

Also Read: PHP Frameworks and Libraries That Every Web Developer Must Know About

Top Database Technologies for PHP Web Applications

Top Database Technologies for PHP Web Applications

Here we have endeavored to present the databases as decreasing order of use cases with PHP. Thus the most prominent databases feature on the top while the less popular ones are listed further down.


Certainly the most popular database out there for PHP applications is MySQL. It’s prominent open-source database all around the world besides there is the enterprise version of the database also available and it’s the paid one. A lot of popular applications such as SugarCRM, Magento, WordPress and Drupal are using MySQl while it has its customers in Wikipedia, Facebook and Google. With MySQL workbench you get a web based user interface useful in managing the database.


Launched in 1995, PostGreSQL emphasize on compliance and standards. Comparatively to MySQL, PostGreSQL is feature rich while the database at present is under its release 9.3 compared to release 5.6 of MySQL. With advanced optimization and compression attribute, PostGrey is in the league of Oracle. Most prominent applications that use PostGreSQL are OpenBravo and PostERP among others. Meanwhile, as compared to MySQL, PostGreSQL is a fraction slower.

In case you mostly use Windows and having related infrastructure already, then it’d be advised using MS-SQL. However web developments that use .NET and .ASP technology are going to cost more. This is the reason some customers use PHP getting it connected to MS-SQL. At the same time also keep in mind that it works just for PHP version 5+ only.


SYBASE was founded in Berkley in 1984 and it’s now in the team of SAP AG. Mostly used by enterprise database management, this solution has proved to be useful in performing under extreme load and suits best when an organization requires a big database. It connects with PHP using sasql_connect() command similar to MySQL.


Established in 1983, IBM-DB2 was highly used in combination with mainframe systems. As of now this database is used in a number of large scale ERP and e-Commerce implementations. In order to connect it with PHP, you require PECL extension.

Oracle Database

Well-established databases of the present times, Oracle database is quite prominent for Windows and Linux based servers. You can’t easily come across enterprises not using this database. In order to connect with PHP applications, you require OCI8 extension. When you have oci_connect function it can be used to connect to the database whereas Function oci_close () is useful in disconnecting the connection.

Other supported databases

Here we present the other databases that you can connect with PHP. Some are open source while others are proprietary. Gather more information about them on to the homepage. Find below:

  • Cubrid
  • DB++
  • dBase
  • filePro
  • FireBird/InterBase
  • FrontBase
  • Informix
  • Ingres
  • MaxDB
  • Mongo
  • mSQL
  • Ovrimos SQL
  • Paradox
  • SQLite
  • SQLite3
  • Tokyo Tyrant

PHP programming ideas

The best attribute of the adept PHP develops is that they treat database as an external entity ensuring effective working for their application. Here are the best practices to follow:

  • Lessen the amount of selects written in your PHP program an choose data in single shot and filter with the use of arrays.
  • Use the fields defining the keys as you select the data.
  • No use of joining more than 3 tables.
  • Only go for fields required for processing rather than using SELECT *.
  • Don’t go for aggregate functions such as SUM, AVERAGE, and MAX. Use them only in case of no alternate and when database is small.


So now as you very well know the number of database options offered by PHP, it’s time to take an informed decision regarding which database you would like to use in your case. We hope this write-up proves to be of great help for you enabling you attain performance optimized deliverables for your client.

Author Bio:

Jitendra Jain is Marketing and Sales manager at Octal Info Solution, a leading web & mobile app development company, offering platform to hire php developers for your web development project.

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