Learn PHP for Developing Web Application

Learn to build web applications with PHP and MySQL, Start your own blog, e-commerce site. In this tutorial you will learn basic, syntax, examples, functions, loops, cookies, sessions, file handling, data connectivity, etc.

PHP Constants

A constant is a name or an identifier for a simple value. A constant value cannot change during the execution of the script. By default, a constant is case-sensitive. By convention, constant identifiers are always uppercase. A constant name starts with a letter or underscore, followed by any number of letters, numbers, or underscores. If you have defined a constant, it can never be changed or undefined.

To define a constant you have to use define() function and to retrieve the value of a constant, you have to simply specifying its name. Unlike with variables, you do not need to have a constant with a $. You can also use the function constant() to read a constant's value if you wish to obtain the constant's name dynamically.

constant() function

As indicated by the name, this function will return the value of the constant.

This is useful when you want to retrieve value of a constant, but you do not know its name, i.e. It is stored in a variable or returned by a function.

constant() example

define("color", Red);
echo color;
echo constant("color"); // same thing as the previous line

Only scalar data (boolean, integer, float and string) can be contained in constants.

Differences between constants and variables

  • There is no need to write a dollar sign ($) before a constant, where as in Variable one has to write a dollar sign.

  • Constants cannot be defined by simple assignment, they may only be defined using the define() function.

  • Constants may be defined and accessed anywhere without regard to variable scoping rules.

  • Once the Constants have been set, may not be redefined or undefined.