Windows based software

Hi -

we are a small php programming firm and are wondering how softwares for windows are done?? i mean we have a online php software which user’s can install on their website… kind of a plugin for wordpress and we are trying to do a small windows utility that would connect to the website and fetch data.

Any tips on where/how to get started?? i really have no idea what language these are done in and how these are build up?


To create native Windows GUI applications, you will need to either write in C++ (using any number of IDEs) or one of the .NET languages using Microsoft Visual Studio, such as C#. Java is also another option, but it has been getting a lot of negative press lately due to a mountain of security issues.

If you simply want to write a script to perform some sort of automated task, there is a variety of scripting lanauges available.

PHP only runs on web servers.

What scripting languages or packages would you recommend. Specifically for someone on a budget?

The languages are free to use. Most of the development tools that can get you started are free as well.

Basically, what it comes down to is: what exactly to you want to accomplish?

you need to determine how you will deliver your program to end users. If you are going to have users initiate your program via a website & browser, you’ll need jave or ms activex. Otherwise the target workstation would probably need something installed on it, and that can be a problem.

Also is your audience all on one platform, or do you have some users with MS, some Macs, some linux? The answer will also have a lot to do with your final decision of a coding environment

You can use PHP to write batch scripts in both windows and linux, as long as php.cli is installed. No web server or web application necessary. I once wrote a php script for linux that read track titles from an audio CD, and then generated a CDDB file for the CD (mostly for home-recorded cd’s that didn’t exist in CDDB databases). The script was entirely done with PHP and runs from the command line.

I think You should try to learn .NET languages, e.g C# or VB.NET or . it is the most popular languages for linking online data with windows software, using JSON, WSDL or another XML-based technologies.


Technically, you could use something like PHP-GTK to build a desktop application using PHP. That way, you use what you know and love, and get to build desktop apps.

That being said, if you want to build native desktop applications for Windows then .NET is really your best bet. I’m a .NET developer by trade, so I can highly recommend C#. I’ve written a few desktop utilities over the years, and it’s been a fairly painless process.

It all depends on what you want to do, I guess. Some more information would be great.

As you already know the PHP language, the most straightforward way would be to use PHP to create a dekstop application. PHP is closely binded to web technologies like html5/javascript, and you already know these too, so the simplest way way would be to reuse this knowledge. Take a look at the PHP Desktop project that embeds a Chrome browser, a multithreaded web server and a php interpreter. It lets you deploy web applications to a dekstop in a matter of minutes, basically you just have to copy your php scripts to the www/ directory. The only obstacle might be the database. If your php scripts support a portable database like sqlite, there the problem is solved. Otherwise it gets a bit trickier, as you have to bundle a mysql/postgresql server inside application installer using for example Inno Setup or similar. See the project site:

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