PHP is the most popular form of server-side scripting language. Its popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is free and it can be used for creating dynamic pages and web applications. An important fact about PHP is that it integrates seamlessly with My SQL databases.
PHP scripts can pair easily with My SQL database which is widely used by small and large organizations. The reason behind this is that My SQL is an effective and a versatile database system which is available for free. This however, doesn't imply that PHP cannot integrate with other databases as numerous extensions are available to facilitate integration of PHP with other types of database applications.
PHP pages enable clients to request data from a database which is located on a remote server. Sometimes it becomes necessary to display dynamic data through charts. For instance a PHP based share trading site might want to show market trends by means of a chart or a utility service provider might want to display a chart to help customers compare their bills for two consecutive years. Traditionally, special PHP classes (codes) were used for creation of image based charts. These programs employed a complex algorithm to convert data into image based charts and therefore they increased the overheads of the server.
Apart from taxing the server's processing units, image based charts also tend to increase the bandwidth consumption of the server. Additionally, owing to their large size, image based charts take a long time to download on the client's computer thereby causing a lot of unwanted frustration. The limitations of image based PHP charting component can be overcome with the help of a Flash charting component. Flash charting component comprise of SWF files which are executed on the client-side with the help of Flash player. The execution is done on basis of provided data and configuration settings. Generally, Flash based charting component require XML encoded data which can be auto-generated using string concatenation functions.
Apart from overcoming the limitations of image based charts, Flash charts provide a greater scope for customization. They support animation, are interactive and can be made to blend in with the design of the parent page.