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PHP Data Types


PHP Data Types

Variables can store data of different types, and different data types can do different things.

PHP supports the following data types:

  • String
  • Integer
  • Float (floating point numbers - also called double)
  • Boolean
  • Array
  • Object
  • NULL
  • Resource

PHP String

A string is a sequence of characters, like "Hello world!".

A string can be any text inside quotes. You can use single or double quotes:

Example

<?php
$x = "Hello world!";
$y = 'Hello world!';

echo $x;
echo "<br>";
echo $y;
?>
Try it Yourself »

PHP Integer

An integer data type is a non-decimal number between -2,147,483,648 and 2,147,483,647.

Rules for integers:

  • An integer must have at least one digit
  • An integer must not have a decimal point
  • An integer can be either positive or negative
  • Integers can be specified in: decimal (base 10), hexadecimal (base 16), octal (base 8), or binary (base 2) notation

In the following example $x is an integer. The PHP var_dump() function returns the data type and value:

Example

<?php
$x = 5985;
var_dump($x);
?>
Try it Yourself »


PHP Float

A float (floating point number) is a number with a decimal point or a number in exponential form.

In the following example $x is a float. The PHP var_dump() function returns the data type and value:

Example

<?php
$x = 10.365;
var_dump($x);
?>
Try it Yourself »

PHP Boolean

A Boolean represents two possible states: TRUE or FALSE.

$x = true;
$y = false;

Booleans are often used in conditional testing. You will learn more about conditional testing in a later chapter of this tutorial.


PHP Array

An array stores multiple values in one single variable.

In the following example $cars is an array. The PHP var_dump() function returns the data type and value:

Example

<?php
$cars = array("Volvo","BMW","Toyota");
var_dump($cars);
?>
Try it Yourself »

You will learn a lot more about arrays in later chapters of this tutorial.


PHP Object

An object is a data type which stores data and information on how to process that data.

In PHP, an object must be explicitly declared.

First we must declare a class of object. For this, we use the class keyword. A class is a structure that can contain properties and methods:

Example

<?php
class Car {
    function Car() {
        $this->model = "VW";
    }
}

// create an object
$herbie = new Car();

// show object properties
echo $herbie->model;
?>
Try it Yourself »

PHP NULL Value

Null is a special data type which can have only one value: NULL.

A variable of data type NULL is a variable that has no value assigned to it.

Tip: If a variable is created without a value, it is automatically assigned a value of NULL.

Variables can also be emptied by setting the value to NULL:

Example

<?php
$x = "Hello world!";
$x = null;
var_dump($x);
?>
Try it Yourself »

PHP Resource

The special resource type is not an actual data type. It is the storing of a reference to functions and resources external to PHP.

A common example of using the resource data type is a database call.

We will not talk about the resource type here, since it is an advanced topic.