PHP - a well-known scripting language and Java - a well-known programming language, both have carved their own niche in the field of software development and have been major catalysts in transforming how the world interacts with the internet.
But, now that both the languages are equally popular, it can be bit confusing while choosing one out of the two for enterprise development. The business owners all around the world are musing over this confusion as every web development company seems to have a varying opinion regarding the choice of programming language to be used for your enterprise application.
If you want to see the modern world at war, here is a tip - gather all the renowned developers from all corners of the world and declare one language to be superior of all. What you will witness next will definitely be what the World War 3 would look like.
So, the point being, no one has ever been able to prove one scripting or programming language to be superior to any other. Each has its own attributes as well as some drawbacks. Every developer proficient in a particular language will be able to build a satisfying application by making the best use of all the attributes of the language.
But, when it comes to building enterprise apps, one cannot just randomly pick PHP or Java as the app language without considering the benefits and drawbacks of each.
It is said that:
Java makes easy tasks complicated while PHP simplifies it further.
But, Java makes difficult programming tasks simpler while PHP may not have those capabilities.
Keeping these lines in mind, one can conclude that the question of whether to choose PHP, scripting language or to choose Java, a programming language for one’s enterprise app development depends a lot on the nature of the application.
Now, to get started with making a definite decision, one needs to first know the benefits as well a the limitations of both the languages. Once these are known, it becomes easy to pick one out of the two according to the suitability.
Java is a programming language while PHP is a scripting language. This means that Java needs to be compiled while PHP is merely interpreted. A compiled language can be run on any platform or operating system, irrespective of where it written while an interpreted language runs only in its respective runtime environment. This makes Java a more easy to work with language as it is reusable for several platforms. It is known to be running on the WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere) principle, which demonstrates a lot of functionalities of cross-platform compatibility.
Java has been here for a long time now, definitely longer than PHP. This gives it a benefit when compared to PHP as there is a large number of core libraries, all having high quality standards. Such libraries help developers add all the needed functionalities to the application easily. But, on the other hand, PHP has no core libraries unlike Java. Though there is a large source of semi-platform libraries available, none of them are stable enough to support all kinds of website functionalities. Though this lack of stability has been improvised on in the recent versions of PHP.
Many web developers will tell you that coding in PHP is a cakewalk when compared to Java. This is because, Java needs a lot of code for even the simplest of the functionalities. This makes the complete code size very bulky. On the other hand, PHP requires less coding and is very simple. As a result, the code of the application is short and easy to interpret. Also, as the code is short and easy to understand, one can easily make changes whenever needed.
Java is said to have relatively high system requirements to compile smoothly. But, it is also true that Java is the best choice for applications with high server load, which PHP is not even capable of handling.
PHP is known for its flexibility. The code length is short and that helps the developer to make any changes in future easily without disrupting the entire code. The unique quality of PHP is that one can develop the save required functionality in several different ways. There is no single correct way to do a thing in PHP.
This is a benefit as well as a drawback. As every functionality can be accomplished in several ways, it sometimes becomes difficult for a developer to understand a code created by other developers. On the other hand, this can never happen in Java. Though the code is complex and heavy, it is straightforward. PHP makes it easy to make changes to the program, but sometimes can prove to be difficult to understand.
Even after a detailed comparison, the question of which language to choose for your enterprise application still may seem to remain unanswered for some enterprises. So, here is a simple way to make your decision - Choose PHP for small projects so as to keep the structure simple, while for applications which will require a lot of inbuilt functionalities. Java is a better choice. Also, if you want the application to be built quickly, a PHP developer is what you require as PHP projects are concluded swiftly as it requires less coding than Java.
It is also a good practice to consult several web application development companies while deciding whether you need a Java developer or a PHP developer. The more the opinions, the wiser you get.